Going by sheer number of on-the-job deaths, truck drivers and sales drivers was by far the most dangerous jobs, accounting for nearly 1,000 (987) deaths in 2017. However, there are also a lot more truck drivers than some of the other occupations, and the data breaks it down to identify the overall danger factor of a job. The fatal work injury rate is calculated per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. As a result, there are other occupations on the list with a higher percentage of its workers suffering fatal injuries than drivers (which ended up farther down the list, though certainly still in the Top 10).
The biggest difference between last year’s ranking and this year’s is there’s a new occupation at the top of the list, displacing logging workers (which is still very high on the list). Also, supervisors of construction workers (which ranked at #9 last year), fell off the list completely, to be supplanted by electrical powerline installers and repairers.
The good news is that the total number of fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2017 was down slightly from 2016: 5,147 vs 5,190. That’s less than even a 1% drop (0.82%, to be exact), but it does represent an improvement, and given the increase number of people working in 2017 vs. 2016, perhaps the improvement is a bit more significant that it seems. Still, there’s no doubt that a lot of work still needs to be done to make our jobs and industries safer.
Ranking Job Description Fatal Work Injury Rate
10 Electrical Power-Line Installers & Repairers 18.7
9 Grounds Maintenance Workers 21.0
8 Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers 24.0
7 Truck Drivers and Other Drivers 26.8
6 Structural Iron and Steel Workers 33.4
5 Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors 35.0
4 Roofers 45.2
3 Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers 48.6
2 Logging Workers 84.3
1 Fishers and Related Fishing Workers 99.8
Although Truck Drivers and Other Drivers had a fatal work injury rate of 26.8 the total number of fatalities was 987. The fatal work injury rate is calculated per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. As a result, there are other occupations on the list with a higher percentage of its workers suffering fatal injuries than drivers.
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