In almost all occupations, workers face some type of risk as a result of their job. These risks can be relatively minor, as in the case of most white-collar occupations, or they can be more substantial, as they are in industries such as construction and law enforcement. However, in some instances, occupational hazards can be so serious that they cost workers their lives.
The most dangerous industry in America, in terms of total fatalities per year, has been construction for some time. In terms of most dangerous for each individual worker, industries such as commercial fishing and the lumber industry are among the most dangerous. However, the most common cause of fatal workplace injuries may come as a surprise to most people, simply because of how common the activity behind these types of accidents is.
Motor vehicle accidents, whether they involve collisions between two vehicles, single vehicle accidents, or pedestrians being struck by vehicles, are the single most common cause of deadly workplace injuries in the United States. In some ways, this is understandable: many jobs require operating vehicles for considerable amounts of time, and motor vehicle accidents are also a leading cause of preventable death outside of the workplace. Nevertheless, it serves as a reminder that some of the activities we take for granted as being relatively safe can actually be among the most dangerous.