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What are the most dangerous jobs in California?

| Sep 21, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

Accidents can happen in any kind of work environment, but certain jobs are more likely to result in serious injury or death for workers. California has one of the largest economies in the world, and workers across the state benefit from relatively strong employee protections.

However, hundreds of people still die on the job in California every year. Certain careers or professions have a higher correlation with fatal accidents than others. Looking at an analysis of recent workplace injuries that resulted in fatalities can help people determine if their job is among the most dangerous of professions.

Agricultural work and logging usually have multiple fatalities per year

Reviewing data provided by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) can give businesses and workers a good idea of the state’s current job environment. The most recent data made available by the DIR is from 2018, when there were 422 total job-related deaths.

In 2018, agriculture, an industry that includes forestry, fishing and hunting, saw 35 fatalities. Four of those were in logging, which consistently tops the list of high-risk jobs at the national level. Five people died in cattle ranching environments, while another 13 crop production workers lost their lives on the job.

Construction is an industry with many job risks

In 2018, 71 workers in the construction industry lost their lives across the state. Of those deaths, 20 were the result of residential construction, while another 12 were the result of residential remodeling. Specialty trade contractors made up 31 of the 71 fatalities. Among this subcategory of contractors, those working on building finishing have the highest risk, with 10 deaths.

Transportation and warehouse workers are also at elevated job risk

Another 72 deaths in 2018 were the result of transportation or warehouse work. Forty-four of those deaths involved truck transportation, while three couriers or messengers lost their lives on their job. The warehouse and storage niche of this area of the economy only represented three of those 72 annual deaths.

Administrative and waste services, including landscaping services, building maintenance and waste collection, represented another 55 deaths. Other high-risk industries include the leisure and hospitality industries and the food services industry, both of which see high levels of violence resulting in worker deaths.

Workers who get hurt on the job, as well as dependent family members who lose a loved one to a workplace incident, may have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits.