The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some fascinating information: transportation incidents (41%) still top the causes of fatalities, and violence from people or animals comes in second (17%). But are the top 10 most dangerous occupations what you thought they would be?
- Loggers: 127.8 deaths per 100,000 workers
If you’ve seen loggers at work, you wouldn’t balk at this statistic. Just be glad you wood never have to slice tons of timber and move them over rugged landscapes.
- Fishing workers: 117 deaths per 100,000 workers
Apart from perhaps Steve Jobs, who often slept under his desk, fishers are the only people who are generally required to sleep where they work on days they’re rostered on. So even when they’re not working, they’re at risk when the seas throw a temper tantrum.
- Pilots and flight engineers: 53.4 deaths per 100,000 workers
It’s by far the most glamorous – not to mention well compensated – occupation on this list, at an average salary of $128,800. But a couple of simple mistakes and it’s all too easy to lose everything for the staff of the sky.
- Roofers: 40.5 deaths per 100,000 workers
Remember to thank the next worker who patches that hole on your roof – they make it look easy, but the heights and summer heat pose very real risks.
- Steel and structural iron workers: 37 deaths per 100,000 workers
There’s a reason welders wear masks and protective suits, and it’s not because of their aesthetic appeal. Constructing metal objects is no simple task, as the statistics would indicate.
- Rubbish collectors: 27.1 deaths per 100,000 workers
Not only do garbos have a thankless job, but their daily hazards go far beyond the olfactory elements of the task. The equipment they deal with and the environments in which they work are so harsh that several American collectors have died of heat stroke in the past decade.
- Electrical line workers: 23 deaths per 100,000 workers
Somebody’s got to repair the wires that feed our buildings with electricity. Though they receive $62,300 for their hard work, their risky environment places them beside electricity and heights that would strike fear the bravest of souls.
- Drivers: 22.1 deaths per 100,000 workers
Exhaustion is the most common factor that leads to road injuries and fatalities amongst truckies, who only receive an average $27,700 for their efforts.
- Farmers: 21.3 deaths per 100,000 workers
An average salary of $73,700 is enough to line agricultural workers’ pockets comfortably, but not enough to protect them from an occasionally vicious animal.
- Construction workers: 17.4 deaths per 100,000 workers
With low unionization rates and minimum wages below developed-world standards, construction workers in the US face high risks when they pick up their tools in the morning.