World’s Most Dangerous Jobs!
In today’s developed world, jobs aren’t anywhere near as dangerous as they were back in the day. During the industrial revolution in the 17th and 18th centuries in the UK, there were all sorts of jobs that could lead to early death or life-threatening illness. Perhaps the worst job of all was the chimney sweep, an occupation suitable for the small body of a child. These children were often orphans, or sometimes poor kids nabbed from the streets. The workhouses weren’t any better, places where children were malnourished and worked almost constantly. Then in the 19th century, the working class Brits faced the harsh occupation of coal mining, something writer George Orwell investigated, resulting in his utter dismay of the working conditions he found.
Mining is a dangerous job, wherever you go. The last terrible mining accident in the US happened as recently as 2010 when 29 people lost their lives at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia due to an explosion. Though if we look at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as the UK’s Office for National Statistics regarding workplace mortality figures, mining is not even listed in the top ten of the most dangerous jobs.
As motor companies such as Tesla, Ford, and General Motors promise us that their self-driving tech is almost ready to take to the roads, we are told this will lead to fewer accidents occurring while driving. Drivers, whether they are truck drivers, taxi drivers or motorcycle couriers, have one of the most dangerous occupations. This is probably a far safer occupation in the UK and US than in some developing nations. The average death toll from traffic accidents around the world is 17.4 people per 100,000. In the US it’s 10.6 and in the UK just 2.9. The worst countries are the Dominican Republic at 41.7 and Thailand at 38.1. The last available statistics tell us that in the USA, 880 truck drivers died in a year in accidents, and those that lasted the year earned an average of $38,030.
The UK saw 41 deaths of truck drivers. They earn slightly less at an average of $31,151. The US also has taxi driving high on its list. When the study was taken it found that 68 people died in one year while behind the wheel of a taxi or a hired private car.
It’s said to be the second most dangerous job in the USA, even though only 22 people died the year the statistics were taken. Not so many people work in the industry, though, so the death per capita at 80.8 per 100,000 is very high. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world, and when equipment malfunctions or bad weather sets in, these workers may have a perilous journey through the seas. The UK doesn’t have fishing on the list, but in just 6 months in 2016, the industry had a slew of incidents that resulted in the loss of 9 workers. After that bad period, research was undertaken to see how dangerous the job was. It was revealed that 55 percent of British fishers had suffered injuries on the job, including amputations and fractures. The average wage for a UK fisher is anywhere from 13,000 – 26,000 dollars a year. In the US the average yearly wage is $29,970.
Farming in the UK resulted in 167 deaths in 2016. This was mainly due to heavy industrial machinery, although in 2017 the UK media reported a case in which a farmer died after his pet pig bit off his penis and three fingers. According to the media, the man had started the fight. This is one tough job, and one in which the average worker in the UK will receive about 29,524 dollars a year. Farming is also on the US’s most dangerous list, with 26.7 per 100,000 workers dying on the job and 270 workers dying in one year. American farmers earn much more though on average, with a yearly wage of 69,880 dollars, but we think the UK figure is probably for farm laborers only. To give you an idea of the danger, in 2016, an American farmer was killed by what was called a deadly dome of manure. When he broke the hard outer shell of the mound of excrement, a deadly fog of methane and sulfur dioxide killed him and 16 of his cows.
In the USA, it was reported that 19.2 per 100,000 workers died in one year, or 25 in total. Again, heavy machinery is to blame, but also falls or being electrocuted. For such a small country, 101 construction deaths in the UK might come as a bit of a surprise. The average wage for a construction laborer in the UK is about 24,091 dollars a year. In the US, it’s about 31,090 dollars. Part of construction is roofing, and that in itself is a dangerous job. It accounts for about 47.4 per 100,000 deaths of workers in the USA. That was 83 deaths in one year. Falls are obviously to blame here, but many workers break bones when they don’t lose their life. In the UK, it’s also up there on the most dangerous jobs list with 69 deaths in one year, but that study also included people working on scaffolds.
The UK also has electrical, plumbing, and other installation down as a dangerous job, one that resulted in 26 deaths in one year. The US did not have this on its list but did have electrical power line installers and repairers, jobs that resulted in 25 losses of life in one year.
That job is garbage collection, or in the UK waste collection or less formally “bin man”. In the US this difficult and sometimes malodourous occupation was the cause of 35.8 people dying per 100,000 workers in one year. That was 27 deaths in total. Doing the same job on the streets of the UK resulted in 20 deaths in one year. How much do they get on average for this difficult job? In the US, 36,370 dollars a year on average, and in the UK 23,440 dollars a year on average. You might ask how do they die? In a story published in the Atlantic called “The Dangerous Life of a Trash Collector,” the interviewee explains that if you are complacent in this job, “you’re basically looking for death”. He said the machinery itself can be dangerous, as is some of the waste they collect. You are also driving all day, and we already know how dangerous that is.
Nonetheless, research also said a British cop was assaulted every 13 seconds, sometimes with a deadly weapon. US cops carry deadly weapons and so are assaulted less, but in 2016, 135 police officers died in the line of duty. 64 officers were shot and killed, 53 died in car accidents, and the rest died from a job-related illness. Soldier deaths in both countries are much lower, but we all know it can be a very dangerous job.