When we travel to work each day we don’t give much thought to the dangers involved or what the real accident rate for the occupation might be. Granted, for many of us the risks are low but what about those occupations in which the risk of injury or even death is very real?
You may be surprised to learn that a lot of the most dangerous jobs are actually very common occupations, particularly in construction and production. The types of jobs that keep society moving and functioning, and that many of us take for granted.
Unsurprisingly, underwater welding is among the most deadly jobs of all with an astounding 30 deaths per 200 welders. The combined hazards of an often unpredictable underwater environment and the handling of dangerous, specialist equipment require highly trained experts and nerves of steel. Everyday risks include electric shock, explosions and nitrogen diffusion in the blood.
For fishermen and women, if it’s not the extremely cold temperatures; heavy, moving equipment or of course the water that puts them at risk, they are also more likely to be struck by lightning than anyone else. Always considered one of the most hazardous occupations, they come in third with 35 US fatalities in 2012.
41% of job related fatalities happen during a transportation incident. Although flight is considered to be one of the safest modes of transport, it has an average of 9 US fatalities out of 104,100 compared with truck drivers’ 741 US fatalities out of 3.5 million.
We’re constantly finding ways to make work life safer, no matter what the occupation. The number of workplace fatalities has consistently dropped in the last 10 years, with the number of US fatal work injuries dropping from 6,632 in 1994 to 4,628 in 2012. However, no matter how many dangers we eliminate or safety procedures we implement, there will always be some jobs that carry a great amount of risk.
So take a look at our infographic and next time you find yourself bored at work and yearning for something more exciting, think about the underwater welders of the world and think yourself lucky.