5 Most Dangerous Jobs: The Unsettling Rise Of Workplace Fatalities

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Dangerous jobs can bring you career fulfillment and an addictive adrenaline rush. But what happens when dangerous jobs turn injurious, or even fatal?

While American working conditions and safety regulations are improving every year, we are beginning to see an unsettling rise in workplace fatalities. In 2018, over 5,000 American workers suffered a fatal injury in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a disconcerting 2% increase from the previous years’ numbers.

Additionally, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries were reported in that same year. While injury and illness rates have remained stagnant in recent years, they are not decreasing, leading many American workers to experience debt and financial hardship.

Let’s explore some of the most dangerous jobs that are seeing disproportionate fatal and nonfatal accidents in the US, and discuss how we can move past a serious injury in the workplace.

Top Dangerous Jobs + Their Risks

Agriculture + Forestry

Jobs such as logging are some of the most dangerous jobs in America, with a fatal accident rate 33 times higher than other careers nationwide. As a logger, you harvest wood in the forest to create everyday products like paper, cardboard, and furniture.

The high rate of injury and death comes from contact with the heavy machinery used to cut down and handle lumber. Other adjacent professions such as hunting, fishing, and agriculture report high rates of workplace injury and death as well.

Roofing + Repair

When you repair or install roofing on a home or business, you are at high risk for injury and death due to slips, trips, and falls. Roofers climb onto buildings via ladders, and a fall from either could cause serious injury.

Thousands of roofers suffer injury per year, with nearly 100 deaths in 2018 alone. Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most common causes of injury in all career paths and can be fatal.

Pilots + Truck Drivers

Many workplace injuries happen during transportation accidents; pilots, flight engineers, delivery service drivers, and truckers work in transportation for a living and are thus more susceptible to injury.

Using data from the US Department of Labor, we can gather that transportation is responsible for the majority of workplace fatalities, with 40% of accidents attributed to vehicle crashes and other transportation accidents.

Construction Workers + Laborers

Construction is a rewarding but dangerous profession. According to OSHA, over 20% of reportable workplace deaths happen in the construction field. As mentioned above, transportation can be a cause of construction worker death and injury, along with colliding with heavy machinery, slip and falls, or electrocution.

Nursing Assistants + Registered Nurses

When you’re working as a registered nurse or nursing assistant, you are exposed to hazardous chemicals and medications, dangerous medical tools and instruments, as well as patients that are physically or mentally ill. Additionally, RNs are on their feet all day which can cause muscle pain and strain or even long-term skeletal disorders.

What To Do If You’re Hurt On The Job

After an injury, you must report the incident to your employer and seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t appear hurt, you could be suffering a sprain, strain, or internal injury that cannot be outwardly detected. Reporting the incident as soon as possible and obtaining medical records will help create documentation of your injury and prove you were hurt on the job.

If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Oftentimes the employer may try to withhold or deny pay and benefits, landing you with missed work hours and a pile of medical bills while you recover from your workplace injury. If you have suffered a serious accident at work and believe you aren’t receiving proper compensation, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer. Legal counsel can help ease your mind and deal with your employer and insurance agents so you don’t have to.

Workers’ comp varies state by state. For example, under Illinois workers’ comp, the injured party has the right to comprehensive medical care for their injury, permanent or temporary disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and more. To find out more about workers’ comp benefits in your state, contact your personal injury attorney.


Workplace fatalities are on the rise, and if you have one of these high-risk careers, you are more likely to suffer an injury while on the job. Educate yourself on the dangers present on your job site, and in the event of a workplace injury remember to contact a personal injury attorney to assist with your workers’ comp claim.