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Industries with the highest rates of workplace injuries

  • Industries with the highest rates of workplace injuries

    There’s a common workplace joke in films, cartoons, and memes using “__ Days Without Injury” signs as a gag. The sign will have racked up hundreds of days without anyone being harmed. Then a character gets hurt and it goes back down to zero. Yet workplace injuries in real life are no laughing matter. Such accidents can be devastating to employees, costly for employers, and have an impact on the overall economy.

    Stacker compiled data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on non-fatal injuries in 2017. That year, there were 1.1 million such work-related injuries or illnesses. Each case took at least a day for the worker to recuperate, though it required an average of nine days for most. Not only does that represent a big loss in productivity, but it shows just how dangerous some jobs can be. Many of these industries involve activities you’d expect to be risky, such as fighting fires, hacking down trees, or traversing construction sites. But you might be surprised that not all of the industries on this list involve manual labor or traditionally risky jobs. Here, find out which dangerous jobs top the list.

    ALSO: Top 100 reasons for emergency room visits

  • #22. Computer and mathematical

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 5.0

    Median days away from work: 4

    Number of cases: 1,810

    Jobs in this sector include software engineers, computer specialists, mathematicians, and web developers. Though these workers are often well-compensated and spend much of their time behind a desk or computer screen, they still get hurt. Common injuries include strain, disc injuries, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • #21. Legal

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 12.3

    Median days away from work: 2

    Number of cases: 1,150

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in legal occupations—which includes lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, and others—will grow 9% from 2016 to 2026. Typical injuries in this field range from office injuries to encountering hazards or dangerous clients while coming to and going from the courtroom.

  • #20. Business and financial operations

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 12.9

    Median days away from work: 9

    Number of cases: 7,850

    Business and financial operations jobs include managers, tax preparers, and loan officers. Because many of these gigs are desk-bound, the nearly 8,000 cases of workplace injuries from 2017 likely included common computer strain-related issues, as well as other typical office injuries.

  • #19. Architecture and engineering

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 16.0

    Median days away from work: 5

    Number of cases: 3,470

    Architects and engineers have creative and well-compensated careers. However, not only are they at risk for computer-related strain, but some of the tools of the trade (including scalpels used for models) can prove risky. Plus, construction site visits present plenty of hazards.

  • #18. Life, physical, and social science

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 27.4

    Median days away from work: 5

    Number of cases: 2,390

    This wide-ranging field comes with some wide-ranging risks. Chemists may encounter dangerous materials in the laboratory, while zoologists and wildlife behaviorists might have encounters with wild creatures. School psychologists might have run-ins with the students they're trying to counsel, while forest technicians might hurt themselves while doing hands-on work amid fires or while caring for trees in a nursery.

  • #17. Management

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 33.7

    Median days away from work: 6

    Number of cases: 23,680

    Management jobs come in many forms, as do the associated injuries. Executives may find themselves straining themselves at their high-demand office jobs or accidentally hurting themselves because of their stress levels. Childcare directors, on the other hand, may overexert themselves when looking after their young charges.

  • #16. Office and administrative support

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 43.7

    Median days away from work: 8

    Number of cases: 72,010

    Secretaries and other office administrators find themselves in this field. These employees are at risk for repetitive strain injuries, such as tripping over drawers or slipping on wet floors, as well as maladies related to the mental and emotional stress of their job.

  • #15. Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 47.0

    Median days away from work: 17

    Number of cases: 6,810

    From athletes to choreographers, there are a lot of opportunities for injury in this occupational field. Football players are at risk for head injury. Dancers can strain muscles and tendons, or twist ankles. Actors may find themselves injured on a set or stage. Journalists may suffer from repetitive strain injury from typing.

  • #14. Sales and related

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 50.8

    Median days away from work: 8

    Number of cases: 56,120

    Salespeople need a particular set of skills: Good communication, a personable demeanor, active listening, and solid product knowledge. Yet, like all the industries on this list, sales jobs are not without risks. Retail sales workers can be injured on the floor, or office-bound sales workers can suffer from office injuries. Sales reps, in particular, are prone to skeletal-muscular harm.

  • #13. Education, training, and library

    Incidence rate per 10,000 full-time workers: 53.9

    Median days away from work: 6

    Number of cases: 34,450

    Whether in the classroom, the library, or elsewhere, individuals in this line of work face specific hazards. They're particularly prone to slip-and-fall accidents, exposure to toxic materials (such as asbestos in older buildings), and violence from students or patrons.

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