Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America - Number of Deaths
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How Many U.S. Workers Die on the Job per Day?
The data, recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed 4,764 U.S. workers died while on the job — an average of 13 workers dying per day and the equivalent of one worker dying every 111 minutes.
While farming, fishing, and forestry occupations had the highest fatality rate per 100,000 workers in 2020, at 132.1 per 100,000 workers, transportation and material moving occupations had the highest number of fatalities. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is the most dangerous job in America.
Transportation incidents killed 1,778 workers and accounted for 37.3% of all work-related deaths in 2020. People who work in transportation and material moving occupations, such as truck drivers, experienced the highest number of workplace deaths. Jobs in the construction industry also led to a high number of fatalities.
Fewer workers died on the job in 2020 than in 2019, when 5,333 Americans died while at work. In fact, the 4,764 fatal occupational injuries in 2020 represents the lowest annual number since 2013,according to the Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The overall worker fatality rate was 3.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2020, but the fatality rate for Hispanic or Latino workers and Black workers was 4.5 deaths and 3.5 deaths respectively. About 53% of Hispanic and 51% of Black workers hold jobs that require in-person contact, according to the Urban Institute.
There were 2,654,700 reportable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private industry in 2020, according to the latest report. About half of these required workers to stay out of work, and the median number of days these workers needed to be away from work was 12.
What Are The Most Dangerous Jobs In The U.S?
|Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S|
Online job search board Lensa previously released a report on the subject, “America’s Most Dangerous Jobs,” using 2019 data. The report points out: “Worryingly, it is becoming more dangerous to be a worker in the U.S. over the past decade. On average there was a 9.37% increase compared to the number of fatalities in 2009.”
The most dangerous profession was heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with 766 deaths in 2020. It was followed by construction laborers and farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.
The 2020 IIF report also provides data on work injuries by state. States were rated by deaths per 100,000 equivalent full-time workers. Wyoming topped the list with 13 fatalities per 100,000, followed by Alaska at 10.7 and South Dakota at 7.8. The “least dangerous” state was Rhode Island with 1.1 fatalities per 100,000. Delaware (1.7) and Connecticut (1.8) followed.
The most dangerous industries were ranked by total deaths. Trade, transportation, and utilities topped the list at 1,254 fatalities in 2020, followed by construction with 1,008 fatalities.
Text and chart by guest author Anna Fleck - Fishermen and hunters are officially the most dangerous jobs in the US, according to the 2020 census released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last month. The group saw 132.1 fatalities for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers; a stark contrast to the overall worker fatality rate across all industries of 3.4 deaths.
As our chart shows, delivery and truck drivers came lower on the list, despite the fact that 887 people died on the job in 2020 alone—the highest absolute figure on the graph. This comes down to the fact there are so many people in this profession, pushing the proportional risk of harm lower.
List of Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America
This list of the Top 10 most dangerous jobs is based on fatal work injury rate, which is calculated per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics also tracks total number of workplace deaths (as usual, truck drivers led the list), the fatal work injury rate factors in the relative danger inherent in a job. Since there are far more truck drivers employed than many of the other occupations on the list, the Top 10 list offers a closer look at exactly how often a worker dies while employed in a specific industry.
There was some movement in the rankings compared to last year. For instance, the number one and number two slots switched places. And slots 6-10 are all different from last year. Also, Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers dropped off the Top 10.
10. First-line Supervisors of Landscaping, Lawn Service and Groundskeeping Workers
20.2 fatal work injury rate; 48 fatalities
9. First-line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers
21.0 fatal work injury rate; 144 fatalities
8. Structural Iron and Steel Workers
23.6 fatal work injury rate; 15 fatalities
7. Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers
24.7 fatal work injury rate; 257 fatalities
6. Truck Drivers and Other Drivers
26.0 fatal work injury rate; 966 fatalities
5. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
44.3 fatal work injury rate; 37 fatalities
51.5 fatal work injury rate; 96 fatalities
3. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
58.9 fatal work injury rate; 70 fatalities
2. Fishers and Related Fishing Workers
77.4 fatal work injury rate; 30 fatalities
1. Logging Workers
97.6 fatal work injury rate; 56 fatalities
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