Texans Bee-ware. Deadliest Bugs in the Workplace Revealed

–AFP/Getty Images

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.

Loading Comments...

Catch up with The Boston Globe for free.
Get The Globe's free newsletter, Today's Headlines, every morning.
Thanks for signing up!