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The Five Most Dangerous Jobs in America

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Last Updated: 02-08-2022
Last Updated: 02-08-2022
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

The Five Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Posted on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 at 7:52 pm    

Roofers laying shinglesIt’s no secret that certain occupations carry higher risk-factors than others. So, what are the most dangerous occupations in America, and why are they so dangerous? According to an updated report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are two ways to answer this question:

  • By the overall number of on-the-job fatalities
  • By the fatal work injury rate

Using these factors, researchers have compiled a list of the five most dangerous jobs in America.

  1. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Because refuse and recyclable material collectors spend so much time operating commercial vehicles, they are at a higher risk for traffic accidents. Additionally, these workers are exposed to various types of pollutants and contaminants on an almost daily basis, which can cause serious illness — and even death. With 30 fatal injuries and 1,340 non-fatal severe injuries in 2017, this is the fifth most dangerous occupation in America.

  1. Roofers

While falls, slips, and trips are a hazard in any occupation, they are a particularly dangerous risk-factor for roofers. Because these laborers often work on ladders, scaffolds, or roofs, falling can result in devastating injuries. Moreover, roofers are at risk for heat-stroke and other heat-related illnesses during the hottest months of the year. In 2017, the roofing industry saw 91 fatal injuries, 2,810 nonfatal injuries.

  1. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers are often under an immense amount of stress and pressure on the job. As a result, these workers can quickly become mentally and physically exhausted, meaning they are at a higher risk for transportation accidents. According to the BLS, the total number of fatal injuries for pilots in 2017 amounted to 59 incidents, while the overall number of non-fatal injuries was 630.

  1. Logging Workers

 Because of the nature of the work, logging is an inherently dangerous occupation. Loggers are expected to operate industrial machinery such as chainsaws, harvesters, and commercial vehicles daily. Additionally, workers perform labor that is extremely strenuous and physically demanding. Because loggers often work in remote locations, medical facilities are difficult to reach in the event of a severe accident. In 2017, the logging industry saw 55 fatal injuries and 350 non-fatal severe injuries.

  1. Fishers and related fishing workers

Overall, fishers and related fishing workers experienced the highest rates of on-the-job fatalities in 2017. Laborers have to face many hazards daily, such as slippery decks, extreme weather, and heavy-duty industrial gear. Also, fishers are often working in boats out at sea, where injured individuals cannot seek immediate medical attention. Unfortunately, a significant majority of worker deaths are from drowning accidents. According to the BLS, the fishing industry saw 41 fatal injuries and 120 non-fatal injuries in 2017.

Contact a New York City Work Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been seriously or fatally injured at work, you may be entitled to financial compensation for treatment, lost wages, medical bills, and more. At Hach & Rose, LLP, our experienced New York workplace injury attorneys will fight for justice on your behalf and work around the clock to obtain the compensation you deserve.


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