According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were 4,693 fatal injuries on the job in the U.S. in 2011, followed by 4,383 in 2012, and 4,405 in 2013. That’s an average of 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers in 2013, though fatal transportation incidents counted for two fatalities out of every five.
Though the number seems to be falling, there are still plenty of individual occupations where the job fatality rate is significantly higher than the national average.
Here are the top 10 deadliest jobs in America, according to last year’s BLS census:
10. Construction Workers: Though many people associate construction with high fatality rates, it’s actually got the lowest death-to-full-time worker ratio on the list. For every 100,000 full-time construction workers, there are 18 deaths on the job. Many fatalities in construction are caused by falls and equipment malfunctions.
9. Truck Drivers: Truck drivers are actually on par with construction workers, with 18 deaths for every 100,000 full time workers. Truck crashes account for many fatalities, especially since a majority of trucks lack active safety equipment.
8. Industrial Machine Workers: Industrial machine workers who frequently use heavy equipment run the risk of being burned, crushed or trapped while maintaining that equipment. There are 19 deaths for every 100,000 workers.
7. Garbage Collectors: It may not seem like a high risk occupation, but the big machines, heavy traffic and toxic materials associated with the job account for 25 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers.
6. Structural Steel Workers: Steel and iron workers have to work with heavy welding equipment at great heights. If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, that’s because it is. There are 30 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers.
5. Roofers: Clambering around on a roof at all times of the year is about as safe as it sounds. There are 35 fatalities per 100,000 full-time roofing workers.
4. Farmers: Life on a rustic country farm may seem idyllic, but long hours, heavy animals and dangerous equipment take their toll on the farmers of America. For every 100,000 full-time workers, there are 39 deaths.
3. Pilots/Flight Engineers: If you’re stressed out for an upcoming flight, consider how the person who’s flying you must feel going up in a plane every day. For every 100,000 workers who take to the skies as a pilot or flight engineer, there are 57 deaths.
2. Loggers: Extreme terrain combined with falling trees and sharp equipment make logging the runner-up for deadliest profession in the U.S., with 62 deaths per 100,000 full-time loggers.
1. Commercial Fishermen: That fish on your plate didn’t catch itself. Commercial fisherman brave extreme ocean weather and frigid temperatures while trying to haul in as many fish as possible. With 200 fatalities for every 100,000 fishermen and women, fishing is easily the deadliest job in the U.S.
Next time you see one of these professionals, be sure to thank them. They put their lives on the line every day to provide services and goods we all need.