Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs
Jobs for Thrill Seekers
Although law enforcement and firemen tend to get all the love from Hollywood, these industries are not nearly as dangerous as they seem on the silver screen. In fact, many dangerous jobs belong to industries that seem — at least on the surface — tame. The following is a list of the ten most dangerous jobs based on statistics compiled by the United States Bureau of Labor.
- Fisherman. (118 deaths per 100,000) Fishermen endure storms, fog, wind, and hazardous working conditions, which constantly put them at risk of drowning. And if fisherman suffer serious injuries while at sea — such as injury, illness, or hypothermia — medical help isn’t quickly accessible.
- Military Serviceman. (111 deaths per 100,000) Technically, the Bureau of Labor does not report statistics on military fatalities, but given the public record they are easy to deduce. And while potentially dangerous under any circumstances, military service has been especially dangerous in recent years due to rising conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Logging and Timber Workers. (93 deaths per 100,000)The duties of logging and timber workers include cutting down and transporting trees. As such, the nature of their work puts them at constant risk of being killed by heavy, falling objects. Logging and timber workers also are at risk because they often work on steep hills and in hazardous weather.
- Aircraft Pilots. (67 deaths per 100,000) This category includes flight engineers and pilots of both commercial and smaller aircraft including crop dusters and air taxis. Naturally, the primary dangers of flying relate to engine failure, which may lead to crashing.
- Structural Iron and Steel Workers. (56 deaths per 100,000) These workers climb dozens of stories to lay the iron and steel beams that form buildings, bridges, and other structures. Despite strapping on harnesses and other safety gear, structural iron and steel workers face a high risk of fatal injuries from falls, not to mention the many injuries they receive from tools.
- Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors. (44 deaths per 100,000) Although falling into the garbage trucks may result in injury — and often does — the primary cause of death for refuse collectors is being hit by impatient motorists who try to pass garbage trucks at inopportune times.
- Farmers and Ranchers. (41 deaths per 100,000) While often perceived as a peaceful existence, farming and ranching actually presents great danger, mostly in the form of tractors and heavy machinery. In fact, non-highway vehicle accidents account for most of the casualties among farmers and ranchers.
- Electrical Power Installers and Repairers. (33 deaths per 100,000) Power line installers and repairers climb poles and towers to get — and keep — electricity up and running. Power lines are typically high off the ground, so workers are at high risk of injury due to falls. Plus, these workers are often at risk of electrocution from contact with the high-voltage power lines.
- Truck Drivers. (29 deaths per 100,000) Driving is perhaps the most dangerous activity people do, and the danger is only compounded for those who do it professionally. Every day, truck drivers face collisions, overturning, and jackknifing, all of which are more likely and more frequent given their large and clumsy vehicles.
- Construction Workers. (23 deaths per 100,000) Construction workers perform a wide range of potentially hazardous tasks. They work with heavy objects, great heights, and bad weather. Some jobs expose workers to harmful materials such as chemicals, noise, and dangerous machinery, all of which contribute to injuries and death.
To conclude, it should be kept in mind that “most dangerous” is a relative term. Granted, the occupations above have the highest casualty rates of any in the United States; still, only two — fishing and military service — are above 1 per cent, and then just barely. What this means is that the likelihood of death in even the most dangerous industries is relatively small and should be kept in perspective when making decisions about potential careers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kari Whitaker is a technical as well as creative writer. In addition to articles on education and careers, she also enjoys writing short stories, essays, and poetry.