There is a greater inherent risk of serious and sometimes fatal injury in some professions than in others. The most dangerous jobs tend to be those that put workers in precarious physical positions, require them to work around heavy equipment or impose the greatest physical demands.
There is an understandable interest in identifying the most dangerous jobs in America. The answer varies from year to year based on the rate at which fatal work injuries occur in a certain profession and the total number of fatalities to occur in an occupation in a given year. Statistics for 2019, the most recent for which data are available, identify the following as some of the most dangerous occupations in the United States.
1. Pilots and flight engineers
The demanding schedule and mental stress of flying an aircraft can put pilots at risk for exhaustion. There may be a link between exhaustion and transportation injuries, which resulted in the most work-related injuries for pilots and flight engineers.
A slip, trip or fall can be dangerous for workers in any profession. For roofers, whose work takes them up on the top of buildings, a fall can be potentially deadly. In a given year, falls may result in approximately 3,000 nonfatal injuries among roofers across the country and nearly 100 fatal injuries.
3. Grounds maintenance workers
Maintaining the function and aesthetics of outdoor property frequently involves lawnmowers, chainsaws and other types of powerful equipment. Contact with such machinery can result in a fatal injury. The rate of fatal injuries among those who work in landscaping is approximately 21 per 100,000 workers.