The Most Dangerous Jobs

Posted on September 6, 2005

CNN reports on the latest national census of fatal occupational injuries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a recent article. Loggers, pilots, and fishermen record the highest fatality rates according to the census.
Loggers recorded 85 fatalities in 2004, a rate of 92.4 deaths for every 100,000 workers, more than 22 times the rate among all workers. Loggers deal with tremendous weights when they fell trees and it's not always possible to know exactly where a tree will fall or when. Too, they often work on steep hillsides, in poor weather, and in a hurry.

Aircraft pilots matched that death rate of 92.4 and 109 of them died on the job. Many of these were in the general aviation category, small aircraft manned by bush pilots, air-taxi pilots, and crop-dusters. Their equipment can be old and the maintenance less stringent than among the big airlines, adding to the danger.

The fishing industry is a perennial leader as measured by death rate and 2004 was no different; 38 fishermen died, a rate of 86.4 per 100,000. Drowning is the most common cause of death in this industry, but fishermen also suffer from fatal accidents in handling some of the heavy equipment that the modern fisheries employ.
Other dangerous jobs include iron and steel workers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, farmers and ranchers, roofers, electrical power line installers/repairers, driver/sales workers and truck drivers and taxi drivers and chauffeurs. A chart listing the jobs and the death rate per 100,000 workers can also be found in the CNN article. Unfortunately, for the many of the workers with these types of jobs the higher risk does not usually come with higher pay.