America’s Deadliest Jobs

Based on the latest BLS data, and primary professional dangers noted by the BLS and Forbes, the following jobs have the highest fatality rates in the U.S.

1) Fishers and Fishing Workers
Deaths per 100,000 workers: 142
Total Deaths: 51
Dangers: Work in all kinds of weather, often hundreds of miles from shore with no help readily available; crew members risk falling on slippery decks, leading to serious injuries or falling overboard; potential hazards include malfunctioning fishing gear and becoming entangled in nets.

2) Pilots and Flight Engineers
Deaths per 100,000 workers: 88
Total Deaths: 101
Dangers: Risky conditions are most acute for test pilots, who check equipment for new, experimental planes, as well as crop dusters, who are exposed to toxins and sometimes lack a regular landing strip; helicopter pilots often engage in dangerous rescue.

3) Loggers
Deaths per 100,000 workers: 82
Total Deaths: 64
Dangers: Loggers are susceptible to high winds, falling branches and hidden roots or vines that present great risks around chain saws and other heavy equipment.

4) Iron and Steel Workers
Deaths per 100,000 workers: 61
Total Deaths: 36
Dangers: Most work at considerable heights, with the greatest cause of injury or death coming from falls.

5) Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
Deaths per 100,000 workers: 42
Total Deaths: 38
Dangers: Some also work at great heights, occasionally in extreme weather; often, workers are exposed to fumes and hazardous materials that can impair their respiratory systems.

Rounding out the top 10 U.S. jobs with the highest fatality rates: farmers and ranchers (38 deaths for every 100,000 workers); electrical power line workers (35/100,000); roofers (34/100,000); drivers (truckers and salespeople) (27/100,000); and agricultural workers (22/100,000). Of the 5,703 fatal work injuries last year, 5,202 occurred in private industry. Manufacturing fatalities were up 14 percent in 2006.

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