A recent report detailed the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. for 2016. The list contains both expected jobs and a few that you might not expect. The list was compiled from statistics gathered from a variety of federal sources, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
One common attribute of many of the dangerous occupations is their connection to motor vehicles. We often think law enforcement is a dangerous profession because of its role in capturing criminals and the use of guns.
Equally dangerous to most officers is the use of motor vehicles. Their jobs often involve long hours driving a wide range of highways throughout the state in all weather conditions and at all hours of the day and night.
This provides tremendous exposure to the negligence of other drivers, which is also why truck drivers, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters are also at great risk. For EMTs and firefighters, in addition to driving to and from incidents, their job often requires that they work close to highways at crash scenes, with traffic often passing within feet of their location.
Construction work, unsurprisingly, headed the list, as the dangerous combination of large equipment, constantly changing worksites and a variety of tasks being carried out, frequently by different trades means there are great risks present to all workers. Construction workers suffer the highest rate of injury and death on the job.
One occupation that may be a surprise is that of a nursing assistant. The constant exposure to individuals who are ill may be a factor, as is the physical demands of moving patients throughout facilities is a frequent cause of back injuries.
Recognizing the risks posed by your occupation can help you avoid them or work with your employer to develop and implement safe work practices, to minimize your risk and prevent injuries and fatalities.