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What are the Most Dangerous Industries? And, How Does Yours Compare?

Toby Graham /
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We’ve been talking a lot about injury rates these days, with the publishing of KPA’s TRIR calculator, and how to benchmark yours against industry averages. This got me thinking, which industries are the most dangerous out there?

Well, data dork that I am, I found reams of data points to dig through to help answer my question du jour. Let’s walk through what I found. 

The team over at the National Safety Council are even bigger data dorks than I am, and have dedicated an entire website to injury statistics. Check out NSC’s Injury Facts website to dive into a host of helpful info. 

NSC’s answer to the most dangerous industry? It depends.

“Because work-related “danger” is defined in several different ways, there is no one answer to this seemingly simple question.” 

Depending on how you define it, NSC came up with four different answers for 2020:

  • Construction– experienced the most workplace deaths
  • Education and health services– experienced the most nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting– experienced the highest death rate per 100,000 workers
  • Education and health services– experienced the highest injury and illness rate involving days away from work per 10,000 workers

Given that this is 2020 data, keep in mind that COVID-19 had a big impact on these numbers. Education and health services bumped transportation and warehousing and government from their previous top spots. 

Click around in their data, it’s interesting to see how things move.

How does your industry stack up? Or your business?

You can play along too – this time with help from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Data gives us some great benchmarking data to see how safe our unsafe our work environments are.

Again, this is when COVID-19 was wreaking havoc, so it’s no surprise to see Nursing Facilities topping the ranks, but Skiing facilities? Go figure. 

Your next step is to see how you stack up against these industry benchmarks. How did your company fare in 2020? Use the TRIR calculator to find your number, and then check against your benchmark. Being above the benchmark can cost you ton in insurance premiums, let alone injury costs

Looking for ways to make your business safer?
KPA’s chock full of ideas.

KPA’s unique combination of software, consulting, and training allows organizations to automate manual processes, increase productivity, improve employee training, and reduce the overall cost of risk – the key factors influencing TRIR. Let us show you how.

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