It doesn’t take much effort to think of a dangerous job. You don’t even have to imagine a skydive instructor. In fact, it’s much less likely to die skydiving (1 fatality in every 167,000 jumps) than in other, more common, professions.
The latest BLS report on fatal occupational injuries includes a total of all deaths brought on by accidents at work that happened in the United States throughout the year 2021. Fatality rates are expressed per 100,000 equivalent full-time employees. And the results may be surprising — at least for those whose jobs are on the other side of the spectrum.
How dangerous can logging be? 82.2 dangerous
Logging workers’ death rate in 2021 (82.2 per 100,000 workers) is the highest among selected occupations. Felling trees using a chainsaw is no walk in the park.
Not only are loggers exposed to falling objects but their work with heavy machinery can often become fatal.
For instance, NIOSH described six incidents that led to the deaths of six logging workers. And according to OSHA, each fatality could have been avoided if proper safety precautions had been taken, appropriate tools used, and regulations followed.
In 2020, loggers’ fatality rate (91.7) was significantly lower than that of fishermen and hunters (132.1) who now dropped to second place.
However, this is not all bad news as the death rates of both professions went significantly down in 2021. And today, fishing and hunting professionals have a fatality rate lower by 57 deaths per 100,000 employees.
On the other hand, occupations such as roofers, pilots, steel workers, or drivers experienced higher rates of people killed on the job than a year ago.
When we look closer at fatal work injuries by major event, we find out that the number of deaths among truck drivers has increased by 16.3 percent since 2020. This was the main cause of the rise in worker deaths in the transportation and material handling industries.
Most fatalities occurred to men in their 50s
Certain demographic characteristics, such as gender and age, can also provide us with a clearer insight into these grim statistics. In 2021, there were 10 times more male than female victims of on-the-job fatal accidents. And most fatalities (1,140) occurred to those of age 55-64.
To learn more about industries with the highest injury and illness rates in the workplace, check out these useful stats.