Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

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5. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 34.9 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 30 fatal injuries, 1,340 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $36,160

The vast majority of refuse and recyclable material collectors report working in a vehicle every day. As a result, these workers undergo numerous injuries caused by transportation incidents, including automobile accidents, each year. They are also often exposed to contaminants such as pollutants, which can result in illness.

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4. Roofers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 45.2 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 91 fatal injuries, 2,810 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
> Median annual wage: $38,970

Due to the nature of roofing work, a fall, slip, or trip can result in serious injury in ways it would not for a person working on level ground. Roofers can slip from scaffolds, ladders, or roofs, falling to lower levels. Roofers are also at risk of heat-related illnesses from working in the hot sun during summer months.

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3. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 51.3 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 59 fatal injuries, 630 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $111,930

The most common injuries for aircraft pilots and flight engineers are transportation-related. Of course for pilots involved in any sort of crash, injuries can easily be fatal. The work of a pilot can be extremely demanding due to both mental stress and demanding scheduling, including overnight layovers, and exhaustion is a risk. The safety risks of the occupation are well rewarded, however, with the median annual wage being nearly three times the average for all occupations.

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2. Logging Workers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 87.3 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 55 fatal injuries, 350 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Contact with objects and equipment
> Median annual wage: $38,840

While the logging industry takes numerous measures to promote safety among workers, the nature of the work means there will be injury and fatalities. Logging is physically very demanding and requires that workers labor primarily outdoors and often in remote areas, far from medical aid. The most common accident is when a worker is struck by an object, such as a log or falling branch, or experiences a mishap with dangerous machinery, such as harvesters and chainsaws, which are common in the trade.

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1. Fishers and Related Fishing Workers
> Fatal injuries in 2017: 100.0 per 100,000 workers
> Total: 41 fatal injuries, 120 nonfatal injuries
> Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
> Median annual wage: $28,310

Fishers and related fishing workers had the highest rates of fatal injury in 2017. Commercial fishing is largely physical work that involves fishing nets, gear and slippery decks. Fishers and related fishing workers can also be exposed to challenging environmental factors, such as extreme weather. In addition, workers may be out on the water or working from a remote area when an accident occurs, and easy access to a hospital or medical professional may not be readily available. The majority of fatalities among fishers and related fishing workers are due to drowning.

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