You may have heard that construction is the most dangerous industry in which you can work. People who make this claim usually just point to the total deaths per year. Generally, more construction workers pass away on the job or suffer fatal injuries, than in any other occupation. This also means there are plenty of severe injuries and life-altering issues that may not result in death.
But does that one statistic actually tell us that construction is the most dangerous industry? It depends on how you define “most.”
Construction is a massive industry with tens of thousands of workers
The construction industry is huge. When you look at the national statistics, the number of construction industry deaths may be the highest in total, but the workforce is also enormous. This means the odds of someone dying in a workplace accident are higher simply because so many people are doing the job.
If you sort things by the number of deaths per capita, you find that many smaller industries actually have a higher fatality rate. For instance, per 100,000 workers, the rate of death was highest in the hunting and fishing industries. These are very popular recreational activities, but the number of people working professionally is small.
The next highest category was logging. Again, this is now a small industry in the U.S., at least when compared to a juggernaut like construction. Far fewer total deaths still lead to higher mortality rates within the field of work.
Have you lost a loved one in a workplace accident?
If you have lost a loved one on the job, life has changed forever. Make sure you know what rights you have and what legal steps you can take to help during this time.