There was a consistent decline in unemployment rate last year, opening at 7.9% in January down to an all-time year low of 7% in November (December data is not yet out), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the figure is still higher than when we started 2008 at 5% a few months before the subprime crisis hit. Clearly, many more Americans would like to land a job, but would they love these jobs to, literally, die for? Check out America’s most dangerous jobs based on the 2012 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.
#1 Loggers: [127.8]
The Job: Fall and cut trees into logs, move them over steep hills
The Pay: $34,600
The Hazards: Falling trees, cutting equipment, rugged landscape
Loggers loading a truck in April 1948. Photograph courtesy of the Spottswood collection and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/53213
10 most dangerous jobs as an infographic
Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by blue-collar occupations that involve manual labor in high-risk work environments such as construction sites, factories and harsh outdoors. After years at the top, fishing gave way to logging as the most dangerous job. Felling and cutting trees into logs has never been more dangerous than in 2012.
One other interesting fact is that incidents involving some means of transportation topped the causes of fatal work injuries. It accounts for nearly half at 41%, more than double the second most common cause, which is homicide and violence at 17%. There was a 3.3% increase in motor vehicle crashes last year compared to 2011, and it’s the first time in eight years that such an increase was noted.
This list of America’s ten deadliest jobs would hardly surprise anyone. After all, they truly have harsh environments to begin with. Falling trees, molten hot iron, high altitude, and the open sea create conditions conducive to fatal work injury. Media outfits like Discovery Channel and National Geographic know how shocking work conditions can be, and how much people would like to know. The TV shows that focus on some of these dangerous occupations have built quite a following over the recent years.
Surprisingly, firefighting and police work, two jobs with extremely hazardous environments are not on the list proving that with enough safety measures and foresight, even America’s ten deadliest jobs can be less deadly after all.