Back in 2009, we featured posts about the Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs in our country;  we recently read an article about the same subject. Not surprisingly, many of the same ones continue to be on the list.  We want to review with you these hazardous jobs, both then and now, plus a few that we had listed three years ago.

FISHING: Fishers and fishing workers really have the most dangerous job in the country.  They must deal with inclement weather, malfunctioning gear, and transportation incidents that all add up to the fact that this profession has had the highest rate in the U.S. since 1992.  Their fatality rate is 116 per 100,000 workers, and average annual salary is $25,590.

LOGGING WORKERS:  More than one-half of incidents injuring loggers are the result of being struck by an object. (Maybe a tree?)  Loggers spend most of their days outside with terrible weather, heavy machinery, and high altitudes, and, according to the AxMen show, bad attitudes toward co-workers!  Fatality rate is 91.9 per 100,000 workers – 59 total, with the average annual salary being $32,870.

Next, AIRLINE PILOTS AND FLIGHT ENGINEERS.  Our top ten list in 2009 showed that small aircraft – cropdusters, banner planes, fire-fighting planes were more liable to experience crashes, especially the Alaskan bush pilots, because of sudden weather changes.  We cannot dispute that those who hold so many souls in their hands have a very huge responsibility every time they get behind the wheel.  The fatality rate is 70.6 per 100,000 workers, or 78 total.  Average annual salary for airline pilots is $118,070 and $76,050 for commercial pilots.

FARMERS AND RANCHERS:  Those who grow the very foods we consume and materials for our clothing are always among the most dangerous professions.  Their hours are very long, they must operate heavy machinery and equipment, and contrary animals.  Their fatality rate is 41.4 per 100,000 workers, or 300 total.  An average salary is estimated to be $60,750.

MINING:  Fifty countries in the world produce coal.  Besides risking health problems, such as “black lung” disease, they must risk suffocation, roof collapses, explosions.  Standard equipment must be worn by miners, including hardhats, goggles, hardhat lights, gloves, and steel-toed boots.  Heavy materials, close quarters and explosives all played into mining’s high fatality rate.  Mining machines operators have a rate of 38.7 per 100,000 workers, or 23 fatalities total.  The average annual salary for miners is $37,230 to $89,440.

ROOFERS:  Falls are one of the leading causes of fatal injuries or non-fatal injuries from working on roofs.  General construction work is among the most injury-prone jobs.  Everyone working at heights should be mandated to be fitted with fall-arrest equipment.  The fatality rate is 32.4 per 100,000 workers, or 57 total annually.  Their annual salary is $34,220.

REFUSE AND RECYCLABLE MATERIAL COLLECTORS:  Better known as waste management professionals, these guys were on our list in 2009, as well.  Their risk factors include getting hit by passers-by, compressed in equipment, and handling chemical or toxic materials such as improperly disposed needles.  This job was also listed as #4 in the most dangerous occupation for nonfatal injuries, primarily lacerations.  Fatality rate is 29.8 per 100,000 workers – 26 total, and average annual salary is $34,420.

TRUCK DRIVERS:  In our 2009 report, it was stated that many truck drivers crashed because of the carelessness of other drivers.  Seventy per cent of truckers who crashed as the result of  someone getting in their way.  Think about this the next time you cut in front of a truck that may weigh 40 tons.  Who do you think would win this race?  Truckers face long hours and overexertion.  Their fatality rate is 21.8 per 100,000 workers – 683 total.  Average salary $37,930 for heavy truck drivers and $29,080 for light truck drivers.

STUNTMAN:  This job did not make our 2009 list.  It  is still considered one of the most dangerous in the country due to long hours, and obvious dangers of their stunt. The last available figures showed 2.5 fatalities per 1,000 stunt workers.  Average annual salary $70,000.

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS:  These folks always make the top ten most dangerous jobs list.  One hundred and thirty four police and sheriff’s patrol officers lost their lives on the job in 2010, a 40 per cent increase over 2009.  Fatality rate is 18 per 100,000 workers: 133 total.  Average annual salary is $56,250.  Our park rangers and border partrol officers are facing more violence every day because of drug cartels.

TAXI DRIVERS were on our list back in 2009.  Those who work in large cities risk violence every day, with every passenger they pick up.  It is an occupation where you don’t trust anyone.  GPS devices can track where the taxis are, and the company can keep up with them accordingly.  OSHA has suggested they work with an open mike switch, be equipped with a first aid kit and flashlight, are in constant communication with dispatch, have bullet-proof partitions and on-board cameras.

We feel sure you know of other jobs that should be counted among the most dangerous.  Firefighters, drilling rig workers, utility workers, roadway workers, some that perform green jobs – these and more can be very stressful.  Ones’ profession should be chosen with care.  If it is what you love doing, then go for it.  If you are not sure that it’s a safe choice, go down another road.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor;