8 Most Dangerous Jobs in the World
Who do you think has the most dangerous job in the world? Could it be the window washer, who dangles dozens of stories above the concrete? Perhaps it's the circus lion tamer, who regularly sticks his head in the mouths of roaring animals. Or maybe the people who perform wild stunts for action-packed movies.
While these are perilous jobs, statistically speaking, they're not the most dangerous. According to 2006 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction workers, miners, and pilots actually have some of the riskiest jobs. In addition, it's worth noting that the BLS statistics do not include military fatalities that happen overseas, which means that the majority of soldiers' deaths are not included in these numbers.
In general, occupational injuries claim the lives of 15 workers a day die, according to the AFL-CIO. However, it's these eight types of workers who most frequently put their lives on the line.
1. Fishermen: Fans of the TV show Deadliest Catch know this job's no joke. Men and women who work in the fishing industry regularly put their lives at risk, battling forces of nature, including treacherous storms and extreme temperatures. In addition, many fishermen, proud of their reputation for being independent spirits, sometimes make the risky decision to buck safety regulations.
2. Pilots and airline employees: The number of fatalities for airline employees was particularly high in 2006 due to an August 2006 Comair crash in Lexington, Kentucky, that killed 47 people, including the pilot and multiple passengers. However, the BLS reports that there were 215 airline-related fatalities all together, including 44 accidents that involved multiple deaths.
3. Loggers: People who work in the logging industry face the expected dangers associated with cutting down giant trees. Not surprisingly, the cause of death listed most commonly is "struck by object." According to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), one of the most dangerous situations is a lodged or hung tree, which happens when a cut tree doesn't fall all the way to the ground but gets caught against another tree.
4. Structural construction workers: These are the people you see hoisting those giant steel beams to create the structural framework of office buildings and other large projects. The United Steelworkers union claims that deaths among structural construction workers are increasing as owners and managers try to cut costs. The most common cause of death among them, according to the BLS, is falling.
5. Waste management employees: Because waste and recycling collectors often ride on and/or drive the trucks, their biggest threat involves road and highway crashes. The frequency of contact with hazardous wastes is an additional risk.
6. Farmers and ranchers: While it may not seem like a dangerous occupation at first, farmers and ranchers often use heavy equipment to do their jobs. Large machinery can easily crush people, and vehicles, such as tractors and backhoes, have overturned or run over farm employees.
7. Power-line technicians: More than 350 workers, including those who install or repair lines, are killed annually due to contact with electric currents or power lines, BLS reports. Other incidents have been caused by employees who fell while working on power lines high above the ground. Fatalities have risen recently among electricians.
8. Roofers: The BLS notes that fatal falls from roofs increased by 15 percent between 2005 and 2006. Including falls from ladders, scaffolding, and other places, falls were the second most common cause of worker fatalities, after driving accidents.
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