Most Dangerous Jobs in Ohio | Helping You with Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

What are the Most Dangerous Jobs in Ohio?

For some professionals, such as police officers, soldiers, firefighters, and miners, “high risk” is almost part of the job description. But other professions can carry high risks without many people realizing it.

Using data from the Department of Labor, the U.S. Bureau of Labor, and the U.S. Census, the attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci have compiled a list of some of the most dangerous jobs in Ohio. It’s an eye-opening look at careers that have the highest frequency of on-the-job injury or death.

If you’ve been injured on the job in Ohio, contact us today for a free case review.

Ohio Workplace Injuries and Illness Statistics

The good news for residents of Ohio is that it’s apparently safer to work here than elsewhere in the United States. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses are lower in Ohio than the average for the nation. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the average number of injuries and illnesses across the public and private sector throughout the country is 3.0 per 100 full-time employees, as of 2015. By comparison, the rate of injuries and illnesses in Ohio is 2.9 per 100 full-time employees, as of 2014, the latest data available. We’ll use 2014 data for both federal and state through the rest of this post.

In 2014, there were approximately 121,300 reported injuries and illnesses in America across all industry types.

Accounting for all nonfatal illnesses and injuries regardless of industry, in 2014:

  • 5% were recordable cases with no loss of time from work;
  • 6% of cases entailed one or more days away from work; and
  • 20% of cases led to one or more days of job restriction/transfer only.

Demographics: Gender

The majority of work-related injuries in Ohio happen to men, with 61.3% of all incidents involving one or more days away from work. Moreover, the number of cases involving men increased substantially from 2013 to 2014, with 83.3 cases per 10,000 full-time employees during the earlier year to 93.2 cases per 10,000 employees later. In contrast, the situations of women reporting injuries decreased slightly during the same time, with 74.1 cases per 10,000 full-time employees in 2013 and 73.8 the following year.

The rate of falling injuries varied substantially between men and women, with the latter having an incident rate of 23.3 for every 10,000 full-time employees compared to 12.3 cases in men.

Demographics: Age

Work-related injuries and illnesses vary greatly between different age groups. In all categories other than the oldest age group, the number of reported cases increased from 2013 to 2014. According to age, the rate and number of incidents per 10,000 full-time workers in 2014 were:

  • 16 to 19: 4.2%, with 129.8
  • 20 to 24: 9.9%, with 87.3
  • 25 to 34: 22.5%, with 83.8
  • 35 to 44: 20.1%, with 81.9
  • 45 to 54: 21.2%, with 81.3
  • 55 to 64: 17.3%, with 87.7
  • 65 and older: 3.7%, with 73.4

Most Dangerous Jobs in Ohio (nonfatal)

Stories of workplace deaths are often in the news. Yet fatalities aren’t the only measure of danger. What about professions that don’t make news, where an employee misses work due to an injury, and may even suffer life-threatening injuries but doesn’t die? Not only do such people suffer physical pain, but they often lose wages and have to bear the high cost of medical bills. They may also contend with permanent disabilities.

Here’s a list of some of the toughest and most dangerous occupations in Ohio as measured by nonfatal injuries incurred while working.


Firefighting tops the list as the most dangerous line of work in the United States and among people working in Ohio. Annually, firefighters face nearly 71,000 on-the-job injuries throughout the nation, a rate more than three times higher than all other industries. This number is reflected in Ohio statistics as well, with roughly nine incidents per 100 full-time employees. Nationwide, the number is closer to 13.5 per 100 employees.

Not only do fire protection workers risk burns, they are regularly exposed to infectious diseases, asbestos, fumes, chemicals, and radioactive materials. Forced to go in buildings with falling debris, firefighters wear about 80 pounds of gear and need to carry heavy hoses and ladders up stairs and through windows. The risk of tripping and falling is significant with slippery floors and limited vision. Smoke inhalation is a frequent risk as well.

See also: Firefighter Cancer Cases in Ohio Now Eligible for Workers’ Compensation

Vehicle Manufacturing

One of the industries with the highest rate of injuries and highest number of days spent away from work as a result of an on-the-job injury is vehicle manufacturing. People in this line of work typically manufacture trucks, trailers, motor homes, and cars. This category also includes bus mechanics and diesel engine specialists. Injuries and illnesses can be caused by:

  • Chemicals: Employees in vehicle manufacturing are exposed to many dangerous chemicals, such as leaking battery acid and corrosive cleaning solutions.
  • Heavy machinery: Maneuvering heavy equipment, such as forklifts and jacks, entails a serious level of risk.
  • Fire: Engines that run the equipment, electrical wires that keep power running, and welding equipment increase the risk of fires in a manufacturing environment.
  • Confined spaces: Vats and tanks limit the amount of oxygen available. The most common sign of suffocation is an inability to communicate, thereby leaving a person helpless.
  • Falls: Any additional height increases the chances of a fall, and in manufacturing jobs this can be common.


Farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. According to the International Labour Organization, more than half of all workplace injuries throughout the world take place in agriculture.

These numbers hold true in Ohio, too. Frequently, injuries and fatalities are the result of equipment accidents. Tractors often flip over, leading to death. Powerful machinery with sharp blades and dangerous sucking spares no one when an accident occurs. Driving conditions are also unsafe with non-farmers driving too fast around slow-moving farm equipment on roadways, leading to numerous traffic accidents.


With 157 reported injuries per 10,000 full-time Ohio workers, health care employees suffered a greater number of on-the-job problems over any other industry in the private sector during 2014. In fact, 20.5% of all injury reports recorded in private sector businesses were in a health care setting, such as residential living homes, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. Many of the injuries occur in nursing homes when staff must move or transport uncooperative patients and elderly patients who have minimal mobility. Nurses deal with strained necks, shoulders, and backs due to lifting patients, which can lead to more serious complications, including bulging disks.

Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries

The performing arts and spectator sports industries may be an afterthought when considering dangerous jobs. However, the rate of injuries and illnesses in these fields is substantial. Employees in this category include actors, dancers, athletes, singers, musical groups, and other entertainers. It also includes people who work with performers, such as ushers and producers.

In 2014, the number of recordable illnesses and injuries was 4.7 per 100 full-time employees.

Contact an Ohio Workplace Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a workplace incident in Ohio, it may be time to contact an experienced workplace accident attorney.

The attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci have helped injured Ohio workers get the compensation they deserve for more than 40 years. Contact us for a free consultation if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • Your medical issues prevent you from returning to your prior job;
  • The settlement offer from your employer doesn’t cover the entire cost of your medical bills or lost wages;
  • Your employer denies your claims or fails to provide payment in a timely manner;
  • You receive Social Security disability benefits;
  • You have a potential third-party claim.

Plevin & Gallucci can help you file all necessary paperwork, meet deadlines, and develop the medical evidence to support your case. We can help you ascertain the value of your case to decide whether a proposed settlement is appropriate. In addition, we can help you understand the nuances of the legal system so you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

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