Most Deadly Career Choices
On December 16, 2021 the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a comparison of fatal occupational injuries from 2019 to 2020. This comes with many positive trends, with the main takeaway being that fatality rates per 100,000 full time workers fell from 3.5 in 2019 to 3.4 in 2020. In fact, the amount of fatal occupational injuries in 2020 (at a count of 4,764) is the lowest annual number since the year 2013. Although with this overall decrease in fatal injury rates, there are still occupations more dangerous than others that represent a large majority of the numbers. Keep in mind that these rates are based off of the total workers respective to each occupation.
Occupation #1: Fishing and Hunting Workers
Coming in as the most fatally dangerous occupation of 2020 and 2019, fishing and hunting personnel had a fatality rate of 132.1 per 100,000 full time employees, with transportation incidents being responsible for 71.4 percent of their deaths. This individual occupation experiences death rates exponentially higher than any other.
Occupation #2 Logging Workers
The logging occupation unfortunately saw an increase last year in fatality rates, with their worker death rate going up to 91.7 per 100,000 employees. Most of these injuries come from contact with objects and heavy machinery. In addition to the geographical isolation of these workers, help is often too far away to save lives at a more efficient speed.
Occupation #3 Roofers
Roofer fatalities decreased in 2020 to 47 per 100,000 employees, and slips, trips, and falls still account for their most common accidents with roof and ladder falls.
Occupation #4 Construction Helpers
This particular occupation had an increase in fatality rates in 2020, coming in at 43.3 per 100,000 employees. Construction helpers are different than laborers, as they don’t have specialized training in areas like roofing, paving, pouring, concrete, and welding, and work as assistants to construction laborers.
Occupation #5 Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
While this is without a doubt a dangerous area, fortunately, the flight industry saw its pilots and engineers have a decrease in fatality rates in 2020, with 34.3 per 100,000 employees. Many of these fatalities are caused by transportation incidents and crashes in privately owned planes and helicopters rather than commercial jet aircrafts.
Occupation #6 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
These workers had a safer year than 2019 at 33.1 per 100,000 occupational deaths. Many garbage bins are collected by hand, and the close contact with the road and other vehicles is the most common cause of death.
Occupation #7 Structural Iron and Steel Workers
These workers saw an increase to 32.5 per 100,000 in deaths for their occupation. Many of these deaths are caused by slip, trip, and fall incidents in their cutting, welding and steel shaping professions. Due to operating at heights too help unload steel shipments, falls become much more deadly for this profession.
Occupation #8 Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers
This occupation is also down in death rates, at 25.8 per 100,000 full times workers. This includes truck drivers responsible for cargo, food, and laundry shipments that are delivered to homes and businesses. As expected, the top reason for injury in this occupation is traffic related crashes and complications.
We Make Safety Our Occupation
Occupational hazards are often contributed to by a lapse in a worker’s training and knowledge of the environment around them, as well as lack of machine safeguarding. Many of these fatal injuries can bring liability back onto both the employer and original equipment manufacturers. Browse our facility safety signs and machinery safety labels for the best quality and standards compliant products to keep workers and operators safe. Not sure what steps you need to take in building a tighter safety program? Check out Clarion Safety Assessment, our consulting and compliance services.