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These Are the 20 Deadliest Jobs In America

Nearly twice as many engineers as nurses died of fatal injuries while working in 2014, a new federal report found. The culprits in the 21 engineer and 12 nurse deaths included falls, car accidents, and exposure to deadly chemicals.

But those fatalities didn’t place either occupation on the list of the most dangerous jobs in America, because the fatalities were relatively rare compared to the total number of workers: Engineers, for example, lost 1.2 lives for every 100,000 workers.

Compare that to 111 deaths for every 100,000 loggers, who had the most dangerous civilian job in the U.S. in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recently updated Census of Fatal Occupation Injuries. Common dangers include falling branches and rough terrain.

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That’s no surprise to Janet Webb, chief forester and president of Big Creek Lumber in central California, who said lumber workers face the additional challenge of being based in rural areas with limited access to hospitals.

“Whether it’s logging, fishing, or agriculture jobs, when you’re working in wilderness type settings you’re not right there next to [a] facility that can bail you out,” Webb said.

Explore the 25 most dangerous jobs in the table below.

Most Dangerous Jobs of 2014:
1 Logging workers 110.9 78
2 Fishers and related fishing workers 80.8 22
3 Aircraft pilots and flight engineers 64 82
4 Roofers 47.4 83
5 Refuse and recyclable material collectors 35.8 27
6 Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers 26.7 270
7 Structural iron and steel workers 25.2 15
8 Driver/sales workers and truck drivers 24.7 880
9 Electrical power-line installers and repairers 19.2 25
10 Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 18 68
11 First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers 17.9 130
12 Construction laborers 16.9 208
13 First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers 16.4 33
14 Maintenance and repairs workers, general 14.4 68
15 Police and sheriff’s patrol officers 13.5 97
16 Grounds maintenance workers 13.1 158
17 First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers 12.3 38
18 Painters, construction and maintenance 10.8 46
19 Electricians 10.4 79
20 Telecommunications line installers and repairers 10 19

The list corroborates Webb’s observation—after loggers, the second deadliest job belongs to fishers and other fishing workers, with 80 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in 2014. That’s far higher than the average for all civilians of 3.4 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers; that average is up slightly from 3.3 in 2013.

The five most dangerous occupations remained unchanged from their 2013 ranking, while jobs involving construction, driving and repairs shifted slightly. Police officers became the 15th most dangerous job, up from 17th in 2013. But 2014’s 97 police deaths still remains below the 130 fatalities seen in 2011.

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While the table ranks occupations by fatality rates, the total number of deaths for loggers is dwarfed by the number of fatalities for larger occupations, like truck drivers and farmers, which saw 880 and 270 deaths respectively.

In all, there were a total of 4,821 fatal work injuries in the U.S. in 2014, slightly higher than the preliminary figure of 4,679 reported last September. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish the 2015 census of fatal work injuries in December 2016.



Fatal injury rates exclude workers under the age of 16 years, volunteers, and resident military. Read more about the fatal work injury rate methodology here.

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