Most would agree working in the insurance industry is relatively physically safe, aside from the sedentary lifestyle. Let’s be honest, our biggest risk is exposure to sick people (although no where near healthcare workers) and possibly paper cuts. We’re fortunate enough to have health insurance coverage should something like that happen. However, there is a group of working professionals that lead the pack regarding the lack of health insurance coverage. These workers are also at a very high risk of injury and illness.
More than half of roofers nationwide (50.5%) don’t have health insurance, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from career website Zippia. Other professions in the construction industry carry similarly high non-insured rates: Only 49.5% of drywall installers have health-care coverage, while 49.1% of plasterers and stucco masons go without insurance coverage. Nationally, the uninsured rate among full-time workers is just under 12%.
For these workers, though, insurance coverage is especially important as they work in a profession with an elevated risk of serious occupational injury. Construction has the eighth-highest rate of incidents involving nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, per data from the BLS. Indeed, the top industry in this regard — agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting — also employs people who are far more likely to be without health insurance than the average worker.
Overall, 11 of the 20 professions with the highest shares of workers who don’t have health insurance are in construction:
|Occupations with the highest levels of uninsured works|
|Drywall installers, ceiling tile installers and tapers||49.5%|
|Plasterers and stucco masons||49.1%|
|Carpet, floor and tile installers and finishers||45.2%|
|Miscellaneous agricultural workers, including animal breeders||43.9%|
|Painters and paperhangers||43.1%|
|Helpers, construction trades||42.8%|
|Helpers-installation, maintenance and repair workers||40.5%|
|Grounds maintenance workers||39%|
|Cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers||38.7%|
|Brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons and reinforcing iron and rebar workers||38.6%|
|Fishing and hunting workers||38.3%|
|Pressers, textile, garment and related materials||38%|
|Waiters and waitresses||37.1%|
|Graders and sorters, agricultural products||34.9%|
|Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics|
However, when injuries do occur in construction, there’s a significant chance that they will be serious. Construction accounted for 991 fatal work injuries in 2016, more than any other industry, according to the BLS. It also tied with mining and oil extraction for the third-highest fatal injury incidence rate, behind transportation and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.
Part of the problem facing workers in these industries is that many of them are contract workers, meaning work on a shorter-term basis. The construction and extraction industries accounted for 48% of contract workers who were fatally injured on the job, while the installation and repair field accounted for 16% of these individuals.
Other studies have shown that temp workers are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed on the job. Part of the problem: These workers don’t necessarily have as much on-the-job experience. Nearly a third of the nonfatal occupational injuries that occur happen within the first year on the job.