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Posted: 12/26/2003 9:39:15 AM EDT
America's most dangerous jobs

The top ten most dangerous jobs in America.
October 13, 2003: 10:52 AM EDT
Les Christie, CNN/Money Contributing Writer

New York (CNN/Money) - On December 3, 2002, a section of a felled tree struck and killed an 18-year-old logger. He was one of the last of 104 lumbermen to die in 2002, when timber cutters led the nation with the highest on-the-job mortality rate of any vocation.


The mortality rate among lumbermen, 118 timber cutters per 100,000 workers, heads the list of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America for 2002 put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and was more than 26 times that of the average U.S. worker.


The fishing industry ran second with 71 fatalities per 100,000 workers, with drowning the most common cause of death.

The crab fishery in Alaska is particularly perilous, according to University of Alaska economist Gunnar Knapp. "The environment in which the crabbing is done, in the Bering Sea, in winter, has to be some of the worst conditions on Earth. You're hundreds of miles from port, in stormy seas, with ice forming all over, sometimes so thick it capsizes the boat."

Fishermen also sustain injuries from working with heavy gear and mighty machinery. Alaskan crabbers use huge cages as traps. "Imagine," say Knapp, "steel lobster pots, only ten times the size, hundreds of pounds apiece."

No wonder the Alaskan shellfish industry averaged 400 fatalities per 100,000 workers during the 1990s.


Furthermore, the crab crews are in a mad dash to fill their holds. "The season lasts only three or four weeks," says Knapp, "they fish as hard as they can before the season ends, often working 40 out of every 50 hours. It's an intense, fundamentally dangerous environment with a lot of money at stake."

When the crabbing is good a crewman can earn upwards of $1,000 a day. Many timber fellers earn upwards of $60,000 working a nine- or 10-month year.

Flight risk
Another often owner-operated job -- commercial pilot -- comes in third on the list of the country's most dangerous jobs, with 70 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

Most pilot fatalities come from general aviation; bush pilots, air-taxi pilots, and crop-dusters die at a far higher rate than airline pilots. Again, Alaskan workers skew the profession's data; recent National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) stats indicate that they have a fatality rate four times higher than those in the lower 48.

"Alaskan pilots have a one in eight chance of dying during a 30-year career," says George Conway of NIOSH. "That's huge."

Conway reports that the most common scenario in fatal plane crashes in Alaska is, "controlled flight into terrain." A pilot starts out in good weather then runs into clouds, loses visibility, and flies into a mountainside.

Even though pilots flying small planes have a much higher fatality rate than pilots flying big airline jets, they're not financially compensated for the added danger; non-jet pilots average about $52,000 a year in pay while jetliner pilots make about $92,000.

Other highly dangerous jobs, including construction trades, pay high wages. Fourth on the fatality list, structural metal workers, the steel workers who build our skyscrapers and bridges, died at the rate of 58 per 100,000 in 2002, and earned an average of about $20 per hour. Sixth were roofers (37 per 100,000 and $16 per hour), and seventh were electrical power installers (32 per 100,000 and $21 per hour).

Construction laborers suffered 28 fatal injuries per 100,000 last year (ninth), and were paid about $13.36 per hour.

Driving death rates
One top-10 surprise was the fifth place finisher -- driver-sales workers, which, according to a BLS spokesperson, includes pizza delivers, vending machine fillers, and the like. Again, these workers are often self employed. Traffic accidents contributed heavily to their high fatality rate of 38 per 100,000, but they also suffered from crime; nearly a quarter of their deaths came from robberies and assaults.

Farm workers come in eighth on the BLS list with 28 fatalities per 100,000. According to the Department of Agriculture farmhands earned roughly $8.50 an hour in 2002.

In terms of sheer numbers, more truck drivers --- 808 –--died on the job than any other vocation in the top ten. But because there are so many truckers, their fatality rate is only 25 per 100,000, giving them tenth place on the list. Truckers die, mostly in traffic accidents, at six times the average rate but less than a quarter the rate of timber cutters.

