Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the US

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.

Published January 27, 2014 in News -

Generally, workers are much safer now than they were 10 years ago. There were 29% less workers that died on the job in 2012 (4,383) compared to 1992 (6,217). Despite the continuous improvement in U.S. occupational health standards still leaves some jobs more hazardous than the rest because of the nature of their work.

Causes of fatal work injuries

These are the major cause of death across all occupations.

Transportation incidents [41%]
Homicides, violence, and other injuries by persons or animals [17%]
Struck by object or equipment and similar incidents [16%]
Falls, slips, trips [15%]
Exposure to harmful substances or environments [7%]
Fires and explosions [3%]
Others [1%]

The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs

In the following list we’ll show you which jobs have the highest incidence of fatalities per 100,000 workers, provide reasons why these jobs are dangerous, and show how much each job typically earns. These jobs pay well, so this might be one reason why there’s never a shortage of people willing to take them on. Ordered by fatality rate, from lowest to highest, these are:

#10 Construction Laborers: [17.4]

The Job: Work at construction sites
The Pay: $34,500
The Hazards: Dangerous equipment and power tools

Rescue workers remove the body of worker killed in a Jacksonville construction accident in 1961. Photography courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#9 Farmers, ranchers, agricultural managers: [21.3]

The Job: Raise animals and crops for wholesale
The Pay: $73,700
The Hazards: Heavy equipment, huge animals

Man on a tractor at Tall Oaks Farm on November 23, 1947. Tall Oaks was located on Doctors Inlet Road. Photography courtesy of the Spottswood collection and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#8 Drivers/sales workers, truck drivers: [22.1]

The Job: Move goods across long distances or sell goods on location
The Pay: $27,700
The Hazards: Road incidents, exhaustion

Fleet of trucks with drivers for Winn & Lovett Grocery Company in 1947. In 1925, Idaho-native William Davis purchased Rockmoor Grocery in Miami. He later purchased the Lively Stores (1931) and the Winn & Lovett stores (1939), a name his sons used as their company name. In 1944, the Winn & Lovett Company headquartered in Jacksonville. In 1955, they merged with Dixie Home Store to form Winn-Dixie Supermarkets. Photographs courtesy of the Robert E.  Fisher collection and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#7 Electrical power-line installers and repairers: [23]

The Job: Install, inspect, repair electrical cables or wires
The Pay: $62,300
The Hazards: Electricity, height

Frank Williams and N. E. "Pete" King on top of a power pole in Lake City, Florida during the 1950s. Photograph courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#6 Refuse, recyclable material collectors: [27.1]

The Job: Collect, compact and move trash
The Pay: $35,200
The Hazards: Hazardous materials, heavy equipment, road incidents

A City of Jacksonville garbage truck at the 5th & Cleveland Street incinerator in Durkeeville in 1953. Photograph courtesy of the Robert E. Fisher collection and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#5 Structural iron and steel workers: [37]

The Job: Cast, set,  handle metal constructions
The Pay: $50,700
The Hazards: Height, heavy materials, welding

Hot liquid poured by a container by a Moore Dry Kiln Company employee in 1965. Photograph courtesy of Charles Barron and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#4 Roofers: [40.5]

The Job: Mount, fix roofs
The Pay: $38,800
The Hazards: Height, heat stroke in summer

The tin roof of a downtown Jacksonville building, looking west down Bay Street, towards Railroad Row during the 1890s. Photograph courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#3 Pilots, flight engineers: [53.4]

The Job: Fly aircrafts from single-propellers to commercial jetliners
The Pay: $128,800
The Hazards: Air disturbances, high altitude, take-offs and landings

Charles Lindbergh with the "Spirit of St. Louis" in Jacksonville on October 10, 1927. Photograph courtesy of the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#2 Fishers, fishing workers: [117]

The Job: Catch marine creatures for wholesale
The Pay: $36,900
The Hazards: Sea disturbances, drowning, heavy equipment

Howard fish catch caught at the mouth of the St. Johns River in 1950. Photograph courtesy of the Spottswood collection and the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

#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,

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.

Most Dangerous American Jobs
Republished from | Author: Julia Trello | Follow our Twitter

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