What’s the most dangerous job?
That question has taken on an entirely new meaning in 2020. As the world continues to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of many jobs has changed—as have our conceptions of danger.
In previous years, occupations such as fisher, logger, and pilot have topped the list of the most dangerous jobs in America. Now, any job that takes someone outside of their home feels inherently perilous. And the hazards faced by frontline medical professionals seem especially scary. Can you imagine what it would be like to treat coronavirus patients all day?
Well, as it turns out, we’ll have to continue imagining until 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data on fatal occupational injuries is always two years behind, meaning the latest numbers we have come from 2018. That year, as with the year prior, the most dangerous jobs in America were—you guessed it—fisher, logger, and pilot.
To calculate its rankings of the most dangerous jobs, the BLS takes into account the overall number of fatal injuries per job, as well as the relative death rate per injured worker. In other words, the list doesn’t simply reflect which jobs killed the most people, but calculates the overall death count in relation to a worker’s likelihood of dying after getting hurt.
“Overall, 2018 was not a good year for workers, as the number of fatal work injuries in the U.S. increased by 2%, from 5,147 in 2017 to 5,250 in 2018. The fatal work injury rate remained unchanged, at 3.5 per 100,000 workers. So clearly, a significant amount of work still needs to be done to make our jobs and industries safer.”
We can all do our part in protecting our society’s most vulnerable workers. Go tell the pilots, roofers, loggers, and other high-risk workers in your life that you appreciate them—in a hygienic, socially distanced manner, of course.
Then, commit to a safer workplace by implementing a systematic environmental health and safety program. Start improving your facilities’ working conditions today with our EHS Checklist.