Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S. According to OSHA

In 2022, there were 5,486 people killed in workplace accidents across the country, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That’s up from 5,190 worker fatalities the previous year. 

Sadly, a relatively small number of industries represent a disproportionate share of workplace deaths. Overall, there are 3.7 fatal worker injuries per 100,000 full-time workers in the U.S. In the most dangerous jobs, the fatal injury rate is as high as 100 fatalities per 100,000. 

Here are the most dangerous occupations based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and OSHA statistics for 2022. 

1. Logging Workers (100.7 Deaths Per 100,000)

According to OSHA, America’s most dangerous job is logging. Loggers often face inclement weather while working outdoors, usually in isolated areas. Work is very physically demanding and involves power tools and heavy machinery. 

Most logger deaths and serious injuries are related to heavy machinery accidents. Poor training or supervision, improper equipment operation, and even defective products can be factors in these accidents. 

2. Roofers (57.5 Deaths Per 100,000)

The construction industry is notoriously dangerous. Almost one in four work-related fatalities in 2022 were in the construction industry. The “fatal four” top causes of construction deaths are falls, caught-in/between objects, electrocutions, and struck-by objects. 

Roofers have the highest rate of fatal construction accidents. About 86% of roofer deaths are caused by slips, trips, or falls. 

3. Fishing and Hunting Workers (50.9 Deaths Per 100,000)

The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries are very dangerous, with workers in hunting and fishing facing the highest risk of fatal injury. Unlike other jobs in this industry, hunting and fishing accidents are usually fatal, with a low rate of non-fatal injuries. 

Fishing workers are usually killed in drowning accidents, often after falling, being knocked overboard, or getting caught in a net. Hunting workers face a number of threats as they work in remote and often extreme environments using traps and weapons.

4. Construction Trade Helpers (38.5 Deaths Per 100,000)

Construction laborers or trade helpers assist trade professionals like roofers and electricians. They are usually responsible for the most manual and dangerous tasks on the site, like loading materials, digging trenches, and setting up scaffolding. 

These trade helpers have the second-highest rate of fatal injuries in construction after roofers.

5. Flight Engineers and Commercial Aircraft Pilots (35.9 Deaths Per 100,000)

Commercial pilots handle charter flights, aerial tours, aerial photography, firefighting, and rescue missions. Unlike commercial airline pilots who carry passengers for airlines, commercial pilots accept jobs for hire and usually fly their own equipment. They face a high risk of fatality in a job that requires navigating hazards at lower altitudes. Fatal accidents may be caused by pilot error or inexperience, inadequate maintenance, or mechanical failure.

6. Truck Drivers and Other Drivers (30.4 Deaths Per 100,000)

Truck drivers, sales drivers, and other transportation workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Injuries and fatalities are almost always caused by truck accidents. Car accidents are already a leading cause of death in the U.S., but workers who spend most of their time on the road have an exponentially higher risk of a crash. 

One out of every five worker deaths in 2022 were truckers and other drivers.

7. Trash and Recycling Collection Workers (22.6 Deaths Per 100,000)

Recycling and trash collectors face the same risk as truck drivers with a job that keeps them on the road. These workers have a lower rate of fatal injuries than truckers for several reasons. Most of their work is done on city streets at low speeds, not on highways. They do not face the long hauls, overnight shifts, and extended time away from home either.

8. Structural Steelworkers and Ironworkers (21.3 Deaths Per 100,000)

Iron and steelworkers repair, install, and reinforce the framework for roads, buildings, and bridges, often at great heights. Workers face many dangers, like falls, using heavy, vibrating power tools in a cramped space, and exposure to dust, chemicals, and loud sounds. 

This physically demanding job has one of the country’s highest fatal fall rates. These workers also have high rates of respiratory disease, hearing loss, back injuries, mesothelioma, and spinal cord injuries

A Carbondale Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help if You Are Injured at Work 

If you have been hurt on the job, you may be entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. This program also provides death benefits to families of fatally injured workers. Depending on the circumstances, workers and their families may be entitled to compensation outside of workers’ compensation. If a third party’s negligence or a dangerous product contributed to a worker’s death, a wrongful death claim may be an option. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation after a workplace accident.

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

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