The Top 5 Most Dangerous Occupational Sectors in the United States

  Occupation Fatalities Fatality rate
(per 100,000 employed persons)
1 Construction 1,178 deaths 10.3
2 Transportation and warehousing 836 deaths 15.9
3 Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting 573 deaths 27.3
4 Government 532 deaths 2.4
5 Professional and business services 465 deaths 3.1
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 Facts
  1. A total of 5,488 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2007, a decrease of 6 percent from the revised total of 5,840 fatal work injuries reported for 2006. While fatal work injuries in general fell 6 percent, those incurred by non-Hispanic Black or African American workers increased by 5 percent to 591 in 2007. This is the highest number reported for Black or African American workers since 1999.
  2. The rate of fatal injury for U.S. workers in 2007 was 3.7 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers, down from the final rate of 4.0 per 100,000 workers in 2006, and the lowest annual fatality rate ever reported by the fatality census. While fatalities incurred by workers age 65 and older decreased 7 percent, these workers were about 3 times more likely than all workers to be killed on the job. Self-employed workers had a 2 percent drop in fatalities, while their wage and salary counterparts fell by 7 percent. Workplace fatalities incurred by both male and female workers decreased 6 percent. Of the 5,488 fatal occupational injuries in 2007, 959 were incurred by workers who were born outside of the United States. Of the foreign-born workers who were fatally-injured in the U.S. in 2007, the largest share were born in Mexico (44 percent).
  3. About one-fourth of all occupational fatalities in 2007 involved workers in transportation and material moving occupations, though fatalities among these workers declined by 5 percent in 2007. This decline was largely the result of a 6 percent decline in highway incidents, which account for about 50 percent of the fatalities in this occupation. Construction and extraction occupations, which accounted for 21 percent of all fatalities, decreased by 10 percent from 2006 to 2007 after increasing the previous 3 years. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators; painters, construction and maintenance; and electricians all saw decreases of 20 percent or more.
  4. Fatalities among workers employed in protective service occupations rose 19 percent from 2006 to 2007, including police officers (up 30 percent), fire fighters (up 17 percent), and security guards (up 11 percent). Among other occupation groups, fatalities incurred by workers in sales and related occupations decreased 2 percent although fatalities incurred by supervisors of sales workers increased by 10 percent. Office and administrative support occupations had 50 percent more workplace fatalities in 2007 (from 88 in 2006 to 132 in 2007), due in part to an increase in fatal transportation incidents.
  5. The four occupations with the highest fatality rates were fishers and related fishing workers with a fatality rate of 111.8 per 100,000 workers, logging workers (86.4), aircraft pilots and flight engineers (66.7), and structural iron and steel workers (45.5).
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). NATIONAL CENSUS OF FATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES IN 2007. Retrieved October 29th,2010.
Tags: Business, Finance & Industry, Death Statistics, Top 5 Most, Deadliest, The United States

Sources:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2008

List Notes: Data is for the year 2007.
Most Dangerous Occupational Sectors in the United States

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