By Laura Morsch
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(CareerBuilder.com) -- For many of us, the most dangerous part of the workday is the commute -- followed closely by teetering on stiletto heels.
Nationwide, most employees have a miniscule chance of being killed at work. There were just four fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers in the United States in 2005, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That, of course, is just the average. For some workers -- soldiers in combat, for example -- every day is a life-threatening one. But on the domestic front, the most dangerous jobs are less obvious.
Statistically speaking, farmers -- with a fatality rate of 41.1 -- are more than twice as likely to die on the job than police officers (18.2) and nearly four times more likely to be killed at work than firefighters (11.5).
Most life-threatening jobs
According to BLS data, the following jobs had some of the highest fatality rates for 2005:
Fishers and related fishing workers
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
Structural iron and steel workers
Refuse and recyclable material collectors
Farmers and ranchers
Electrical power-line installers and repairers
Miscellaneous agricultural workers
Most injury-prone jobs
Although employees are statistically unlikely to die on the job, illnesses and injuries are a far greater threat. In 2005, the rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses was 4.6 per 100 workers.
The manufacturing industry accounted for more than 20 percent of the nation's reported nonfatal occupational injuries last year, with complaints ranging from sprains to gashes. Sixteen percent of workplace injuries were reported by workers in the healthcare sector.
The following industries saw the highest workplace injury rates for 2005:
Jobs that could make you sick
Considering the nature of their work, it's not surprising that healthcare workers reported 19 percent of the 242,500 new occupational illnesses in the private sector for 2005. But manufacturing workers actually get sick from work most often, accounting for 39 percent of reported injuries.
The following industries had the highest reported illness rates:
Laura Morsch is a writer for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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