What makes a job dangerous and potentially fatal? It can be any number of factors, including the type of work and where it's performed. Last year, as the Labor Department recently reported, 4,609 people lost their lives on the job, a rate equal to 3.5 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers.
While the preliminary number is alarming, it is 2 percent less than 2010's tally, when 4,690 workplace fatalities were recorded. What's more, industries known for high fatality rates saw a downward trend in year-over-year deaths.