Most Dangerous Occupations in the U.S.
Job safety isn’t something a majority of Americans have to worry about on a day-to-day basis. With laws on safety measures and regular workplace inspections, most Americans experience relatively safe working environments.
But even with safety standards in place, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 5,147 fatal injuries occurred on the job.
Shockingly, a third of the fatal injuries seen in most recent years, can be attributed to only 10 occupations in the U.S. Check out this list of some of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. for more information.
10. Electrical powerline workers
For electrical powerline workers, the most common cause of injury is exposure to harmful substances. In this occupation, the category of harmful substance refers to high-powered electrical fields. The combination of high voltage and extreme heights makes this one of the more dangerous occupations in the U.S.
9. Landscaping supervisors
It may come as a surprise that when it comes to the dangers of landscaping, it’s not the groundcrew that faces the biggest dangers. Landscaping supervisors actually face the most dangerous part of the job. Supervisors are generally the ones who drive equipment from location to location, and it’s during transportation that most incidents occur.
A majority of farmers have a thorough understanding of potential hazards of the job. Like landscaping, it’s not the fieldwork that is the most dangerous. Again, it is the transportation of various large equipment that poses the greatest risk.
7. Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are another occupation that deals with transportation accidents as the largest hazard. However, with 987 job-related deaths annually, truck driving claims the highest total of fatal injuries overall.
6. Structural iron and steelworkers
While workers are usually harnessed to protect workers on the job, if the proper safety measures are not taken, the results can be catastrophic. Structural iron and steelworkers work at extreme heights while welding and bolting heavy girders, columns and plates. In dealing with heavy equipment at extreme heights, the most common causes of injury in this occupation are falling, slipping and tripping, especially if harnesses are not being used correctly.
5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
In working difficult hours and working closely with heavy equipment, we see once again that a majority of injuries among material collectors are related to transportation. Refuse and recyclable collection doesn’t seem like it would be an extremely dangerous occupation, but in the wrong conditions, it can quickly turn hazardous.
Roofers work under similar conditions to structural iron and steelworkers. At high heights, roofers work with heavy materials to make repairs, which involves lots of movement. Heavy lifting and movement at these kinds of heights create situations where falls, slips and trips are common.
3. Pilots and flight engineers
While flying is statistically one of the safest means of travel, pilots and flight engineers still have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Keep in mind that pilots and flight engineers involve more than those on commercial flights. Among all kinds of pilots and flight engineers, transportation incidents do still occur, placing them on our list.
2. Logging workers
Being a highly physically demanding occupation, logging has the second highest fatal injury rate. Safety protocols are important in this industry with the use of hazardous power tools and heavy equipment. When protocols aren’t properly followed, mishaps with heavy equipment and objects can occur.
Coming in first on our list are those involved in the fishing industry. Taking place on the open ocean with heavy machinery, commercial fishing alone is hazardous. Working conditions are subject to change in an instant with rough waters and storms unavoidable. Additionally, fishing has become more competitive in recent years because of the continued depletion of marine fish. Harsh conditions and a need to rush make a particularly unsafe environment, with nearly 100 deaths per 100,000 workers per year.
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