Top 20 Most Dangerous Jobs

Aug 3, 2022 | Labor and Employment, Personal Injury, Work Accidents

most dangerous jobs
When Americans go to work, they expect to be able to return home safely at the end of the day. They certainly don’t expect to get into an accident that causes them to sustain an injury or lose their life. Unfortunately, this nightmare scenario happens to thousands of American workers every year. Let’s take a look at the top 20 most dangerous jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the following people are especially vulnerable to these types of incidents:

Construction Equipment Operators

Fatal Injury Rate: 14 deaths per 100,000 workers

OSHA strictly regulates excavators, bulldozers, and forklifts on construction sites. Nonetheless, the people who operate these machines frequently collide with vehicles and other heavy objects. Unfortunately, those collisions often cause them to lose their lives.

Construction Workers

Fatal Injury Rate: 14 deaths per 100,000 workers

Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. The people who work in it regularly die in falls, fires, and other accidents. 

Harnesses, safety vests, hard hats, and other safety equipment can help to reduce the risk of death on construction sites.

Power Lineworkers

Fatal Injury Rate: 15 deaths per 100,000 workers

Power companies use a range of safety protocols to protect their workers. But unfortunately, those protocols often fail, and linemen get electrocuted or fall off electrical poles and lose their lives.

Supervisors of Mechanics

Fatal Injury Rate: 16 deaths per 100,000 workers

Supervisors of mechanics are primarily responsible for overseeing the work of installers, repairers, and other technicians. In their role, they sometimes need to travel to clients’ homes. There, they are frequently bitten by dogs and assaulted by angry homeowners.

Mining Machine Operators

Fatal Injury Rate: 18 deaths per 100,000 workers

The mining sector is tightly regulated by the EPA, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and various state agencies. Unfortunately, it is still one of the most dangerous industries in America.

Mining machine operators regularly die when equipment fails and tunnels collapse.

Ground Maintenance Workers

Fatal Injury Rate: 18 deaths per 100,000 workers

Ground maintenance workers spend most of their day mowing lawns, trimming trees, and blowing leaves. Unfortunately, the equipment they use to perform their duties often fails and kills or injures them.

Maintenance workers also frequently lose their lives in auto accidents when traveling to their job site.

Road Maintenance Workers

Fatal Injury Rate: 19 deaths per 100,000 workers

People who maintain highways are required to wear safety vests and hard hats. They must also erect signs and cones before beginning their work.

Despite these precautions, highway maintenance workers are often hit by passing motorists.

Construction Supervisors

Fatal Injury Rate: 20 deaths per 100,000 workers

136 construction supervisors died on the job in the United States in 2019. The majority of those people lost their lives in auto accidents and falls. However, some passed away after being struck by a falling object.

Agricultural Workers

Fatal Injury Rate: 21 deaths per 100,000 workers

Agricultural workers regularly interact with tractors, backhoes, cultivators, and other farm equipment. As a result, employees can sustain severe injuries or lose their lives when that equipment malfunctions.


Fatal Injury Rate: 22 deaths per 100,000 workers

Masons are required to wear masks or respirators when handling cement. Unfortunately, these safety devices can be defective. Excessive exposure to cement and other harmful substances kills and injures hundreds of masons annually.


Fatal Injury Rate: 25 deaths per 100,000 workers

In 2019, 238 farmers and ranchers lost their lives in workplace accidents in the United States. Auto accidents, defective machinery, and improper livestock handling were responsible for most deaths.


Fatal Injury Rate: 27 deaths per 100,000 workers

Individuals who install steel on buildings and bridges often work at great heights. Unfortunately, when they fall, they often lose their lives.

Harnesses and other safety devices can help lower this industry’s dangerousness.

Delivery Drivers

Fatal Injury Rate: 28 deaths per 100,000 workers

Delivery drivers spend hours on the road each day. It is not unusual for them to travel hundreds of miles in a single shift.

Unfortunately, with so much time on the road, crashes are inevitable. As a result, thousands of delivery drivers suffer injuries or lose their lives in auto accidents every year.

Farm Supervisors

Fatal Injury Rate: 29 deaths per 100,000 workers

Farm supervisors are responsible for ensuring their workers are following safety regulations. However, they often get into accidents themselves.

Auto accidents and defective equipment are the leading causes of accidental death among farm supervisors in the US.

Garbage Collectors

Fatal Injury Rate: 31 deaths per 100,000 workers

Garbage collectors regularly die in crashes on the road. They can also sustain injuries and lose their lives in fires, explosions, and crush accidents at landfills.

Crossing Guards

Fatal Injury Rate: 38 deaths per 100,000 workers

Crossing guards are responsible for keeping pedestrians and other road users safe at crosswalks. However, they often lose their lives when negligent drivers blow through stop signs or red lights and hit them.

Construction Helpers

Fatal Injury Rate: 40 deaths per 100,000 workers

Assistants and casual laborers are the most vulnerable people on a construction site. Their relative inexperience means they get into accidents at a much higher rate than other construction workers.

Construction companies should provide additional training to assistants and casual laborers to reduce the death rate.


Fatal Injury Rate: 50 deaths per 100,000 workers

Roofers fall off roofs and ladders with a frightening degree of regularity. When they do, they often sustain serious injuries or lose their lives.

Accidents of this nature are why OSHA and other regulatory bodies require roofers to use harnesses and other safety equipment.

Private Aircraft Pilots

Fatal Injury Rate: 60 deaths per 100,000 workers

Regulations created and enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board ensure commercial aviation is incredibly safe.

Private aviation is much more dangerous. Poorly designed and poorly maintained aircraft kill dozens of airplane and helicopter pilots every year.

Logging Workers

Fatal Injury Rate: 70 deaths per 100,000 workers

Though it is tightly regulated by the EPA and the US Forestry Service, logging is the most dangerous industry in America, far outpacing other industries in terms of accidents and fatalities. Its fatal accident rate is 21 times higher than the national average.

Defective machinery and falling object accidents are logging workers’ most common causes of death.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.


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