At most jobs, the worst thing you have to worry about is a paper cut, or maybe carpal tunnel syndrome. But at these 25 jobs, the danger is very real.
There were 5,250 fatal job-related injuries in 2018 (the latest year numbers are available), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a slight increase from the previous year.
To determine the 25 most dangerous jobs in America, website 24/7 Wall St. reviewed fatal injury rates for 71 occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program. These occupations are ranked based on the number of fatal accidents in 2018 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
Fishers and related fishing workers will be happy to hear they are no longer the most dangerous profession. They are, however, No. 2. Being a fisher means working with nets and gear on slippery decks. If an accident happens, medical help is often far away. According to BLS, the majority of fatalities are due to drowning.
Edging out fishers to take the top spot is last year’s No. 2 occupation: logging workers. In 2018, 56 loggers died, and 1,040 incurred nonfatal injuries. The most common cause of death was “contact with metal objects and equipment.” To make things worse, the median annual wage is only $40,650.
The third most dangerous job is aircraft pilot/flight engineer. Injuries from crashes are nearly always fatal. But at least pilots are well-compensated, with a median annual wage of $115,670.
No. 4 is roofers, who are injured or killed from falls and slips. In fact, BLS data show, “74 of the 96 fatal accidents roofers suffered on the job were classified as falls, slips and trips.”
No. 5 again this year is refuse and recyclable material collector. “The job has many other hazards — like falls, overexertion, and contact with equipment — that occur more often but are not as likely to be fatal,” 24/7 Wall St. wrote. For their troubles, refuse collectors earn a median annual wage of $37, 260.
Here are the 25 most dangerous jobs in America:
- Logging workers
- Fishers and related fishing workers
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors
- Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
- Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
- Structural iron and steel workers
- First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
- First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers
- Electrical power-line installers and repairers
- Grounds maintenance workers
- Miscellaneous agricultural workers
- Helpers, construction trades
- First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers
- Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
- Construction laborers
- Maintenance and repair workers, general
- Mining machine operators
- Operation engineers and other construction equipment operators
- Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
- Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
- Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers
- Industrial truck and tractor operators
No longer in the top 25 are taxi drivers and chauffeurs; painters, construction and maintenance; and firefighters.
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