Some jobs are tough, some can be deadly. Some jobs are stressful, but exposure to dangerous situations and hostile environments can contribute significantly to the chance of a fatal on-the-job accident.
According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,340 lives were lost on the job in 2009, the lowest total since these statistics were first collected in 1992. The total is down from 5,214 in 2008 and the BLS attributes this overall reduction to increases in unemployment and a decrease in total hours worked in particularly dangerous professions, most of which have been affected by the recession.
The rate of fatal work injuries for US workers in 2009 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time employees, but one job in particular was significantly more dangerous, with a fatal injury rate of up to 200 per 100,000 full time workers. This year’s four most frequent fatal injuries included 882 highway incidents, 617 falls, 521 workplace homicides and 414 incidents that involved a worker being struck by an object.
So, what are the deadliest jobs in the country? Click ahead to find out!
By Paul ToscanoPosted 19 Aug 2010
Note: Comparison of fatality rates does not include military combat occupations.
Fatality rate: 18.3 / 100,000
Total deaths: 224
Annual median salary: $29,150
Construction Laborers perform tasks involving physical labor while building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. Use of heavy power tools and exposure to hazardous materials contribute to the danger of this job.
Fatality rate: 18.3 / 100,000
Total deaths: 586
Annual median salary: $39,260
Truck drivers travel long distances for many hours, increasing the likelihood of highway accidents.
Fatality rate: 18.5 / 100,000
Total deaths: 81
Annual median salary: $46,160*
Industrial machinery workers include installers, repair workers and maintenance workers who deal with large-scale industrial machinery.
*Salary number is for Industrial Machinery Mechanics.
Fatality rate: 25.2 / 100,000
Total deaths: 19
Annual median salary: $33,760
Despite more comprehensive safety measures that have helped to lower the fatality rate since 2006, garbage collectors are still exposed to harmful chemicals and dangerous machinery.
Fatality rate: 30.3 / 100,000
Total deaths: 18
Annual median salary: $48,470
Despite using safety harnesses and scaffolding when working at great heights, steel workers are still at risk of deadly falls.
Fatality rate: 34.7 / 100,000
Total deaths: 60
Annual median salary: $37,390
Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs are the main cause of fatal accidents in this occupation.
Fatality rate: 38.5 / 100,000
Total deaths: 293
Annual median salary: $23,640
Farming may sound tame, but working with heavy machinery and harmful chemicals makes this job especially dangerous.
Fatality rate: 57.1 / 100,000
Total deaths: 63
Annual median salary: $117,060
Particularly at risk are test pilots who fly new or experimental planes, crop-duster pilots that may be exposed to harmful chemicals and those who operate rescue helicopters.
Fatality rate: 61.8 / 100,000
Total deaths: 34
Annual median salary: $34,180
Responsible for cutting and hauling trees, logging workers can suffer fatal harm from falling branches and heavy machinery. Bad weather is also a contributing factor.
Fatality rate: 200 / 100,000
Total deaths: 56
Annual median salary: $26,600
This group is at risk of getting entangled in nets and other gear or getting swept overboard. Additionally, injured workers are far from medical attention.