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Dangerous Professions and Protecting Yourself on the Job

In America, a worker is injured every seven seconds, and almost five million Americans are injured annually. [1] Of course, not every job is dangerous, and certain jobs make these statistics higher. Below is a list of the most dangerous jobs based on the prevalence and frequency of injuries (rate of injury) on the job. While certain jobs on this list are more dangerous than others, it should not stop you from pursuing it, as you can take proper safety measures to protect yourself.

  1. Veterinarians: The veterinary profession may be many peoples dream job, however the American Veterinary Medical Association states that nearly 12 percent of people working in the field have reported a work-related injury [2]. This means that almost 53 percent of respondents suffered more than one injury. The most common injuries occur when restraining an animal, while others suffered the injury while treating the animal or lifting the animal. Bites, lacerations, scratches, as well as bruises were also common. It is likely that Vets are exposed to more danger since they are often exposed to erratic or hurt animals. Additionally, their job consists of a lot of physical activity, thus increasing chance of injury. [3]
  2. Healthcare Workers: The COVID-19 pandemic has really shown us the importance of healthcare workers, as well as the risks they must take to carry out their jobs. In the past year, nearly 300,000 hospital workers were injured on the job, making hospitals one of the most dangerous places of work. Many injuries were sprains and strains, has well as overexertion. 1/3 of hospital worker’s sick days are because of injury or illness that occurs on the job.
  3. Agriculture: There are many different jobs entailed within the field of agriculture. All these jobs involve heavy physical work, which once again increases the chance of injury. About 100 agricultural workers suffer injuries every day, and in 2018, there were 24 deaths per 100 farmers/farmhands. In addition, 12,000 children were injured while working on these farms. [4]
  4. Construction Workers: Perhaps one of the most dangerous jobs yet, construction workers made up for the twenty percent of workers that died in private industries. Falls were the leading cause of death, followed by being struck by falling objects. Other common injuries reported were electrocution, crushed or squeezed to death and machinery injuries.

All these professions are extremely important parts of society, and without their services, we would not have proper infrastructure, food, or care.  However, think one may want to think twice before entering these professions due to the increased likelihood of being injured on the job.

How to Prevent Workplace Injuries

Workplace injures can be life changing and can impact your ability to perform your job and everyday tasks. In addition, injuries can be costly. The best way to avoid this is to avoid an injury and ensure all employees are safe. To begin, try incorporating a safety plan that focuses on a safe environment and is effective at accident prevention. The program should cover all levels of employee safety and be open to reporting of malpractice or hazardous behaviors.

Many workplace injuries are caused by the inability of a worker to physically perform certain tasks. A pre-placement physical screening is a good way to screen applicants and ensure they have the physical capabilities for the job. Additionally, educate employees on how to use and operate safely on the job site. This can mean supplemental training and more open communication between managers and employees.

Businesses should also strive to research safety issues unique to them. Not all businesses have the same safety concerns, and it is important to address those relevant to yours. Pay close attention to common accidents and develop a plan to combat those. This can include training, awareness, safeguards, etc. Providing protective equipment is also essential and should always be monitored. These can include goggles, hats, shoes, earplugs, and other protective-wear while performing a job.

When it comes to management, it is important to have adequate staffing. Often, overworked staff, and those on overtime are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and cut corners to meet the demand. Hiring some part timers can help reduce the stress on the few as well as disperse it more evenly, creating a nicer balance.

Lastly, it is important to keep an orderly workplace that has foot path markings and is free of clutter that may cause any slip and falls. Also ensure that all spills or messes are cleaned immediately before it becomes a safety hazard. Good housekeeping can also help management catch irregularities or issues before they become a bigger problem. In addition, if the business has a company vehicle attached to it, make sure it is maintained and inspected. OSHA finds that workplace related driving accidents cause employers an average of sixty billion dollars a year. The vehicle should be inspected monthly and repaired as soon as possible if an issue is detected. [5]






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