There were 4,836 casualties of work-related deaths reported in the U.S. in 2015, which averages more than 13 deaths every single day. The largest percentage of these are from what are considered blue collar jobs, and 21.4% of those were in construction alone. Not including highway collisions, the principal causes were falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between accidents. OSHA calls these the “Fatal Four”. Let’s look at five of the most dangerous jobs.
Electrical Line-Installation or Repair
The fatality rate among these workers is approximately 19.2 per 100,000. Lineman for utility companies has an extremely difficult job, not only with the physical demands of climbing poles, but the mental demands, as well. Their jobs are often called upon during adverse weather situations where they are trying to get their job done while in the midst of torrential rain and wind or freezing sleet, snow, and cold. This already difficult job must be done with clarity and safety while handling electricity. It’s no wonder their job is one of the most dangerous around.
The fatality rate here is approximately 24 per 100,000. Driving a truck for a living has remained one of the deadliest jobs for many years. Truck driver fatalities have increased 11.2 percent in the past five years. Unlike most jobs, truck drivers do not have control of their work situation (roads and highways), so the danger is always there. With an increase in overnight and rapid delivery of purchases online, there is also an increased need for goods to be delivered at a growing rate. Drivers feel pressured to get to their destinations quicker, but the volume on the road is not any lower, so this raises the chance of accidents.
The fatality rate for roofers is approximately 29.9 per 100,000. Roofers fall under the construction heading of blue collar workers. About 50 roofers fall to their fate every single year and roofers account for ¾ of all roof-fall deaths overall.
Fishers and Fishing Workers
The fatality rate in fishing is approximately 55 per 100,000. Though being struck by machinery is definitely one of those dangers, a somewhat preventable danger has the highest average – drowning without a life vest. Fishermen face weather, changing weather and host of other dangers on the job.
The fatality rate here is approximately 91-132 per 100,000. Lumberjacks have continually had the highest mortality rate of any blue-collar job. Work-related deaths are nearly 30 times greater than the average job.
One thing is for sure - a person needs to think long and hard about any of these blue-collar occupations before applying. They are all much needed in our society and done by some strong and hard-working individuals. And even understanding that safety concerns are consistently being addressed, deciding on one of these jobs is life-threatening and should be contemplated seriously.