When someone refers to the most dangerous jobs, he or she usually means the common jobs with the highest risk of injury or fatal injury. Although work-related deaths have fallen over the years, some common jobs still are incredibly dangerous. Some of the world's most dangerous jobs are those of timber cutters, fishing boat crew members, aircraft pilots and miners. Other dangerous jobs include those of highway construction workers, farm workers, roofers and military servicemembers. In a lot of dangerous jobs, the pay scale reflects the degree of danger involved.
One of the most dangerous jobs is timber cutting. People who cut down trees have a high accident rate. Most of the deaths in this job occur because of falling trees. The on-the-job fatality rate for timber cutters is more than 20 times that of the average worker.
Another extremely dangerous job is working in the fishing industry. Deep-sea fishing — because fishing vessels are often caught out to sea during treacherous weather conditions — accounts for a large percentage of the on-the-job injuries and deaths in the fishing industry. Drowning is the leading cause of death in the fishing industry, although fatal accidents also are possible aboard fishing vessels.
In particular, crab fishing in arctic waters is extremely dangerous. The weather conditions are so severe that ice can capsize the boats. The machinery involves huge steel cages, and the fishing season lasts for only four weeks, which means that the work can be intense.
Commercial aircraft pilots, whether they fly passengers or freight, also rank highly on the list of the most dangerous jobs. One of the biggest factors is weather conditions. Mechanical malfunctions and pilot errors also can cause injuries or fatalities. As is the case with fishing workers, pilots who fly in parts of the world where extreme conditions exist are at a greater risk of injury or death.
Mining also is one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. Even when sophisticated modern mining equipment is used, cave-ins can occur. Large numbers of lives can be lost because of cave-ins that trap miners underground or bury them in rubble.
There are many other jobs in which accidents and fatalities are extremely high, including highway construction jobs and many jobs that involve driving. Farm workers, because of the heavy machinery with which they work, also have a high fatality rate. Roofers, engineers and structural metalworkers are also among the most dangerous jobs. Military servicemembers — particularly during times of combat and especially those who serve on in near the front lines — also jobs that can be extremely dangerous. Police officers and firefighters also risk their lives at times, no matter whether their jobs statistically rank among the most dangerous professions.