For better or worse, life is a giant game of chance. Regardless of who and where you are, there’s simply no such thing as a 100% guarantee against death or injury. That said, some environments are more statistically prone to catastrophe than others. In the same way, an accountant faces fewer safety risks than a test pilot, some places are simply more dangerous than others. In this blog post, our premises liability attorneys will take a look at some of the most dangerous places in America.
Construction sites are an obvious choice for inclusion on this list. Complex and monstrously heavy industrial equipment taken in combination with dramatic heights, occasionally adverse weather conditions, and numerous employees leads to injury and death all too often. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,383 construction workers were killed on the job in 2012 alone — that’s almost 12 deaths every single day. In 2012, nearly 20% of all deaths in private industries were construction-based.
Construction sites are so rife with the risk that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has nicknamed the “Fatal Four” causes of construction site death:
- Object Strikes
- Caught on Machinery
Fortunately for the general public, construction sites are heavily guarded by fences, warning signs, and sometimes guards. Nonetheless, millions of Americans do work within the construction sector and face these considerable safety risks every day.
Counter-intuitive as it seems, hospitals are another high-risk breeding ground for injury and death — and not just for the patients who are already hurt or sick. To quote OSHA, “Statistics show that a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work. In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses, which computes to a rate of 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses per every 100 full-time employees.” The same year, hospitals claimed the highest number of injury and illness by industry, surpassing manufacturing, construction, and averages for all other private industries.
Unlike construction sites, hospitals are open environments which include both workers and visitors. Furthermore, because bacteria and illness can be easily carried and spread from person to person (and out into their respective communities), hospitals pose a greater risk to the general public. According to the CDC, a staggering 721,800 HAIs (Healthcare-Associated Infections) were recorded in the United States in 2011. Among HAIs, the most prevalent were:
- Pneumonia (157,500 cases)
- Surgical Site Infections (157,500 cases)
- Gastrointestinal (123,100 cases)
Car accidents claim thousands of lives and inflict even more injuries every year. The majority of these deaths and injuries are the result of crashes which take place on highways and other major roads. While quiet country roads and the streets of cities and suburbs certainly aren’t impervious to crashes and accidents, they represent the minority of incidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2012 saw 33,561 deaths related to traffic accidents on highways. By comparison, in 2010 the NHTSA reported just under 4,000 fatal accidents occurring on rural roads. To quote U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year and while we’ve made substantial progress over the past 50 years, it’s clear that we have much more work to do. As we look to the future, we must focus our efforts to tackle persistent and emerging issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the nation.”
Construction sites, hospitals, and highways aren’t necessarily lethal — but they certainly can be. Be aware of your surroundings, and stay safe out there.
If you or someone you love has been injured on a third party’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. To speak confidentially with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney, contact the law offices of The Reiff Law Firm today – (215) 246-9000.