What Are the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States?

While workplace fatalities have decreased over the decades, there is still a lot of progress to be made to end preventable accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5,000 accidental deaths in US workplaces in 2019. The Bureau defines “hazardous” jobs as occupations that are physically and mentally rigorous, with a high risk of serious injury and require strict safety precautions. Most of the dangerous jobs in New York City involve heavy machinery, proximity to dangerous substances, or unsafe working conditions. Employees are injured in falls, transportation accidents, or violence to other people or animals. With these qualities and statistics in mind, the Bureau ranked the ten most dangerous jobs in the US.

  1. Fishing.

Commercial fishing requires employees to operate heavy nets and equipment while standing on slippery surfaces. The weather can be extreme, and ships are often anchored long distances from medical facilities. Most fishing deaths are due to drowning.

  1. Forest exploitation.

This job is also physically demanding. It requires workers to operate heavy and dangerous machinery in areas that are generally far from medical facilities. Many deaths from logging occur when a piece of equipment accidentally falls and hits an employee.

  1. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers.

Transportation incidents are one of the most common work-related fatalities. If a plane crashes or fails seriously, there is a high probability that the crash will be fatal. In addition to the physical demands, flying an airplane can also be stressful and mentally draining.

  1. Roof work.

For employees working on top of a home or commercial building, there is a high risk that any fall will cause serious injury or death. Roofers must be vigilant to protect themselves on ladders, scaffolds, and roofs. These employees are also at risk for heat-related illnesses during the summer months.

  1. Garbage collectors and recycled material.

Many garbage collectors and recycling material collectors work on vehicles and therefore tend to be injured in transportation-related accidents. These employees also work around hazardous chemicals and materials, which can cause illness.

  1. Workers in the structural iron and steel industry

These employees often work at various above-ground plants, installing and repairing metal work in buildings and other infrastructure. As these workers are expected to perform their work at great heights, any misstep or accident can lead to fatal injuries.

  1. Drivers engaged in sales jobs and truck drivers.

Transportation incidents account for 40% of all workplace fatalities. For salespeople and truck drivers who spend most of their time on the road, this means they are at higher risk of collisions or serious accidents. Many vendors and truck drivers must also lift and carry heavy objects, which can lead to additional injuries. In a city like New York, transportation jobs are considered one of the most dangerous professions.

  1. Farmers and ranchers.

For agricultural employees, many of the workplace accidents generally involve heavy machinery, such as farm tools or equipment. Farmers and ranchers are also at risk of accidents with motorized vehicles, such as tractors or delivery trucks.

  1. Gardeners, lawn mowers, park managers.

Land and garden maintenance can be one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Workers frequently use heavy and dangerous machinery, such as lawnmowers, chainsaws, and tractors. This machinery can throw objects such as rocks or sticks across fields, injuring nearby workers. These employees can also be injured if they fall while cutting or pruning vegetation.

  1. Power line installers and repair crews.

Repair crews not only carry out their work at great heights, but they also work with dangerous equipment. Many of the injuries to employees are due to accidental contact with power lines.

In New York, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also ranked transportation, manufacturing, construction, and protective services as some of the most dangerous jobs.

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