Top 10 Most Fatal Occupations: A Study By The Bureau of Labor Statistics

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One issue that people don’t always consider when they’re interested in a job is the danger associated with performing the job’s duties. While some professions, like firefighting, have known risks, there are many more that aren’t as clear to those pursuing a career in that field or just starting out. 

Unfortunately, some dangers aren’t apparent until it’s too late, and unsafe working conditions or haphazard safety measures can make the dangers that come with certain jobs even more frequent. While many jobs can be hazardous, others come with an increased risk of death. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a study of the most fatal occupations every few years. We’ll take a look at the results from the most recent numbers they’ve released and break down the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the country.

  1. Production Occupation Fatalities

In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 225 total fatalities in the production field. The production occupation includes jobs like factory workers, metal workers, and plastic workers, they’re involved in the production of goods. Of the 225 fatalities, 63 of them were a result of contact with equipment and 40 were a result of exposure to harmful substances.

As defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations involve a range of related jobs between different industries. For production occupations, the most at risk workers were metal and plastic workers, who suffered 80 fatalities, mostly as a result of injury due to equipment.

  1. Sales Occupation Fatalities

Sales and related occupations accounted for 241 worker fatalities, this includes positions like cashier and floor salesperson. The majority of these deaths were a result of violence inflicted by people, with 129 instances of deaths due to violence. The next highest cause of death was transportation injuries, accounting for 38 deaths.

  1. Material Moving Fatalities

Material moving workers suffered 255 deaths while on the job. This occupation covers jobs like conveyor operators and crane operators. The majority of the were a result of transportation accidents, accounting for 100 deaths, while contact with equipment was the second leading cause of death, accounting for 63 deaths.

  1. Farming Fatalities

Many people don’t know that modern agriculture can be very dangerous. Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations suffered 262 fatalities, with 100 of those being transportation related and 92 coming as a result of contact with equipment. Agricultural workers accounted for the largest number of fatalities in the grouping, suffering 158 deaths, most related to transportation. 

  1. Protective Service Occupation Deaths

Protective service occupations accounted for 270 worker deaths. The category includes jobs like firefighter and police officer. Violence due to another person was the leading cause of death, resulting in 117 fatalities, while transportation accidents were the second highest cause of death, causing 98 deaths. 

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In the category, police officer was the most dangerous occupation, suffering 108 fatalities, 56 due to violence and 45 due to transportation accidents. Security guards were the second most dangerous occupation in the category, suffering 58 deaths.

  1. Groundskeeping and Maintenance Fatalities

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations had 350 fatalities. The cause of death in the category was quite varied with 89 related to transportation accidents, 99 related slips, 74 related to exposure to harmful substances, and 67 related to contact with equipment. The most dangerous job in the category was ground maintenance worker, which suffered 225 deaths, also varied across causes.  The category includes duties like tree-trimming, applying pesticides, and landscaping so the variety of dangers reflects that. 

  1. Management Occupation Fatalities

Management occupations across industries accounted for 387 worker deaths.The majority of the deaths, 159, were related to transportation, while 82 were related to violence. The most dangerous job in the category was agricultural manager, which suffered 257 deaths.

  1. Maintenance Occupation Deaths

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations suffered 420 on the job deaths. The leading cause of death was contact with equipment (114 deaths) while a close second was transportation accidents.

  1. Construction Fatalities

Construction and extraction occupations accounted for 1,003 worker fatalities, with the leading cause of death being slips and falls, which resulted in 339 deaths. Another major cause of death were transportation accidents, resulting in 228 deaths.

  1. Transportation Occupation Fatalities

The most dangerous occupational category was transportation and material moving. Workers in the category suffered 1,443 deaths, with the majority of deaths, 1,014, being a result of transportation accidents. This category includes truck drivers, delivery drivers, and travelling sales workers, all of whom are on the road a lot and are at more risk as a result.

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If you or a loved one suffered a work-related injury you should consult a personal injury attorney to get the compensation you’re entitled to. With over 30 years of personal injury law experience, McEldrew Young Purtell has the expertise to fully evaluate your legal case and get you the payout you deserve. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.