Every job you can think of carries some level of risk to your physical fitness and mental health. But some jobs are more dangerous than others. For example, an office job is unlikely to expose you to falling from dozens of feet in the air or getting your limb crushed by a heavy piece of machinery.
Job injuries by industry
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health compiled data on nonfatal workplace injuries by industry in 2007. The report sorted the injuries by raw numbers and per 100 workers. Based on that information, here are the five most dangerous jobs in the Commonwealth:
- Transportation and Warehousing (2,800 nonfatal injuries/4.4 injuries per 100 workers)
- Construction (3,600/2.9)
- Healthcare and social assistance (8,300/2.4)
- Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing (100/2.4)
- Retail (5,500/2.1)
Note how the industries with the highest total number of injuries were not necessarily the riskiest. For example, the healthcare industry had by far the most nonfatal injuries. Still, the rate of injury was much lower than transportation and warehousing, likely due in part to the size of the workforce in each category. In fact, healthcare is the single largest industry in Massachusetts. About 15 percent of people who work outside the home work in healthcare in some capacity.
What you do affects how you can get hurt
Each of these jobs presents its own risks of injury. Construction and warehouse workers can be hit by falling objects or get crushed by machinery. Healthcare workers can be exposed to disease from accidental sticks from infected needles and frequently develop musculoskeletal injuries from years of lifting and handling patients’ bodies.
Whatever your job is, if you got hurt while performing your work duties, you may be eligible for substantial workers’ compensation.