Most Dangerous Occupations in MN

People work to make a living right? Unfortunately some career paths can lead to serious injury and even death thus raising the question of what are the most dangerous occupations in Minnesota? The most recent complete report about workplace safety from the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry comes from 2012. The report covers the long saga of employees who have suffered an injury on the job throughout 2012.

During 2012 there were 70 individuals who suffered an injury so severe that it proved fatal. When first examining the report it is striking in several respects, namely the cover page. The cover is not merely a title explaining what the report consists of, but is a series of excerpts from documents filed with the DOLI about employee injuries. These statements tell the employees’ story in brief, explain the simplicity and preventability of the injury, and remove the illusion that 70 on-the-job deaths is not a significant statistic.


“While attempting to get on an extension ladder from a scaffold plank, an employee fell approximately 14 feet from the scaffold,” the cover page blankly states. Slips, trips, and falls account for 17 percent of all fatal injuries that occurred in Minnesota in 2012.

Among those employees whose injuries were not fatal, 16 percent were injured by falling; this made falling the most common non-fatal means of injury. The cover page also foreshadows the most common cause of fatalities: “An employee was cleaning near a CNC machine and the employee’s head made contact with a route bit.”

The most common means of fatal injury was contact with a piece of equipment. The second leading cause of fatalities is the category of slips, trips, and falls. It should come as no big surprise that unsafe floors and ground surfaces were the most common source of injuries.


Employees of all walks of life are injured on the job. Regardless of where you work, from an office to a construction site, you are capable of being injured by a fall. Of course, certain job sites make it much more likely that an employee will suffer an injury.

Form 2008 until 2012 the state’s highest recorded fatalities came from the industries of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. During this time period these industries recorded a total of 113 deaths due to work-related incidents. During the same time period the second highest recorded fatalities came from the construction industry. There were a total of 58 construction-related fatalities.

When it comes to non-fatal injuries, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance jobs reported the highest rate of injury; these employees were injured at a rate of 296 for every 10,000 workers.


Employees suffered injury to just about every part of their body imaginable throughout 2012. Certain body parts were the subject of injury much more often than others. For example, the most common injury sustained by Minnesota employees was to their back; these accounted for 23% of all reported cases. Employees were primarily suffered injury as a result of sprains, strains, and tears to muscle and ligaments.


If you have been injured on the job, contact a skilled Mankato workers’ compensation attorney. At the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office we are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Together we will hold your employer accountable for unsafe working conditions.

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