Workers face various workplace dangers that put them at high risk for serious injuries and fatalities, and some of the most dangerous jobs in America are right here in Chicago. With 171 workplace fatalities in Illinois in 2016, it is vital for businesses and workers to identify the risks associated with Chicago’s most dangerous jobs.
Dangers in the Chicago Workplace
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, thousands of Illinois workers head off to dangerous jobs each day, not knowing if they will face injuries or death before their workday ends. Many workers are employed in high-risk jobs with low-paying wages, which makes the threat of serious injuries and fatalities even more difficult for workers and their families who are already struggling with finances.
OSHA reports five jobs that rank at the top of the list for worker injuries and fatalities. According to Illinois OSHA statistics, most workplace injuries and deaths related to these jobs are completely preventable.
Transportation jobs rank the highest for injuries and fatalities, with 918 deaths in 2016. Truck drivers, taxi drivers, and delivery drivers face daily dangers due to unsafe road conditions, negligent drivers, inclement weather, and long work hours.Transportation injuries are among the most common seen by a Chicago workers compensation lawyer.
2. Farmers and Ranchers
Farmers and ranchers face dangers from environmental hazards, dangerous pesticides, defective farm equipment, tractor rollovers, falls, and heavy lifting. In 2016, there were 260 fatalities for farmers and ranchers.
Construction is one of the most dangerous jobs with a high rate of work-related fatalities. Common accidents such as falls from high places, getting struck by heavy equipment and objects, and electrical shock from power tools accounted for 134 on-the-job fatalities in 2016.
4. Industrial and Warehouse
Workers in industrial warehouses handle heavy machinery and flammable liquids on a daily basis. Operating heavy forklifts and hoists put workers at high risk for crushing injuries, head trauma, and amputations. Flammable chemicals expose workers to high risk of fires and explosions.
5. Health Care
Hospital workers and emergency responders face a wide range of job hazards, including injuries from heavy lifting of patients and equipment, exposure to infectious diseases and toxic chemicals, high stress, and violence. Non-fatal injuries for healthcare workers are among the highest of any industry sector.