We all know why they call it "work." But just how hard on a person can one's job be? The U.S. Department of Labor has taken a stab at quantifying that.

Crunching federally collected data, the DOL said that, on average, 11 people die at work every day, from construction workers to data entry personnel to sous chefs. The Grim Reaper pays no attention to occupation, according to the DOL, and every job description exacts the ultimate price. Five million more are injured at work but survive to work another day.

Apart from those who drop dead on the job, another 50,000 pass away from one type of illness or another that they contracted at work. Meantime, 400,000 more recover from an illness contracted on the job.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.