How safe is your job really? Recent data reveals that factory work, hospitality work as well as security and transport are the jobs with the highest cases of COVID deaths in the UK.
Just how dangerous is your job?
The coronavirus pandemic has meant many of us get to work from the safety of our homes. However, essential workers are not so lucky and are often forced to work in close proximity to others and with regular exposure to the virus.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently released data showing that those in lower-paid jobs often face higher coronavirus fatality rates compared to the rest of the working world. Statistics also showed that ‘men were much more likely to die with the virus’ and made up ‘nearly two-thirds of deaths’ recorded in the ONS figures.
ONS revealed that men who work in process plants have the highest coronavirus mortality rates with 143.2 deaths per 100,000 people. For reference, the rate among men of the same age (20-64) in the wider population is just 31.4.
Next, come restaurant and catering managers and chefs who both put themselves on the line with a COVID death rate of 119.3 and 103.1 per 100,000.
Taxi drivers, security guards and bus drivers then round up the list with 101.4, 100.7 and 70.3 coronavirus related deaths per 100,000 respectively.
COVID-19 Mortality rate per occupation for men:
- Restaurant and catering establishment managers and proprietors (119.3 deaths per 100,000 males; 26 deaths)
- Metal working and machine operatives (106.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 40 deaths)
- Food, drink and tobacco process operatives (103.7 deaths per 100,000 males; 52 deaths)
- Chefs (103.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 82 deaths)
- Taxi and cab drivers and chauffeurs (101.4 deaths per 100,000 males; 209 deaths)
- Nursing auxiliaries and assistants (87.2 deaths per 100,000 males; 45 deaths)
- Elementary construction occupations (82.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 70 deaths)
- Nurses (79.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 47 deaths)
- local government administrative occupations (72.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 23 deaths)
- bus and coach drivers (70.3 deaths per 100,000 males; 83 deaths)
What about women?
Statistics showed that men were much more likely to die from coronavirus but that doesn’t mean that women don’t put themselves at risk. ONS data shows that death rates were highest for women with care work and home carer jobs with 47.1 deaths per 100,000. In comparison, male workers in the same field had a rate of 109.9.
Following this, COVID death rates for women reach 39.2 in jobs that involved routine machine operations and assembly lines. Meanwhile, female social workers had a mortality rate of 32.4.
Sales and retail assistants have been reported to have a mortality rate of 26.9 deaths per 100,000 whilst managers and directors in the same field follow close behind with a rate of 26.7.
Surprisingly, women working as nurses, nursing assistants and auxiliary nurses actually did not suffer from significantly raised coronavirus death rates. ONS reveals that nurses showed a COVID death rate of 24.5 while assistants and auxiliaries had a rate of 25.3 per 100,000. For reference, the average rate for women between the ages of 20-64 sits at 16.8.
COVID-19 Mortality rate per occupation for women:
- Health Care and Home Care Workers (47.1 deaths per 100,000; 240 deaths)
- Machine operator and assembly line workers (39.2 deaths per 100,000; 21 deaths)
- Social workers (32.4 deaths per 100,000 females; 25 deaths)
- National government administrative occupations (27.9 deaths per 100,000 females; 26 deaths)
- Sales and retail assistants (26.9 deaths per 100,000 females; 111 deaths)
- Managers and directors in retail and wholesale (26.7 deaths per 100,000 females, 24 deaths)
- Nursing auxiliaries and assistants (25.3 deaths per 100,000 females; 54 deaths)
- Nurses (24.5 deaths per 100,000 females; 110 deaths)
ONS disclaimed that the reason why women showed much lower coronavirus death rates per occupation was simply that there were a smaller number of COVID cases in women between the ages of 20-64 compared to men. Ben Humberstone, Head of Health Analysis and Life Events clarified:
As the pandemic has progressed, we have learnt more about the disease and the communities it impacts most. There are a complex combination of factors that influence the risk of death; from your age and your ethnicity, where you live and who you live with, to pre-existing health conditions. Our findings do not prove that the rates of death involving COVID-19 are caused by differences in occupational exposure.