The job industry has changed drastically since computers have taken over just about everything. 2/3 of employees sit at computers for their jobs, and over 80% of Americans work in jobs that require little to no physical activity. While desk-workers tend to suffer from obesity (1/3 of Americans are obese), there are still some more dangerous jobs out there that can literally kill you in a split second. Here are five occupations with the highest fatality rates.
Fishers and Fishing Workers
When most people think of fishing, a serene environment comes to mind: quiet waters, patience, and then one or two exciting moments as the fish is caught and reeled back to the boat.
In reality, full-time fisherman must embark on a dangerous journey on a boat that faces extreme weather and uses dangerous equipment. Storms threaten to throw the fisherman off board or blow heavy machinery into them. Improperly used equipment can malfunction or break, causing injury or death. Finally, some fisherman who do fall off never make it back up, drowning in the sea.
The job is dangerous enough that The Discovery Channel has made a reality show called Deadliest Catch, featuring fisherman who must brave the icy waters of the Bering Sea.
In 2010, there were 29 fatalities in this industry. The fatality rate is 116 per 100,000 full-time workers as of 2010.
Everyone’s seen ‘Tree Chopping Fails’ on YouTube — some guy haphazardly chainsaws at a tree, it falls the wrong way and destroys his house. Most of these videos show the participants narrowly escaping death and laughing about it seconds later, but employees in the logging industry aren’t always so lucky.
The job requires loggers to chop the trees down, trim them for sale, and then load them onto a giant truck for transport and sale. Besides the danger of falling trees, the cutting equipment used to dismantle the things is large and extremely unforgiving. One wrong move will eat the logger alive. Another danger in the logger’s career is facing difficult terrain and extreme weather conditions; regardless of season or mountainside, the trees must fall.
In 2010, the fatality rate for logging workers was 86.4 per 100,000 full time employees. There were 76 total deaths for the year.
Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
This is sure to freak out anyone who already hates and fears airplanes, but the real danger hardly lies with pilots who are responsible for flying you to and from your Summer vacation spot.
Emergency response is one of the most dangerous occupations for a pilot. Required to respond in a very short amount of time, emergency response pilots must navigate dangerous terrain to rescue those who need to be airlifted immediately, and/or are too far or in too dangerous an area to reach help on their own.
The other obvious danger of being a pilot is choosing to participate in testing new and experimental planes, which often malfunction and crash.
The fatality rate in 2010 was 66.7 per 100,000 full-time employees, totaling 82 deaths for the year.
Structural Iron & Steel Workers
In 1932, people were wowed by the photograph ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’, which featured a row of construction workers dangling their feet off a steel girder that was suspended hundreds of feet above NYC itself. Not much has changed since then.
Now required to wear harnesses and take more safety precautions, structural iron & steel workers still face the very real danger of plummeting multiple stories to an untimely death.
There were 40 total deaths in 2010, giving this industry a 45.5 fatality rate per 100,000 full-time employees.
Farmers and Ranchers
Being a farmer isn’t as boring as it sounds. Besides all the early waking up and hard work required to do the job right, farmers are always in danger when working with heavy machinery designed to pull, tear, chop, and roll crops in large quantities. Get caught in a piece of farm equipment, and you’ll be tied up like a bale of hay in no time.
One episode of I Survived featured a young man whose arms were caught in a crop-harvesting machine and torn clean off. Alone on the farm at the time, he miraculously managed to crawl hundreds of yards back to his house and dial 911 with his teeth, blood loss and all. Not everyone is so lucky.
There were 300 farming-related deaths in 2010, bringing the fatality rate to 41.4 per 100,000 full-time employees.