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Who’s Most at Risk for On-the-Job Injuries in CA?

Construction worker has an accident at a construction site. Emergency help engineers provide first aid to construction workers in accidents. Safety team help a construction worker who has an accident.

Occupational injury can happen in any job. You can slip and fall in an office building just as easily as on a construction site. Some jobs are, of course, more dangerous than others. Construction workers are exposed to many more hazards on a regular basis than are office workers.

Data from federal agencies and safety experts demonstrates that certain industries are more dangerous for workers, and even that certain types of workers are at higher risk of injury. Read on for a discussion of which employees are at higher risk for an on-the-job injury. If you’ve been hurt in a California workplace, call a dedicated California workers’ comp attorney at Invictus Law.

Highest-Risk Jobs

Certain industries are significantly more dangerous than others. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the most dangerous industries in 2021 for workers include:

  • Construction. Construction workers had the highest number of workplace deaths across the country.

  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting. The agricultural industries consistently experienced the highest rate of worker death each year, with the most deaths per 100,000 workers.

  • Education and Health Services. In 2021, employees in education and healthcare experienced the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses, including those that led to missed days at work.

  • Transportation and Warehousing. Workers in the transportation and warehousing industries suffered the highest illness and injury rate involving days missed at work per 10,000 workers in 2021.

The NSC’s findings were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Education and healthcare workers were directly exposed to the public throughout the pandemic, leading to a much higher incidence of coronavirus infections. Before 2020, education and healthcare workers were lower on the danger list, accounting for the 7th highest injury and illness rate; in 2020, they were the highest, and in 2021, they were fourth by injury/illness rate and first overall for sheer number.

Looking just at workplace fatalities, agriculture is followed closely by mining, transportation and warehousing, construction, and wholesale trade. Financial service providers and education/health services providers are farther down on the list.

Highest-Risk Workers

A number of studies have looked at other categorizations besides industry to evaluate the highest-risk workers. Recent studies found, for example, that Latino immigrants and African American men are at the highest risk for workplace injury, even when accounting for education and other demographic characteristics. These groups tended to have more limited economic opportunities and thus wind up in higher-risk occupations at higher rates.

Other factors impact injury risk as well. A recent study found that newer workers are at significantly higher risk of injury than more tenured workers. Workers who had less than a year on the job were more likely to suffer injury, especially in the first month; the first month on the job, workers have a 300% greater risk of lost-time injury than workers with over a year of experience. Any number of factors may contribute to the increased risk, including limited experience, lack of safety training, and the higher-risk jobs being given to temporary workers.

If you suffered a work-related injury, illness, or disability, you need dedicated, effective legal help to maximize your compensation. The seasoned California workers’ comp legal team at Invictus Law is ready to help. We’re board-certified specialists in workers’ compensation. You don’t have to pay unless we recover on your behalf. Call us today for a consultation.

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