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Top 5 Deadliest Jobs

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on January 21, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We all have days when we hate our jobs, but most of us aren't risking life and limb when we head into the office. And while on-the-job safety is improving (2013 had the second-lowest workplace fatalities since 1992), some jobs remain more dangerous and more deadly than others.

Most people might guess police officers, firefighters, or security guards have the deadliest jobs, but law enforcement officers barely crack the top 15. So who has the deadliest job in America?

  1. Loggers: Logging and forestry workers had around 90 fatalities for every 100,000 workers in 2013, making it far and away the most deadly job that year. The vast majority of those fatalities were listed as "contact with equipment," which is understandable, given their work environment.
  2. Fishers: Over the last seven years, fishing has been even more deadly than logging. Fishing industry workers average over 130 deaths per 100,000 workers every year. Fishers also have one of the worst job fatality-to-pay ratios of anyone on this list. Their median annual pay is around $35,000, less than police officers or firefighters.
  3. Airline Pilots: Most worker fatalities were caused by transportation incidents. Aircraft incidents accounted for 7 percent of all fatal occupational incidents in 2013, and 100 percent of fatal incidents for aircraft pilots and flight engineers.
  4. Roofers: Falls to a lower level accounted for 13 percent of all worker deaths in 2013, so it's not surprising to see roofers on this list.
  5. Refuse and Recycling Collectors: It probably is surprising to see garbage collectors so high on this list. These workers are four times more likely to die on the job than firefighters and security guards. Almost 70 percent of those fatalities were transportation incidents.

Honorable mention goes to taxi and limousine drivers. While murder on the job is relatively rare, taxi drivers are more likely to die from a homicide than from a transportation accident.

If a loved one has died on the job, you may have a workers' compensation or wrongful death claim. You can contact an experienced attorney to find out.

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