By David Peel
What do you picture as the most-deadly jobs? Firefighting? NASCAR driver? You are not even close:
Traveling to remote forests on bad roads, using heavy and dangerous machinery for hours on end, on uneven ground, with spinning blades and falling limbs and trees. 137.2 deaths per 100,000 workers annually
- COMMERCIAL FISHING
Discovery’s Deadliest Catch chose crab fishing in the North Atlantic for a very good reason. Life expectancy is mere minutes if you are washed over by giant waves into the frigid water, assuming you are not caught in ropes tied to the sinking cages that rocket straight to the bottom. 54.8 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
Commercial airline pilots may not have the most dangerous way to make a living, but flying light aircraft is still fraught with hazards. Famously death-defying are crop duster pilots. Totaled all together, they suffer 40.4 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
Falls from heights create a deadly environment.
- GARBAGE AND RECYCLING
Exposure to road hazards, working in all weather, using heavy machinery and handling dangerous materials is the perfect storm to get you killed. A surprising 38.8 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
Tractors, combines and trailers have more crashes than you might imagine. These road hazards are only part of the danger as the equipment is large and deadly. Bulls, cows and horses can also injure a man easily. Often, the farmer works solo in remote areas, so injuries or heart attacks that might have been survivable can prove fatal. 25.3 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
- OVER THE ROAD TRUCKER
Transport accidents are always the single biggest cause of fatalities at work. 80,000 lbs., 53 -foot-long trailers, and long hours of monotonous driving conspire to cause 25.2 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
- BEING A TRAVELING MAN
42% of work-related fatalities are caused by car crashes. As result, a traveling salesperson experiences 24.3 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
- UTILITY AND CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
Working at height, heavy equipment, bad weather, high voltage, overhead power lines, falling tree limbs, and digging holes that can collapse help result in 20.5 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
Exposure to hazardous chemicals, use of dangerous machinery and exposure to road hazards, help to cause 18.1 deaths per 100,000 workers annually.
- LAW ENFORCEMENT
Police officers were fatally injured at a rate of 13.7 per 100,000 full-time equivalent. Transportation incidents and violence were the two events leading to nearly all fatal work injuries among police officers. Gunshot wounds accounted less than half fatal workplace injuries to police officers in 2018.
NASCAR has not lost a driver since Dale Earnhardt in 2001. Statistically, the most dangerous thing you probably ever do is drive to work.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in tractor trailer and car accidents, medical malpractice, and disability. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.