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Study identifies deadliest jobs in United States

In 2010, Texas claimed a very unwanted title: most workplace deaths, with 456 people dying on the job. Recently, the workplace safety education company eTrain Today came out with a list of the deadliest jobs by using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Can you predict what jobs are the deadliest?

Many people consider jobs such as commercial fishing, logging and airline piloting to be the most dangerous. These three occupations do have the highest fatal injury rates per number of workers. However, these jobs do not experience the overall highest number of workplace fatalities.

According to eTrain Today, jobs that involve a lot of driving are the most dangerous, with a full 39 percent of work-related fatalities happening during "transportation incidents" in 2010. Of those accidents, 21 percent occurred on highways, typically involving truck drivers, sales reps and other workers who spend a lot of time in the car. Transportation accidents accounted for a total of 683 fatalities in 2010.

The study also revealed that men were the victims in 92 percent of workplace fatalities. Additionally, workers 65-and-older had the highest on-the-job fatal injury rate, according to the study. Following Texas, the state of California had the second-highest number of job-related fatalities in 2010, with 302 lives lost.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the government agency tasked with preventing workplace fatalities by enforcing health and safety regulations. The eTrain Today study showed that as OSHA's budget has increased over the past 20 years, the number of workplace fatalities has significantly declined.

When fatal workplace accidents do occur, there are often OSHA health and safety violations that play a role. According to the study, the top five most frequently violated OSHA health and safety standards in 2011 were:

  1. general requirements for scaffolding in the construction industry;
  2. fall protection in the construction industry;
  3. hazard communication standards in general industry;
  4. respiratory protection in general industry; and
  5. control of hazardous energy in general industry.

Hopefully, OSHA will continue to do its job by conducting inspections and discovering these health and safety violations before they lead to additional workplace fatalities.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Deadliest Jobs In America," Drew Guarini, Aug. 22, 2012

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