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What Are the Biggest Causes of Fatal Workplace Accidents?

To a certain extent, every job poses a risk of injury. While most people might picture a hazardous work site as one that involves lots of toxic chemicals or heavy machinery, even the average cube-dweller is at risk of all sorts of injury including repetitive-stress injuries, back problems, falls and electric shocks.

Still, it is true that some jobs are more dangerous than others. The workplace safety company eTrain Today recently released complied information on the most dangerous jobs in America, using 2010 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of their findings were quite interesting.

Workers in the fishing and logging industries had the highest rate of fatal work accidents. However, in terms of raw numbers, transportation-related incidents are far and away the biggest killers. Approximately 39 percent of all fatal work accidents involved a car crash or other transportation-related cause. More than half of these deaths occurred on highways.

Assaults and violent acts took second place, accounting for approximately 18 percent of all work-related fatalities. Other major causes included equipment accidents, falls, harmful substances or environments and fires and explosions.

Interestingly, while men made up just 56 percent of the American workforce in 2010, they accounted for 92 percent of all workplace fatalities. Workers over age 65 were also much more likely to die; they had a death rate of 11.5 per 100,000 workers, compared with 3.5 for the workforce as a whole.

Colorado, for its part, came in near the middle of the pack. The state saw 80 workplace fatalities in 2010. Although that number is high, it does represent a decrease from the previous year.

This data goes to show just how important it is for employers to have a renewed focus on workplace safety. Even one fatal accident is too many.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Deadliest Jobs in America," Drew Guarini, August 22, 2012.

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