This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.
Thanks to Mike Rowe, we know that chicken sexer, horse inseminator, and sewer inspector are among the dirtiest jobs in America. But the dirtiest jobs are not necessarily the most dangerous. For that information, we must consult the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Recently, the BLS released its annual report of the most dangerous jobs in America. The chart below depicts the most dangerous industry sectors. (Note that military, volunteers, and people under the age of 16 were excluded. The red bars indicate the total number of fatalities, while the blue bars indicate the fatality rate in deaths per 100,000 workers — which is the far more relevant statistic.)
As shown, the three most dangerous industry sectors are agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting, transportation/warehousing, and mining/quarrying/oil and gas extraction.
But this is a “big picture” view and, thus, is not terribly informative. We want to know which specific jobs are the most dangerous. Well, the BLS has data on that, too:
Loggers, fishermen, pilots/flight engineers, roofers, and (to my surprise) garbage collectors constituted the five most dangerous occupations in America.
Be thankful, therefore, to the good men and women who provide us wood and paper, tasty fish, fast transportation, and nice, clean homes. Many have died providing us these basic comforts.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Charts, 1992-2013. Updated April 22, 2015. (PDF)