25 Most Dangerous Jobs


25 Most Dangerous Jobs

While most Americans go to work hoping to make it home by dinner, some workers in dangerous industries are just hoping to make it home at all. A total of 5,147 workers sustained fatal injuries on the job in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, and some occupations have proven to be far more deadly than others.

25 Most Dangerous Jobs In America

An article published in USA Today this month revealed the 25 Most Dangerous Jobs Americans are taking on across the country. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent annual National Census Of Fatal Occupational Injuries report, the article highlights which jobs have the most fatal injuries and what’s causing these injuries to occur.

The jobs on this list have more than double the fatality rates of the 72 other occupations evaluated, some even 20 times higher. Each occupation was rated by the number fatal injuries in 2017 per 100,000 full-time workers or an employee who works at least 2,000 hours a year:

1. Fishers and related fishing workers: 100.00 per 100,000

2. Logging workers: 87.3 per 100,000

3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: 51.3 per 100,000

4. Roofers: 45.2 per 100,000

5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 34.9 per 100,000

6. Structural iron and steel workers: 33.3 per 100,000

7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers: 26.9 per 100,000

8. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers: 24.0 per 100,000

9. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers: 21.0 per 100,000

10. Electrical power-line installers and repairs: 18.6 per 100,000

11. Miscellaneous agricultural workers: 17.7 per 100,000

12. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers: 17.4 per 100,000

13. Construction trades: 17.3 per 100,000

14. Maintenance and repair workers, general: 16.6 per 100,000

15. Grounds maintenance workers: 15.9 per 100,000

16. Construction laborers: 14.3 per 100,000

17. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers: 13.1 per 100,000

18. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers: 12.9 per 100,000

19. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators: 11.8 per 100,000

20. Mining machine operators: 11.7 per 100,000

21. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 10.5 per 100,000

22. Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers: 9.5 per 100,000

23. Painters, construction and maintenance: 8.9 per 100,000

24. Firefighters: 8.9 per 100,000

25. Electricians: 8.4 per 100,000

Out of the 25 danger occupations above, the most common types of fatal accidents occurred due to:

  • falls, slips, and trips
  • transportation incidents
  • contact with objects and equipment
  • violence and other injuries by persons or animals
  • exposure to harmful substances or environments
  • harmful contact with objects and equipment

Workers At Highest Risk

Within each industry, certain populations are more at risk for occupational injuries than other workers on the job. EHS Today reports these workers within dangerous industries are more likely than others to experience fatal and non-fatal injuries:

  •  new employees
  •  contractors
  •  workers who take overtime
  •  temporary employees
  •  risky employees

These types of workers are at a higher risk of injuries due to stress, fatigue, inadequate safety training, and unfamiliarity with the workplace environment and daily hazards.

What Makes Dangerous Jobs So Fatal

There are several reasons for why these occupations are proving to be more fatal than their counterparts. The National Safety Council reports that jobs with the highest rates of fatal accidents have one of three factors in common: they involve frequent contact with hazardous machinery, require workers to perform tasks at dangerous heights, and require workers to drive frequently or long distances. Other factors that have been found to increase the number of unnecessary fatalities on the job, highlighted by EHS Today, include poor leadership allowing breakdowns in safety, high employee turnover rates, and a larger employee to employer ratio on the job.

Preventing Workplace Fatalties

Most fatal injuries, even in the most dangerous of occupations, can still be prevented using the proper safety measures. The EHS Today article suggests safety managers and employers can start by focusing on these areas of management to help determine the best methods for keeping employees safe at work:

  • Effective training: Employees cannot learn how to stay safe on their own. Starting by training every new employee before they begin, and training current employee on an ongoing safety schedule, can help keep safety measures current and address any new issues that come up.
  • Observing employees at work: Employers should set aside time to monitor employees safety practices on the job and take notice of actions or areas they need more training in.
  • Get employees involved: Engaging employees in increasing safety practices and reducing accidents can help create more of a team effort to create a safer work environment.
  • Keep track of the close calls: Evaluating non-fatal injuries and other accidents on the job can help prevent even more injuries on the job that could result in fatalities.
  • Use risk assessments: Develop a life-threatening risk program to help prevent fatal injuries in any known risky areas or tasks.

NY Worker Deserve Safe Jobs

The law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe, & Fein has been fighting back for New York City workers for over 50 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious work-related injury, our knowledgeable team is here to help. Contact for a free consultation to review your case and your rights to a safe work environment.