Like the crabbers, truckers are often under intense time pressure; the faster they move their goods around the country the more money they make. The often self-employed truckers face cut-throat competition and battle big overheads paying off expensive rigs. Exhausted truckers sometimes push themselves past their breaking point to squeeze extra dollars out of their work-week, becoming a danger to others, and, as the numbers suggest, to themselves.  
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Well there you have it.. Cops are not even in the top ten, despite getting all the publicity.
This post is not meant to demean police officers in any way, but rather to congratulate them on picking such a safe career, as opposed to say, being a pilot.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 9:43:27 AM EDT
The crab fishery in Alaska is particularly perilous, according to University of Alaska economist Gunnar Knapp.
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Gunnar!  That's one of my economics professors.  Took resource economics from him [:)]
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 10:12:28 AM EDT
Ah, what the hell do they know?

Seven has always been lucky for me!

I resent being called an "electrical power installer."

IMHO asshole is a much more endearing term.

While I'm on a rant, just who in the hell would do linework for $21 and hour?
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 10:28:12 AM EDT
Hummm, I'm a farm worker, truck driver, construction worker, electrical installer who sometimes does a little logging. Plus, I play with guns.

Now I'm going to be scared to leave the house.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 10:50:46 AM EDT
How does this survey not factor in being a soldier in a combat area?

I have spent a fair amount of time logging, including tower side stuff, and a fair amount of time in a plywood mill, and I would be a lot more concerned with getting sluiced if I was currently in Iraq right now.  

Also, the cheery statistics of workplace deaths in China (120,000 in 11 months this year supposedly) have to put everything in perspective.  

Anyway, hat's off to everyone who works hard and lives in a law-abiding manner.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 10:59:42 AM EDT
being a gun owner in today's world!
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:10:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 11:20:40 AM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
[url]www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/archive/spring2000art1.pdf[/url]

In 1998 there were 709 work related homicides.

The public sector had 93, over half occurred to police and detectives.

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Police also generally have fairly high assault rates.

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There is a big difference between being killed, when you get to close to a dangerous piece of machinery, and someone beats you to death.

Especially when you are armed, armored, trained for use of force situations, and have a bunch of other people equipped just like you that can help you. Not to mention radio equipment that should summon medical assistance very quickly. Yet people still manage to kill police officers.

Add

Rates from the article

17.9 Taxi drivers and Chauffuers
4.4  Public Police and Detectives
4.1 Private Guards and Police
2.5 Managers of food serving, and lodging establishments.
0.7 Truck drivers
0.5 Avg homicide rate all workers.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:20:36 AM EDT
I thought for sure that General Forum Moderator would make the list.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:27:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
[url]www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/archive/spring2000art1.pdf[/url]

In 1998 there were 709 work related homicides.

The public sector had 93, over half occurred to police and detectives.

--------------------------------------------------

Police also generally have fairly high assault rates.

---------------------------------------------------

[red]There is a big difference between being killed, when you get to close to a dangerous piece of machinery, and someone beats you to death.[/red]

Especially when you are armed, armored, trained for use of force situations, and have a bunch of other people equipped just like you that can help you. Not to mention radio equipment that should summon medical assistance very quickly. Yet people still manage to kill police officers.

Add

Rates from the article

17.9 Taxi drivers and Chauffuers
4.4  Public Police and Detectives
4.1 Private Guards and Police
2.5 Managers of food serving, and lodging establishments.
0.7 Truck drivers
0.5 Avg homicide rate all workers.
View Quote



Not really, dead is dead. I have seen my share of dead -- burned alive in a crash, wraped up in a PTO, run over by a tracter with a  brush hog, shot, overdosed, (it is a long list). Dead is dead.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:40:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:45:47 AM EDT
BillofRights,

There is quite a difference between having a job with known dangers and one where you don't know until it's too late to avoid...if you can.
Being a commercial pilot, having to mostly worry about screwing up and crashing your plane or a crabber, having to worry about screwing up and  getting tangled up in your lines as you throw your pots overboard.... is very different from being in a profession such as law enforcement where you have to deal with people who you don't know, some of whom just might try and kill you.

It is a testament of the skill and training that todays law enforcemnt personel receive that keeps them off of your list of dangerous civilian jobs.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:54:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cyanide:

Not really, dead is dead. I have seen my share of dead -- burned alive in a crash, wraped up in a PTO, run over by a tracter with a  brush hog, shot, overdosed, (it is a long list). Dead is dead.
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Yes, dead is dead.

