Mar
14
This List of Most Dangerous Occupations May Surprise You

By: Jim Ramirez

When you think of the most dangerous occupations, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably envision a job with explosions, heavy machinery, or extreme heights. After reading the latest statistics from OSHA, however, you may look at things a little differently.

What do you think is on the list of top 10 most dangerous occupations?

Before you read the list of most dangerous jobs, let’s do a quick check to see if you can guess any of the top 10 most dangerous occupations…

The Top 25 Most Dangerous Jobs & Related Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, these were the most dangerous occupations in 2016 (the most up-to-date collection of statistics available). The jobs are ranked by highest fatality rate per 100,000 employees. Total number of deaths and injuries are also shown for reference.

RankOccupationFatality RateTotal DeathsTotal Injuries
1Logging workers13691900
2Fishermen8624n/a
3Pilots & Flight Engineers5675470
4Roofers48.61013,150
5Garbage & Recycling Collectors*34316,170
6Iron & Steel Workers25161,440
7Sales & Truck Drivers2591880,180
8Farming Managers *23260n/a
9Construction Supervisors *181346,090
10Farmers1715612,710
11Grounds Maintenance Workers1721720,100
12Mechanic & Repair Supervisors16444,140
13Construction Workers1525424,650
14Policemen1510828,740
15Powerline Workers15211,710
16Maintenance Workers137527,900
17Taxi Drivers *13602,730
18Groundskeeper Supervisors13301,320
19Telecom Line Installers *12212,480
20Sports Related12294,250
21Constructions Equipment Operators11394,750
22Electricians10797,790
23Industrial Machinery Workers9454,490
24Painters9503,530
25HVAC Workers8376,830

*These jobs involve a significant amount of driving and interaction with public roadways, and a significant portion of the fatalities are related to vehicular accidents.

What Makes a Job Dangerous in the Modern World?

The leading causes of deaths in the construction industry (which includes a number of the jobs above) were falls, being struck by object, electrocution, and “caught-in-between.” These 4 causes are referred to as the “Fatal Four” and accounted for over 63.7% of the total deaths in the construction industry. Highway collisions, however, overshadow all the other causes of workplace fatalities and span across many of the industries and occupations.

Bar chart of fatal occupational injuries by event in 2016

NOTE: This does not include simply “driving to work” which is not considered “on the job” by OSHA standards.

Conclusions: Dangerous Occupations

So, the most dangerous job of the modern world involves chainsaws and downing trees – that seems pretty understandable. What surprised us, and many who have responded to the survey, is that salespeople and truck drivers are MORE at risk than policemen, power line workers, electricians, and construction workers! The lack of perception to danger is one factor that makes it so dangerous in the first place.

Whether your occupation is listed in the top 10 most dangerous occupations or not, safety in the workplace and behind the wheel, is a topic worth discussing with your coworkers, employees, and/or employers.

Are you looking for ways to improve driver safety on the job? Check out the MOTOVATE driver incentive program that helps raise awareness and improve driving behavior.

Useful Resources:

Laws for cell phone use in vehicles
Distracted driving statistics

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