Industries With Highest Workplace Injury and Illness Rates


Last edit November 16, 2022

Industries With Highest Workplace Injury and Illness Rates
Workplace Illnesses and Injuries_Kickresume data

If you abandoned the idea of building a career in the construction sector just because you might get hurt on the job, brace yourself — there are more industries to watch out for, and the healthcare sector is ahead of them all.

Overall, there were 2.7 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses incurred on the job in 2020 in the U.S. Although it may strike you as a considerably high figure, it’s still less than in 2019 — specifically by 5.7 percent.

As optimistic as this general decrease sounds, we also need to take a closer look at illnesses. These more than quadrupled compared to the previous year — mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Healthcare experienced 806,200 injury and illness cases

As previously hinted, you don’t have to be a heavy machine operator to get hurt while at work. Based on the BLS data, healthcare workers are at highest risk of getting sick or injured while on duty.

There were more than 450,000 injuries and above 350,000 illness cases recorded in the healthcare industry in 2020. This all added up to a 40.1-percent increase from 2019.

Slips and trips, sprains and strains

So what are common perils of healthcare or social assistance occupations? Whether you’re a nurse, physician, maintenance mechanic, or a security officer, it surely looks like you can’t hide from sprains, slips, and trips because you’re constantly in motion — caught in patient-handling activities.

What’s more, constant stress, violent patients, and having an insufficient number of workers are just a few of the factors that make this industry even more rife with workplace hazards.

Retail workplace perils are real

Not only are slips, trips, and falls the most common injuries for healthcare workers, but they also seem to haunt retail trade with as many as 341,100 injury and illness cases reported in 2020.

Liquids on the floor, obstructions on the premises, defective staircases, or merchandise falling from stock shelves — these are not just some cartoon-like situations when it comes to retail workplace, but rather frequent causes of store injuries.

It is clear that some occupations are more dangerous than others, particularly the ones that require some sort of manual labor. So if your aim is to land a career with very little risk of getting hurt or sick, then you can surely hit the jackpot as a telemarketer, interpreter, or a nutritionist.

  • Julia Gergelova, Professional Writer at Kickresume
  • Julia Gergelova
    Professional Writer
    Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as The Business of Business. She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.

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