Then again the claim was most "dangerous jobs". If you work as a logger and cut a tree down, and it falls on you. Is that a "dangerous job", or a job that is unforgiving of mistakes?  
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:59:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 12:02:07 PM EDT by cyanide]
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By cyanide:

Not really, dead is dead. I have seen my share of dead -- burned alive in a crash, wraped up in a PTO, run over by a tracter with a  brush hog, shot, overdosed, (it is a long list). Dead is dead.
View Quote


Yes, dead is dead.

Then again the claim was most "dangerous jobs". If you work as a logger and cut a tree down, and it falls on you. Is that a "dangerous job", or a job that is unforgiving of mistakes?  
View Quote


It is as unforgiving of mistakes as the officer who misses a weapon on a search incidental to an arrest, or disregards procedure on a traffic stop and is shot to death. Are both jobs dangerous yes, is the Officers job more dangerous --- argumentive at best.


I might add, you bring up a very excellent point ---- most, (but not all) Law Enforcement deaths are mistakes or accidents. Vehicle accidents, missed weapons, disregarding procedure, I am sure you know what I mean.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:01:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 12:03:19 PM EDT by Da_Bunny]
The death rate among soidiers in combat is often lower than the death rate for soldiers stationed in the US. It is much lower than the death rates in the afore mentioned trades....

Edited to mention that I am talking about AMERICAN soldiers. The death rates for their opponents tend to run somewhat higher.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:07:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cyanide:

It is as unforgiving of mistakes as the officer who misses a weapon on a search incidental to an arrest, or disregards procedure on a traffic stop and is shot to death. Are both jobs dangerous yes, is the Officers job more dangerous --- argumentive at best.


I might add, you bring up a very excellent point ---- most, (but not all) Law Enforcement deaths are mistakes or accidents. Vehicle accidents, missed weapons, disregarding procedure, I am sure you know what I mean.
View Quote


I hit quote just as your edit went in.

I'm not discounting the deaths of others. It's the meaning of "dangerous" and it's implications that I quibble over.

I think that a job where you die from hazards encountered in that job, such as chemical materials, machinery, the sea, are a bit different than dying because of the intentional acts of another person.

Not that either situation results in any person being any more or less dead.  

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:09:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:20:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:

i am just a very careful amatuer feller/logger. lumbering, every aspect of it, sure seems dangerous to me.
View Quote


47,000 people a year die in car crashes. Do you say to yourself every day before your commute, this is dangerous I could be killed?

We accept a certain amount of risk every day.

My point was not to diminish the risks, injuries, or deaths involved in some occupations, or activities.

But "dangerous" just seemed a little to widely defined. I do think that it's more "dangerous" to be subjected to a willful, intentional, attack by another human being, than the dangerousness of driving a car to work.

I know I'm splittin hairs a bit with what "dangerous" means, but I think there should be a recogniction that danger isn't all the same.  
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:29:45 PM EDT
I will give all LEO"s this. I can think of no more stressful job than law enforcement -- period. All the other jobs have stress, but in no way near that of the LEO.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 12:33:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
But "dangerous" just seemed a little to widely defined. I do think that it's more "dangerous" to be subjected to a willful, intentional, attack by another human being, than the dangerousness of driving a car to work.

I know I'm splittin hairs a bit with what "dangerous" means, but I think there should be a recogniction that danger isn't all the same.  
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Whether one decides to carry a badge and a gun, a chainsaw, or a crabpot, danger is danger and each one of those people made a conscious decision to accept the foreseeable risks that each occupation involves.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:10:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez:
Onto the other point, police officers have a higher homicide rate than most professions. While manyof those would have been preventable by better officer safety skills, about one third (and the number keeps rising) are attributed to "ambushes." Fishermen and loggers, while they do have dangerous jobs, don't get ambushed. As a side note, cops have a much higher traffic accident rate than the general public, though statistically they have a lower rate per miles driven. Cops generally drive alot more than the rest of the public, and traffic-related deaths for officers usually slightly exceed the number feloniously killed.
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And this changes the fact that one is still more likely to get killed while logging or crabbing than making the rounds as a cop and are thereby more dangerous because.....
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:21:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Well there you have it.. Cops are not even in the top ten, despite getting all the publicity.
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Because cops are not clumsey like loggers & fishermen, or drunk on the job like roofers. Now compile a list of the top ten jobs for felonious deaths; Soldier, Cop, taxi driver, Liquor store clerk...
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:23:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/26/2003 1:25:44 PM EDT by cyanide]
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By BillofRights:
Well there you have it.. Cops are not even in the top ten, despite getting all the publicity.
View Quote


