Transportation is most dangerous job in AZ

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Policing may be near the top, but when it comes to deaths on the job, the transportation industry tops the list in Arizona. In 2015, which is the last year for which the state has statistics, 29 people died on the job while driving or riding in a motor vehicle, according to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The second-leading cause of death for employees in Arizona is workplace violence. That includes workplace shootings.

"Workplace violence exists," said Jesse Atencio, who is the assistant director of Arizona's OSHA department. He tracks trends and trouble spots across the state and says employers are getting serious about workplace safety, including the possibility of workplace violence. Atencio says Arizona's record of enforcement and free consultation and safety programs has helped to make the workplace safer today than ever before.

When it comes to injuries on the job, the agriculture industry accounts for the most cases. Nursing and residential care facilities come in second and policing comes in third.

"People think about police officers and they think about when we get shot or we were assaulted or stabbed," said Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department. Howard says those dangers do exist, but the most common injuries are much less dramatic.

"A lot of times, we have sprained ankles," said Howard.

Last year, 470 Phoenix police officers reported injuries on the job. But Howard argues that the job is safer, when you take out the incidents involving violent suspects, because of the work of the department's safety unit. It identifies injury trends and comes up with ways to avoid them.

Overall, Arizona's workplace fatality numbers have fallen for three straight years, according to the 2016 Census

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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