May 16, 2019 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death?

Almost any workplace can see its share of humans having mishaps. Workers in certain occupations face much higher risks of being hurt, or worse, on the job.

What are the risk factors in a profession?

To distinguish the 25 most dangerous occupations, 24/7 Wall St. evaluated fatality rates in the workplace by occupation. Among some of the risks are: slips and falls; unintentional contact with toxic substances or hazardous equipment; physical and mental fatigue and long hours of shifts; and environmental factors that pose a risk, such as exposure to temperature extremes and weather events.  Then, there are jobs that put people in jeopardy through their roles in protecting the public—firefighters, police officers, those serving in the military, and many others. For each of these occupations, fatality rates are more than double the normal rate; in some cases, the fatality rates are more than 20 times higher.

What’s the likelihood of a workplace accident? 

Statistics such as the ones from 24/7 Wall St. tell us that there were 5,147 accidental deaths in the American workplace in 2017—close to the highest annual total in a decade. These figures originate from the annual National Census Of Fatal Occupational Injuries of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While we never know how far away is death, there are measures we can take to ensure that workplaces are providing the safest working conditions for employees. Ken Kolosh, the manager of statistics at the National Safety Council, observed in an interview with 24/7 Wall St. that, “the occupations with the highest fatality rates tend to have one of three things in common: they involve working from dangerous heights where a fall would be fatal; they involve frequent contact with dangerous machinery; or they involve driving for substantial periods.” He added that, “Motor vehicle injuries are relatively rare in the workplace, but when a motor vehicle crash occurs, it tends to be very serious or fatal.”

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How Far Away Is Death?, Safety
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