Every job has unique characteristics that contribute to the risks workers face. Those who work in construction have the risk of falls, exposure to electricity and heavy machinery to worry about, while people working in medicine may have concerns about the risks involved in lifting patients or the potential of violence when someone becomes psychotic or is under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
There are certain trends in workplace safety that don’t depend on industry. One workplace risk is responsible for substantially more workplace deaths than other causes. It is the top cause of death across all industries, and it is also the top cause of fatalities in many industries. However, it likely isn’t what you expect.
The biggest risk for workers often isn’t on the job site
Your experience, the knowledge of your coworkers and even the equipment provided by your employer can affect how safe you are on the job. Additionally, whether your job ever involves travel to another location can influence how much risk you take at work.
According to an analysis of reported worker injury by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation remains the top cause of death for workers across all industries. Even people in highly dangerous fields like oil and gas extraction are more likely to die in a transportation-related incident on the job than due to other risks, like fires.
Specialized transportation equipment, like the boats and planes transporting workers to remote locations and personal vehicles used for daily sales calls at work, are a major source of risk for the average employee.
In 2019, there were 2,122 fatal transportation events that claimed the lives of workers on the job. That’s more than double the number of the second leading cause of worker deaths, slips, trips and falls, which claimed 880 lives in the same year.
Car insurance isn’t necessarily what you need after a crash
There are many workers who get hurt in work-related car crashes, making it a significant risk for injury as well as death. Workers hurt in a crash on the job and family members who lose a loved one due to traveling on the job may look into insurance coverage.
Yes, the insurance policy held by the other driver or your own coverage might protect you after a crash while traveling for work, but making a claim against your policy will likely increase how much you pay for coverage. There could also be big gaps between what insurance will pay and what the crash costs you and your family.
Workers’ compensation can offer complete medical coverage, reimbursement for burial expenses and replacement of lost wages by a worker injured or killed in a transportation incident. In some cases, it may be possible to file an automobile insurance and workers’ compensation insurance claim if the losses suffered because of the crash are significant enough.