Over 40 Years Of Experience In Workers’ Compensation

Industry injury totals vs. injury rates

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

When looking at workplace injuries, there are a few ways to determine which industries carry the highest level of risk. Naturally, you start this process by looking at accidents that lead to either injuries or fatalities. But it’s not necessarily as simple as that. 

For example, the construction industry has the highest number of fatal accidents almost every year. You can very easily find sources telling you that construction is the most dangerous industry in America.

But is it? The agriculture industry has a much higher fatality rate – 18.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers, compared to construction’s nine deaths for every 100,000 workers. For this reason, there are those who consider agriculture to be the most dangerous industry to work in. What’s the reason for the difference?

Accounting for the size of the industry

The benefit of looking at rates – such as how many workers suffer fatal injuries for 100,000 workers in that industry – is that you can view the statistics through a different lens. You can account for the fact that one industry may be much smaller or much larger than another.

In this example, construction has the highest number of fatal injuries every year, but this is in part because it is one of the biggest industries in the United States. With millions and millions of construction workers, there are bound to be a lot of accidents and injuries. But other industries have far fewer workers, so the fatality rates – and the relative level of danger that employees face – may be much higher.

Regardless, employees who have been injured and the families of those who have lost loved ones need to know exactly what legal options they have.