When you build a home, buy food at the grocery store, travel by air, or toss plastic in your recycling bin, you’re using products or services provided by people who work in the most dangerous jobs in the world. By industry, you’ll recognize professions you may be taking for granted.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics bases its statistics on data from 2 years ago, so the figures released in December 2021 were based on data from 2019. It will be another 2 years before we can identify the effect of the pandemic on workplace-related fatalities.
Anecdotally, we know that over 3,600 healthcare workers in the US have died during the pandemic. Globally, the World Health Organization estimates a median number of 115,000 health care workers may have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic so far.
Take a look at this list of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and take a moment to appreciate the people who do them every day.
Fishing and Hunting Workers
If you enjoy seafood or game, you benefit from workers who take extreme risks to fill your plate. Fishers and deckhands must understand navigation and operation of fishing vessels and gear, how to sort and store their catch safely so it will be acceptable for processing when they return to port, and how to use ropes, nets, and hoists to capture fish and haul them onto their boats.
Hunters kill wild animals and where permitted, sell them for food, hides, or taxidermy. Fishing and hunting workers died on the job at the rate of 132.1 people per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2019-2020.
Despite the amusing and slightly raunchy Monty Python ditty, “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK,” logging is no joke. When you buy lumber at the big box hardware, it may have started as a tree in the forest that workers risked their lives to harvest. Most on the job deaths for logging workers occurred because of contact with machinery or the logs themselves. The fatality rate in 2019-2020 was 91.7 per 100,000 workers.
Roofers and Construction Trae Helpers
Despite safety precautions like harnesses, hardhats, and special boots, roofers can still fall to their deaths. Between 2019-2020, 47 roofers per 100,000 died. Construction work helpers perished at the rate of 43.3 per 100,000.
If you know you’ll be hiring a roofing or construction company for repairs or remodeling, make sure they’re insured and comply with safety regulations for their workers. This reduces workers engaging in risky practices that could get them seriously injured or even killed while working on your house.
Other Perilous Jobs
Private plane pilots and flight engineers, garbage and recycling collectors, iron and steelworkers, pipefitters, including those who perform dangerous welding tasks, and delivery and truck drivers also work in some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. By industry, they are at heightened risk of serious injury or death on the job. They deserve appreciation.