While workplace fatalities have declined over the decades, there is still much to be done in ending preventable accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5,000 accidental deaths in the US workplace in 2017. The Bureau defines “dangerous” jobs as occupations that are physically and mentally rigorous, that have a high risk of severe injuries, and that require strict safety precautions. Of the most dangerous jobs in the US, many of them involve heavy machinery, proximity to hazardous substances, or unsafe work conditions. The employees are injured in falls, transportation accidents, or by violence with other persons or animals. Taking these qualities and statistics into account, the Bureau ranked the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US.
Commercial fishing requires employees to operate heavy nets and gear while standing on slippery surfaces. The weather can be extreme, and often, the boats are anchored long distances away from medical facilities. The majority of fishing deaths are due to drowning.
This job is also physically demanding. It requires workers to operate heavy and dangerous machinery in areas that are typically far from medical facilities. Many logging deaths
occur when a log or piece of equipment accidentally falls and hits an employee.
3. Aircraft pilots and Flight Engineers.
Transportation incidents are one of the most common work-related fatalities. If an aircraft crashes or seriously malfunctions, there is a high likelihood that the crash will be fatal. In addition to the physical demands, piloting a plane can also be stressful and mentally exhausting.
For employees who are working on top of a house or commercial building, there is a high risk that any falls will result in severe or fatal injuries. Roofers have to be vigilant about protecting themselves on ladders, scaffolding, and roofs. These employees are also at risk of heat-related illnesses during the summer months.
5. Refuse and Recycling Material Collectors.
Many refuse collectors and recycling material collectors work on vehicles, and therefore, tend to be injured in transportation-related accidents. These employees also work near hazardous materials and chemicals, which can lead to illnesses.
6. Structural Iron and Steel Workers.
These employees often work several stories above the ground, installing and repairing metal work on buildings and other infrastructure. As these workers are expected to perform their jobs at great heights, any missteps or accidents can lead to deadly injuries.
7. Driving Sales Workers and Truck Drivers.
Transportation incidents account for 40% of all workplace fatalities. For the salesmen and truck drivers who spend most of their time on the road, this means they have a higher risk of serious collisions or accidents. Many sales workers and truck drivers are also required to lift and carry heavy objects, which can lead to additional injuries. In Georgia, transportation jobs are considered one of the most dangerous professions.
8. Farmers and Ranchers.
For agricultural employees, many of the workplace accidents usually involve heavy machinery such as farm tools or equipment. Farmers and ranchers are also at risk of accidents involving motorized vehicles, such as tractors or delivery trucks.
9. Landscapers, Lawn Service Workers, Groundskeeping Workers.
Maintaining grounds and landscapes can be one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Workers frequently use heavy, dangerous machinery such as lawnmowers, chainsaws, and tractors. This machinery can throw objects like rocks or sticks across the grounds, injuring nearby workers. These employees can also be injured if they fall while trimming or pruning greenery.
10. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repair Crews.
Not only do repair crews perform their jobs at great heights, but they also work with dangerous pieces of equipment. Many of the employees’ injuries are due to accidental contact with the high-voltage power lines.
In Georgia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also ranked transportation, manufacturing, construction, and protective services as some of the most dangerous jobs.