There are jobs carrying with it a certain degree of risk, and no employer can realistically offer an ironclad guarantee of complete safety. Even desk-based office workers deal with a certain amount of occupational hazards on a day-to-day basis, and it’s the responsibility of managers to ensure these risks are consistently monitored and dealt with as effectively as possible.

However, there’s no disguising the fact that some roles are much more dangerous than others - to the extent that workplace fatalities remain a very real risk in some sectors. Whether they are due to hazards that are inherent to the work or health and safety failings, each of these incidents provides a sobering wake-up call about the progress that still needs to be made. Accepting a certain margin of risk is one thing, but the danger of death and life-changing injury is something that should never be accepted in any work environment.

The top 10 most dangerous jobs in the UK & their average salary

Rank Industry % of total fatalities Average salary per year

1 Construction 17.1% £42,090

2 Farming 16.4% £31,390

3 Manufacturing 13.0% £34,380

4 Care & Nursing 11.1% £35,246

5 Waste Management 4.8% £34,282

6 Office & Admin 3.6% £31,408

7 Roofing 2.5% £35,474

8 Sales 2.4% £34,428

9 Real Estate 1.9% £53,837

10 Mechanic 1.8% £36,505

What are the Most Dangerous Jobs in the UK?

1. Construction

Photo: Construction Today
Photo: Construction Today

When a person chooses his/her job profile to be a construction worker, he/she does know about the risk that involves. Most of the time a person working as a construction worker may seem to have a normal job.

But the main reason that a person gets into risk during this job is that, while constructing high end buildings, the possibility or chances of being prone to danger is higher than other work profiles.

According to GoCompare Life’s analysis, working in construction runs the highest risk of all the industries analyzed with 17% of workplace fatalities. Great heights, heavy loads and live machinery all contribute to making it more dangerous than a desk job.

2. Farming

Photo: fox2now
Photo: fox2now

The massive amount of equipment that is used in modern farming makes working the land a dangerous job. Add in the relatively low education of most ranchers and farmers, and you have an accident prone population working in unstable conditions, often as part of a factory farming or factory ranching money mill that prizes profit over human life.

3. Manufacturing

Photo: Corporate Finance Institute
Photo: Corporate Finance Institute

Factory work is a profession that comes to mind when we think of the most dangerous jobs in the UK. With a workplace injury rate of 2.4%, operating dangerous machinery or being struck by falling objects causes many injuries and deaths wishing the industry.

4. Care & Nursing

Photo: HIMSS
Photo: HIMSS

The healthcare sector has the highest sickness rate in the UK, which stands at 4.6%. This alone makes the industry one of the UK’s most dangerous to work in. Work-related injury and stress are also major risk factors for healthcare professionals.

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5. Waste Management

Photo: thecoolist
Photo: thecoolist

A dirty and dangerous (and the lowest paid!) job on this list is waste management. Collecting waste poses many risks from being struck by vehicles to slips and trips, but it is the exposure to harmful bacteria that makes this job one of the most dangerous.

6. Office & Admin

Photo: Arktek Group Limited
Photo: Arktek Group Limited

Surprisingly, people who work in public admin or defence have one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK. Why? Because this profession is so stressful! The majority of sickness in this occupation is due to stress, which is often linked to depression or anxiety.

7. Roofing

Photo: The Spruce
Photo: The Spruce

Do you ever think of what those roofers do at the top of your house? These people expose themselves to risks of falling off the top of your house by walking around the top of your office buildings and homes. Hence, it is no surprise this job falls among the most dangerous jobs.

In accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not less than a hundred workers die annually from falling off the top of a building while fixing the roof.

8. Sales

Photo: Nutshell
Photo: Nutshell

Sales ranks 8th position on the table with the rate of death around 2.4%. The average salary per year of approximately £35k.

9. Real Estate

Photo: Financial Wolves
Photo: Financial Wolves

The highest-paid role in the top 10 most risky jobs was working in real estate, with an average salary per year of £53k, however, it’s not all selling sunsets as this job accounted for just under 2% of all fatalities.

10. Mechanic

Photo: Cash Cars Buyer
Photo: Cash Cars Buyer

Working in the mechanic field means that you have to deal with tons of problems relating to machines. The job's death rate stays around 1.8%, approximately the same as the real estate field, however, the salary is much lower than the real estate field, at around £37k.

45-54 year olds are most at risk, accounting for 18% of fatalities

The baby boomer generation accounted for 18.02% of all workers who died in 2019. The next highest age group was between 35-44, where 17.12% of fatalities occurred.

Generally, the youngest workers seemed safer. There were no deaths for ages 16-19 and workers aged 20-24 age group accounted for just 7% of total workplace fatalities, suggesting that under 25’s are safely learning the tricks of new trades.

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