Logging tops USA’s most dangerous jobs list

ByForest Machine Magazine

14th October 2020

But is still the lowest paid out of the top five

Advisor Smith studied the most dangerous jobs in the United States based on data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Studying professions with a minimum employment of 50,000 workers to find the 25 most dangerous jobs among 263 total professions in the study. The fatality rate was normalized by adjusting the number of fatalities by employment in each profession.

On-the-job deaths have been rising in recent years, rising from 4821 in 2014 to 5250 deaths in 2018, an increase of 9% over the 5-year period. However, the rate of deaths adjusted for employment has only risen approximately 2.2% over the same period, as an improving economy has led to additional employment. In 2018, the average fatality rate among all jobs was 3.4 per 100,000 workers.

The study found that some jobs are significantly more dangerous than others. The most dangerous job, logging, was 33 times more dangerous than the average job nationwide. Additionally, many of the most dangerous jobs earn average salaries that are below the May 2019 annual mean wage of US$53,490. Companies that hire workers with the most dangerous jobs usually have workers’ compensation insurance premiums that are higher than average.

The study also found that self-employed workers were 3.3 times more likely to die on the job compared with hourly and salaried workers. Wage and salaried workers had an average fatality rate of 2.9 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2018, while self-employed workers had an average fatality rate of 9.4 per 100,000 workers during the same period.

  1. Logging workers

Fatal injury rate: 111 per 100,000 workers

Total deaths (2018): 56

Salary: US$41,230

Most common fatal accidents: Contact with objects and equipment

The most dangerous job in America is logging. Logging workers had a fatal accident rate that was 33 times the average job nationwide.

Logging workers harvest forests to provide the raw material for goods such as wood, paper, and cardboard, in addition to other industrial products. These workers spend almost all of their time outside in forests and other isolated areas.

Logging workers use heavy machinery to fell trees and handle logs. Logging worker deaths are most often caused by contact with logging machines or logs.

  1. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Fatal injury rate: 53 per 100,000 workers

Total deaths (2018): 70

Salary: US$121,430

Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents

Aircraft pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other types of aircraft. In this profession, pilots are responsible for checking the condition of aircraft before and after flights, ensuring the aircraft is balanced, and planning for fuel and flight plans. Pilots also operate the aircraft, communicate with air traffic control, and monitor the aircraft’s systems during flight. The majority of aircraft pilot fatalities occur in crashes of privately owned planes and helicopters rather than on regularly scheduled commercial jet aircraft.

  1. Derrick operators in oil, gas, and mining

BLS Category: Derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

Fatal injury rate: 46 per 100,000 workers

Total deaths (2018): 20

Salary: US$51,390

Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents, contact with objects and equipment

These oil workers setup, maintain, and operate the derrick and drill equipment used to extract oil and gas and mine for materials. The derrick is the structure above a well that holds the drilling equipment, while the drill rotates to displace the earth. The derrick may also include pumps to extract the oil or other materials from the well. Transportation incidents and contact with objects and equipment were the two leading causes of death for these workers.

  1. Roofers

Fatal injury rate: 41 per 100,000 workers

Total deaths (2018): 96

Salary: US$42,100

Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips

Roofers are responsible for installing, repairing, and replacing roofs on homes and buildings. Their work involves taking roofing materials such as shingles, metal, or other materials onto roofs and securing them. Roofers generally must use ladders or other equipment to climb on top of buildings. The most common cause of fatal work injury for roofers is falling off roofs or ladders.

  1. Garbage collectors

BLS Category: Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Fatal injury rate: 34 per 100,000 workers

Total deaths (2018): 37

Salary: US$42,100

Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents

Also known as garbage collectors, refuse and recyclable material collectors collect our trash and recycling. Generally, these workers will drive a truck through neighbourhoods and empty garbage bins and dumpsters into the trucks. Many bins are loaded by hand while some trucks have mechanical lifters. They then drive the trucks to a landfill or waste transfer station where the waste is unloaded from the truck. The most common cause of death for these workers is being struck by a garbage truck or other vehicle.

The full list is at https://advisorsmith.com/data/most-dangerous-jobs/

Forest Machine Magazine is written and edited by a forest professional with over 40 years hands on experience. We are dedicated to keeping you informed with all the latest news, views and reviews from our industry.

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