Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Construction workers, farmers and landscape workers take note: insect-related deaths are most likely in your line of work.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal’s The Numbers blog, a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that insects, arachnids, and mites were involved in 83 fatal occupational injuries from 2003 to 2010.
During the course of the eight-year period, farmers and farm workers (20 fatalities), construction occupations (19 fatalities) and landscaping workers (17 fatalities) accounted for two-thirds of the deaths.
Bees were responsible for 52 workplace deaths – more than spiders, wasps and ants combined (25), The Numbers blog reports.
Most of the deaths (72 of the 83 total) were directly caused by an insect, including cases in which the worker was bitten or stung.
Another 11 deaths were indirectly caused by insects. These include cases where an insect distracted the worker while driving or caused the worker to fall from a height.
Anaphylactic shock, often associated with insect-related injuries, occurred in close to half the deaths, the BLS said.
By state, Texas saw the greatest number (21) of insect-related workplace deaths during the 8-year period, followed by Florida (8).
However, when it comes to non-fatal insect-related workplace injuries and illnesses with days away from work, four states: California, Florida, New York and Texas had more than 250 cases reported in all three years between 2008 and 2010.
As a percentage of all days-away-from-work cases in those large population states, though, insect-related cases were less than 1 percent of the total cases in any year.
Not surprisingly, these incidents tended to occur in the warmer months. Almost 94 percent of the cases occurred between April 1 and October 31. The largest number of deaths (17) occurred in September.
Check out National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) information on workplace safety and insects here.