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You'll never guess which insect is most likely to kill you on the job

Oh jeez. Hide. He's looking right at you.
Oh jeez. Hide. He's looking right at you.

The Department of Labor is out with one of its oddest reports in recent memory: a tally of how often US workers have died as a result of incidents involving creepy crawly things.

"Fatal injuries and nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving insects, arachnids, and mites" is full of some of the most fascinating facts about dying of a spider bite at work that you never knew you wanted to know.

For example, 83 people were killed on the job from 2003 to 2010 in incidents that involved insects and other many-legged things. Bees made up a majority of the culprits here, at 52 (one can only assume allergies helped along these insect homicides).


(Note: all charts use figures from the "Fatal Injuries" report referenced above)

The vast majority of workers killed by insects or spiders were male — 82 percent compared to 18 percent female.

Insect-related deaths by sex

That's not because there are a bunch of insects out there who have it in for people with Y chromosomes. Rather, it's because male-dominated occupations like farming and construction tend to be at the highest risk.

Occupations bug-related work deaths

Perhaps unexpectedly, pest control workers (the people who specifically seek out spiders and so on) had only 3 deaths in 8 years.

None of the stats indicate how many Oprah staffers were affected.

Oprah Bees


OK, but seriously. It's easy to be flippant about these odd statistics, particularly when they deal in workplace dangers most of us never face (and, relatedly, small numbers). But of course, these represent real deaths. Moreover, farm and construction occupations in particular are often low-paying (and carry many other injury risks). So if you're seated at your desk at work as you read this, you might thank your lucky stars and consider your lack-of-workplace-death-risk an unspoken benefit of your compensation package.