Top Ten Deadliest Jobs in America Revealed

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

What are the top ten deadliest civilian jobs in America with the highest fatal work injury rates? A preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2014, an increase of 2 percent over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries in 2013, according to results from the national Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) released in September 2015 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The preliminary data from the 2014 CFOI shows a total of 4,251 fatal work injuries in the private sector in 2014, 4 percent higher than the revised total of 4,101 in 2013. The preliminary rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2014 was 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. The CFOI also revealed the civilian occupations with the highest fatal work injury rates. The top ten deadliest jobs in America according to the 2014 CFOI were:

  • 1. Logging workers – 77 fatal work injuries / 109.5 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 2. Fishers and related fishing workers – 22 fatal work injuries / 80.8 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers – 81 fatal work injuries / 63.2 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 4. Roofers – 81 fatal work injuries / 46.2 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors – 27 fatal work injuries / 35.8 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 6. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers – 263 fatal work injuries / 26.0 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 7. Structural iron and steel workers – 15 fatal work injuries / 25.2 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 8. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers – 835 fatal work injuries / 23.4 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 9. Electrical power-line installers and repairers – 25 fatal work injuries / 19.2 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.
  • 10. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers – 130 fatal work injuries / 17.9 fatal work injury rate per 100,000 FTE workers.

Other key preliminary findings of the 2014 CFOI include:

  • Fatal work injuries for government workers were lower in 2014, down 12 percent.
  • Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and over rose 9 percent to 1,621 in 2014, the highest total ever reported by CFOI.
  • Fatal work injuries among self-employed workers increased 10 percent in 2014 from 950 in 2013 to 1,047 in 2014.
  • Women incurred 13 percent more fatal work injuries in 2014 than in 2013, but still accounted for only 8 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in 2014.
  • Workers who were contracted at the time of their fatal injury accounted for 17 percent of all fatal work injury cases in 2014.
  • The number of fatal work injuries among police officers and police supervisors was higher in 2014, rising from 88 in 2013 to 103 in 2014, an increase of 17 percent.

Revised data from 2014 CFOI will be released in the late spring of 2016. The complete CFOI report is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf. For more detailed information on fatal injuries by occupation, see the occupation tables in the CFOI 2014 data section at www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.

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