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Which jobs put workers at the highest risk of harming themselves?

By October 25, 2019No Comments
Woman with smeared eyeshadow holding paper with smiling mouth over her own

For many people, the day-in, day-out hustle of the average workday is enough to trap them in feelings of sadness, pointlessness or even depression. Families in the U.S. may even lose loved ones to suicide. Unbearable pressure at a job can contribute to these troubled thoughts.

They are not alone in these feelings. A troubling report from the CDC reveals that from 2000-2016, the suicide rate among people 16-64 in the US increased 34%. This group is the US workforce, the majority of the population, and they are hurting.

Which professions most often include these individuals?

Unfortunately, calculating the suicide rate or risk in the US is not easy. The shame, secrecy or other indirect outcomes can cause many cases to go unincluded in the national data.

It is important to remember that the employment of individuals who commit suicide does not directly imply fault with the profession itself. It also does not imply that suicidal individuals are drawn to certain professions. This data only identifies correlation between the two.

From 2012-2015, 17 state participated in the National Violent Death Reporting System, analyzed by the CDC. While this data may not be representative of the whole country, it identifies concerning trends along gender lines in that group of states.

For men, occupational groups with the highest suicide rate include:

  1. Construction and extraction (carpenters, electricians, miners, etc.)
  2. Sports, media, art, design and entertainment (professional athletes, artists, etc.)
  3. Installation, maintenance and repair (commercial drivers, mechanics, etc.)

For women, occupational groups with the highest suicide rate include:

  1. Sports, media, art, design and entertainment (professional athletes, artists, etc.)
  2. Protection service (police officers, TSA workers, etc.)
  3. Health care support (pharmacy aides, dental assistants, etc.)

On a national level, there is no clear path to reach out to identify or help those who are at risk. However, traumatic events can directly negatively affect a person’s ability to perform their work duties.

If your loved one’s workplace conditions aggravate or cause severe depression or thoughts of suicide, contact a national suicide hotline, seek treatment, and explore your legal options.

Jerry Sisk

Jerry is a Minnesota workers' compensation attorney and work injury lawyer. He a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota Association of Justice, and Anoka County Bar Association. He has 10/10 on Avvo, 5 Stars on Google, AV Rated through Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Currently, he is Co-Chair of the Work Comp Section of the Minnesota Association of Justice.