Highly Dangerous Jobs you Didn’t Expect

By: Maria
 

In today’s advanced world, jobs aren’t as dangerous as they were back in the days. During the industrial revolution in the 17th to 18th centuries in the United Kingdom, several positions could lead to a  life-threatening illness or early death.

 

     

Maybe the worst job of all was the chimney sweep. It's an occupation suitable for a small body, similar to that of a child. So, children had this kind of job, and they were often orphans or poor kids nabbed from the streets. Some workhouses weren’t any better places. The children were malnourished and worked almost every day. 

 

During the 19th century, the working class Brits experienced the harsh job of coal mining. Writer George Orwell investigated the said job and discovering, to his utter dismay, the working conditions he found. 

     

Are any jobs that dangerous today? 

     

We're going to relate this article with the tech-driven world since most of our readers will be able to connect to these jobs. Others may even work in one of those occupations. However, we would want to say that in less developed countries, there are a lot of jobs more dangerous than you will see on this list. 

     

Mining or fishing, for instance, is undoubtedly more dangerous in some parts of Africa than in the USA. We can't compare the health and safety and infrastructure of a coal mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the ones in the UK. 

    

Still, mining is a dangerous job wherever you go. The last terrible mining accident that happened in the US was in 2010, where 29 people whose lives were lost at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia because of an explosion. 

     

If we look at the UK’s Office for National Statistics as well as the US Bureau of Labor statistics regarding work mortality figures, mining is not even listed, surprisingly, in one of the top ten of the most dangerous jobs

     

Today, we will focus mainly on those two countries - the United States and the United Kingdom - due to the availability of statistics in the English language. Also, such jobs found in these countries are typical around the world. 

 

Motor companies such as Ford, Tesla, and General Motors promise the public that their self-driving tech is nearly ready to take to the roads. They also promise that this will lead to fewer accidents while driving. 

     

All types of drivers, whether they are truck drivers, taxi drivers, or motorcycle couriers, have one of the most dangerous jobs. In the meanwhile, this is probably a far safer job in the UK and US than in other developing nations. 

     

The average death toll from road accidents around the world is about 17.4 people in every 100,000. In the US, it is 10.6 and in the UK just 2.9. The worst countries with high death tolls are Thailand at 38.1 and the Dominican Republic at 41.7. Imagine being a driver in those countries! 

     

The recently available statistics show that 880 truck drivers died in a year in accidents in the USA, and those that lasted the year have earned an average of $38,030. The UK reported about 41 deaths of truck drivers – although they are mostly lorry drivers in the UK. Compared to the US, they earn a bit less at an average of $31,151. 

     

The US also showed that taxi driving is high on the list. When the study was taken, it reported that about 68 people died in one year behind the wheel of a hired private car or a taxi.

     

Another of the most dangerous jobs in those two countries and the world all over is fishing. It is said to be the second most dangerous job in the United States, but only an average of 22 people died per year according to the statistics. 

     

Not a lot of people work in the industry, though. Because of that, the number of deaths per capita at 80.8 per 100,000 people is very high. It is one of the hardest jobs in the world. When bad weather sets in or equipment malfunctions, these workers may have a perilous journey through the open ocean. 

     

As for the UK, it doesn’t have fishing on the list. However, in 6 months last 2016, the industry had a slew of incidents and resulted in the loss of nine workers. After that unpleasant period, research was made to determine how dangerous the job was. It was reported that 55 percent of British fishers had suffered injuries while on the job, including fractures and amputations.

     

The average wage for a UK fisher ranges from 13,000 – 26,000 dollars per year. In the United States, the average yearly salary is $29,970. 

 

Talking about the UK, their recent and most dangerous job is farming. The farming job in the UK paved for 167 deaths last 2016. The heavy industrial machinery mainly caused this. In one rare case in 2017, their media reported an incident where a farmer died after his pig bit off his three fingers and his penis. Based on the reports, the man had started the fight. 

 

Generally, this is one tough job: one in which the regular worker in the UK receives about 29,524 dollars per year. Farming is also in the most dangerous list in the US, with an average of 26.7 per 100,000 workers die on the job and about 270 workers dying in a single year. 

     

Farmers from the US earn much more than the average, with a yearly wage of 69,880 dollars. As for the UK figure, it is probably applicable for farm laborers only. 

 

Here's an idea of the danger. Last 2016, an American farmer was killed by what is said to be a deadly dome of manure. When he accidentally broke the hard exterior shell of the mound of excrement, a poisonous fog of methane and sulfur dioxide killed him along with 16 of his cows. 

     

One job on both of the countries' lists is construction worker, also known as builders in the UK. In the United States, it was reported that 19.2 per 100,000 workers died in one year, or 25 in total. Again, the cause is heavy machinery, but some cases are the result of electrocution or falls. 

     

Despite being a small country, 101 deaths in the construction industry in the UK would quite look like a bit of a surprise. The median wage for a construction laborer in the US is about 31,090 dollars, and more or less 24,091 dollars a year in the UK. Part of construction tasks is roofing, and that in itself is already a dangerous job. 

     

It then sums up about 47.4 per 100,000 deaths of workers in the USA, and there is an average of 83 deaths in one year. Falls are obviously the primary cause of death. However, many workers are more subjected to breaking bones than losing their life. 

     

In the United Kingdom, construction workers are also up there on the most dangerous jobs list with about 69 deaths in a year. However, such a study included people who work on scaffolds. The median wage in the United Kingdom for this dangerous occupation is more or less 32,265 dollars per year. In the United States, it is 40,630 dollars per year. 

 

Relating to similar trades, the UK also has plumbing, electrical, and other installation tasks as a dangerous job wherein one of these resulted in about 26 deaths in a year. The US did not have plumbing on its list but did have electrical power line repairers and installers. The said jobs resulted in 25 lives lost in one year. 

     

Now, moving forward to another job that made it to both the UK and US list. That job involves garbage collection. In the UK, it is called as waste collection or, in less formal scenarios, a bin man. In the US, this difficult and often malodorous occupation had about 35.8 people dying in every 100,000 workers in a single year. Basically, that was 27 deaths in total. 

 

Having the same job on the streets of the UK, they also have about 20 deaths per year. How much do they earn on average for this challenging job? 

     

In the UK, about 23,440 dollars a year on average. In the US, an average of 36,370 dollars a year on average. You might ask how do these workers die? In an article published in the Atlantic called  "The Dangerous Life of a Trash Collector", the interviewee explains that if you're complacent in this job, it's like you're looking for death. 

     

He also mentioned the machinery itself as well as some of the waste they collect can be dangerous. You are also driving the entire day, and we already mentioned how dangerous that is. 

 

How about being a police officer? Do you think that is more dangerous? Surprisingly, only a handful of UK officers on average are killed on the job each year. 

     

Still, a research report said that one British cop is assaulted in every 13 seconds, often with a deadly weapon. As for the US cops, they carry deadly weapons and so are assaulted less. However, last 2016, 135 police officers lost their lives while on duty. From these, 53 died in car accidents, 64 officers were shot and killed, and others died from a job-related illness. The deaths of soldiers in both countries are less, but it is also a very dangerous job. 

 

Until now though, the most dangerous job in the US is none of those mentioned above. It is actually the job of logging. It is something that doesn't really occur in the UK since they don’t have many trees. It is listed with about 110.9 per 100,000 workers losing their lives in a year. That is summing to 78 deaths in total. 

 

So, this leads us to the end of our article. Have you worked or know someone working in any of these jobs? If not, what was the most dangerous job you ever had? 

     

 
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