Because cops are not clumsey like loggers & fishermen, or drunk on the job like roofers. Now compile a list of the top ten jobs for felonious deaths; Soldier, Cop, taxi driver, Liquor store clerk...
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You slit your own throat.
How many LEO deaths are crime related.
How many civilian deaths are crime related.
Civilians are at greater risk than LEO's.

I would rate the job of 7-11 clerk more dangerous than LEO.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:23:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
where is the public outcry?!?!?!

these loggers MUST go home safe at the end of their shifts!
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Then they shouldnt be so clumsey. The trees are not deliberately trying to kill them.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:28:07 PM EDT
Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.
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Link Posted: 12/26/2003 1:29:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 11:33:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By natez:
Originally Posted By Boomer:
And this changes the fact that one is still more likely to get killed while logging or crabbing than making the rounds as a cop and are thereby more dangerous because.....
View Quote


The trees and the fish aren't actively trying to kill you.
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So? A cop knowingly goes to work with the understanding that his job is to deal with human criminals. Just as the logger and crabber go to work knowing that things can go wrong and cost them their health or lives. I appreciate the jobs they all do and fail to see where one is any more deserving of sympathy or whatever than the another because they are all career paths chosen through a personal decision.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:00:59 AM EDT
While flying harbor patrol in the Police float plane, I noticed an overhanging tree had become snared in a crabpot floatline, which had attracted a school of sharks. After landing in the dense fog, I donned my scuba tanks and grabbed my pnematic, underwater chainsaw....
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:04:26 AM EDT
Im glad law enforcement isnt tops on the list.

Facing down evil and defeating it holds a lot more appeal.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:18:45 AM EDT
I think that many people are failing to understand, that when calling something "More Dangerous" than something else, it is meant to imply that one thing holds a greater likelyhood than the other of causing injury or death.  In other words, being a logger has proved More Dangerous, than being an LEO on the basis that Loggers have a far greater likely hood of being injured or killed at work.  Sure, it's scary doing both jobs, but I'd rather be a cop than a logger any day of the week.  If a tree falls on my, or my line breaks, I can't shoot back at it in defense.  At least cops have a fighting chance when the SHTF.  

Now, the TYPE of danger that one faces in those respective jobs is different, however, that has no bearing on the "danger level."
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:28:30 AM EDT
Yep, we are ALLOWED to have guns to protect ourselves.  Unlike other dangerous professions.
i.e. store clerk, delivery driver.  It is BS.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 12:44:10 AM EDT
Well 20 years as a machinist and I can still count to 10 on my fingers... ( no jokes please!) Which is more than I can say about the shop owner.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 1:23:58 AM EDT
What people don't think about in logging is that large branches break off and come down. Branches kill more loggers then the whole tree itself.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 3:09:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BillofRights:
America's most dangerous jobs

The top ten most dangerous jobs in America.
October 13, 2003: 10:52 AM EDT
Les Christie, CNN/Money Contributing Writer

... Other highly dangerous jobs, including construction trades, pay high wages. [red]Fourth on the fatality list, structural metal workers, the steel workers who build our skyscrapers and bridges, died at the rate of 58 per 100,000 in 2002, and earned an average of about $20 per hour.[/red]
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Shit, we slipped to number FOUR this year? J/K...things have gotten much better in the past ten years or so. Before you think we're complete maniacs though, remember this: we actually have LESS fatalities/injuries on major capital projects (like most here in NYC) and we get paid a "BIT" [:D] more than "$20/hr"....
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 3:45:34 AM EDT
In my job, I intentionally put myself in a situation that will guarantee my death UNLESS I do something to prevent it. I do that about a thousand times a year.
Dont know the deaths per 100,000 numbers but I bet its pretty low.
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