The most dangerous industries to work in

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No matter what sector you work in, there is always the risk of workplace injury. In the UK alone, 565,000 employees have sustained an injury at work, while 1.8 million have suffered from a work-related illness.

Some sectors are undoubtedly more dangerous than others and employers have a legal responsibility to guarantee employee health and safety. Here are a few of the UK’s most dangerous industries:

Construction

It might be unsurprising to hear that the construction sector tops the list as the most dangerous industry. Data shows that there were 20 work-related deaths in 2021/22 resulting from construction work. Just a few of the causes were exposure to toxic asbestos and other fibrous materials which were used as insulation in the past.

Education and Health Services

Education and health services are generally considered safer professions, however, it has the third highest rate of occupational illness and injury outside of work. This may be due to the responsibility that healthcare workers and educators have to their patients and students, along with the irregular hours and time pressures of the job.

Sacrifices are more likely to be made to their personal lives to accommodate work requirements. This may explain why these workers report high rates of stress, anxiety, and emotional burnout.

Agriculture

Research by the Health and Safety Executive has uncovered that occupations within agriculture, forestry, and fishing suffer from the worst rate of worker fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. Causes of these fatalities are typically due to workplace vehicle collisions, being struck by a falling object, contact with machinery and animals, and by asphyxiation or drowning.

Transportation and Warehousing

The transportation and warehousing industry has a non-fatal injury rate per 100,000 workers that is nearly double the all-industry rate. This includes occupations such as air transport, road haulage, and postal services.

The disturbing rate of these injuries can be attributed in part to the size and weight of the loads involved in this line of work, along with the vehicles and equipment used to handle and transport them. The fragmented nature of the industry is also to blame, however, as it requires staff to move between different premises and be engaged in physical activity for long periods.

How can injury in these industries be prevented?

Organisations have a responsibility to help prevent workplace injuries and need to be engaged in implementing measures that protect employees. For the deadliest sectors like construction, builders’ insurance is a good option for mitigating risk and promoting safety for individuals and larger outfits.

Staff should also be periodically trained in health and safety protocols that guide workers on how to prevent injury in the workplace.