For most white-collar and pink-collar workers, the risk of suffering from a fall or a broken arm at work seems non-existent. Sitting inside a cubicle or even entertaining customers from the front desk may have some drawbacks, but there’s really no risk for life-altering injuries with such jobs. The same is not true for people who work in industries with high-risk environments. For these workers, facing real danger every single day is part of their livelihood. Here are some of the top industries with high-risk safety concerns.
Workers in the manufacturing industry handle almost everything from food to furniture and mechanical products. The risk associated with the type of job they are doing is simply high and diverse. When not handling heavy-duty machinery, employees would work with hazardous elements. While most countries are trending toward automation, there are some poor places where the need for manual handling is still very high. This is very true for places like Bangladesh. Four years ago, the country witnessed the collapse of Savar, an eight-story building that contained five garment factories.
Compared to most industries, the healthcare industry may seem to have a lower risk in terms of workplace injury and such. However, it involves working extended hours in very stressful environments. Working in the hospital as a doctor or a nurse may not put you at risk of sustaining a fall or getting hit on the head with a debris, but studies show that prolonged exposure to sick patients can put health workers at risk of infections. Every year there are 30 cases reported per 100,000 workers. Most of the cases are manageable, but there are also cases of serious infections.
Construction is another top industry with a high workplace safety concerns. Workers often need to handle hazardous materials and sometimes work from very high altitudes. In the U.S. alone, more than 50% of work-related injuries in construction industries are the result of falls, usually involving older employees. Most companies have take steps to address this issue, providing enough protective equipment such as hard hats, which are not obligatory. However, human negligence still poses as a problem in many cases and usually leads to otherwise avoidable circumstances.
There is perhaps no industry more famous for its perilous and hazardous working conditions than the mining industry. Over the past decades, we’ve seen a number of mine disasters throughout the world, with the Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia in August 2014 being one of the most recent. The mining industry has come a long way in terms of safety measures, but even with all the modern equipment and machineries, mining still poses risks that make it an exceptionally harsh occupation. Aside from cave-in floods and other similar disastrous situations, mining also puts workers at risk by exposing them to radon, mercury, and even dust. Unfortunately, there are still a number of companies that ignore the long-term effects of mining and even fail to provide appropriate protective gear to their employees.