Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Most Dangerous Jobs in New York? Three Guesses

Time's up. There are some interesting statistics in this article, Danger comes with the territory: Some workers risk injury, death daily.
  • New York's services sector — covering everything from the worker who puts the towels in your hotel bathroom to the pizza delivery guy — accounted for more private-sector injury and illness cases than any other division that year, according to a Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry employed nearly 2.9 million New Yorkers that year, representing 41 percent of the workforce.

  • The most dangerous public-sector industry in New York state is public safety, including firefighters and police officers at the local level.

  • Manufacturing sectors — including lumber and wood products; stone, clay, glass and concrete products; and fabricated metal products — accounted for the rest of the top 10 hazardous industries in the state, along with transportation by air, general merchandise stores and food stores.

  • Fifty-nine percent of the state’s private-sector occupational injuries in 2001 were attributed to repeated trauma disorders, most associated with repetitive tasks found in many manufacturing industries. (!)

    According to NYCOSH's Jonathan Bennet,
    Back injuries, which Bennett said account for the most workplace injuries nationwide, are common in jobs that require heavy lifting such as health care, baggage checkers and stock clerks, while carpal tunnel syndrome is the top ailment among typists and cashiers.

    Muscle injuries in general — including to the back — are the single biggest injury among hospital workers, especially in residential facilities where patients have to be lifted and repositioned, some several times a day. Bennett said a recent St. Louis study found that installing mechanical lifting equipment in such instances dramatically reduced the number of back injuries.

    He said back injuries are costly to employers, and while the lifts are also expensive, they pay for themselves many times over in the number of prevented injuries.
  • Timber cutter — with a mortality rate of 118 per 100,000 workers nationwide — was the most dangerous job in the United States in 2002, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.