There’s an unlikely predator lurking around many American workplaces that is proving fatal.
Eighty-three cases of deaths in the workplace nationwide between 2003 and 2010 were related to insects, and a majority of the deaths were due to bee stings, a new report by the US Labor Department found.
More than 6,800 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses between 2008 and 2010 involved bugs, spiders, or mites, according to the report. A majority of the cases were due to stings or bites and occured during summer months.
Types of injuries included in the report range from venomous and non-venomous bites to stings, infections, and allergic reactions.
Fifty-two people died from bee-related injuries over the 8-year period. The majority of deaths occured as a result of severe allergic reactions to stings, which led to anaphylactic shock.
Not surprising, those who work in farming, construction, and landscaping were at the highest risk for insect-related injuries.
Most deaths occurred in Texas, followed by Florida, California, and Ohio.
Massachusetts also experienced its share of insect-related injuries. Although no deaths were reported, workers spent at least 60 total days away from work because of occupational-related cases that involved insects.
To avoid bee stings, the US Centers for Disease Control advises using protective light-colored clothing, remaining calm and still at the presence of a bee, or moving indoors or staying in the shade.
Visit the CDC website for more tips to protect against stinging insects.