The 34 deadliest jobs in America

logger cutting tree
Logging workers had the second-highest rate of fatal injuries among occupations in America.

  • Some jobs are more dangerous than others.
  • Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found the jobs that had the highest rates of fatal injuries in 2019.
  • Here are the 34 deadliest jobs in America, along with their 2019 fatality rates per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
34. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

pipefitter

What they do: Lay out, install, or maintain pipes, plumbing, and sewer systems.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.1

33. Industrial machinery installation, repair, and maintenance workers

fixing production line industrial machine

What they do: Repair, maintain, or install machinery.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.4

32. Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers

seahawks tackle

What they do: Compete in athletic events, instruct or coach groups or individuals in the fundamentals of sports, or officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.5

29 (tie). Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers

air conditioner installation

What they do: Install or repair heating, central air conditioning, or refrigeration systems.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.8

29 (tie). Automotive service technicians and mechanics

car mechanic auto

What they do: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.8

29 (tie). Security guards and gaming surveillance officers

security guard

What they do: Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 6.8

28. Industrial truck and tractor operators

forklift old used cars
An employee uses a forklift to transport an old AvtoVAZ Lada car at Vtormet scrappage plant outside Moscow, January 30, 2013.

What they do: Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.0

27. Electricians

electrician

What they do: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.2

26. Painters, construction and maintenance

amazon tower painter

What they do: Paint walls, equipment, buildings, bridges, and other structural surfaces.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.5

25. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

trucks waiting for repair

What they do: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul buses and trucks, or maintain and repair any type of diesel engines.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.7

24. Telecommunications line installers and repairers

Men working on power lines

What they do: Install and repair telecommunications cable.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.8

23. Carpenters

carpenter woodshop building

What they do: Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 7.9

22. Shuttle drivers, chauffeurs, and taxi drivers

taxi driver tip

What they do: Drive automobiles, vans, or limousines to transport passengers.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 8.0

21. Welding, soldering, and brazing workers

Welding instructor Darlene Thompson, 45, poses for a portrait at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles, California, United States, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
The Wider Image: Women workers on the Clinton campaign

What they do: Use hand-welding, flame-cutting, hand soldering, or brazing equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 8.1

20. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers

police

What they do: Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, State, or Federal laws and ordinances.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 11.1

19. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and grounds keeping workers

Landscaping lawn mower summer yard flowers

What they do: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in landscaping or grounds keeping activities.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 12.6

18. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

construction seattle
: Workers construct a building that will house the future headquarters of Weyerhaeuser on November 9, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.

What they do: Operate one or several types of power construction equipment.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 12.8

17. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

electrical power line worker repair

What they do: Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. 

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 13.3

16. General maintenance and repair workers

maintenance repair

What they do: Perform work involving the skills of two or more maintenance or craft occupations to keep machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of an establishment in repair. 

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 13.4

15. Other extraction workers

Oil workers using chain to position drill on drilling platform

What they do: This occupation title includes workers who extract resources but that don’t have their own occupation title.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 14.3

14. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

factory mechanic industrial

What they do: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of mechanics, installers, and repairers.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 14.6

13. Construction laborers

construction housing
Construction workers build homes on a lot in Vaughan, a suburb with an active real estate market, in Toronto, Canada, May 24, 2017.

What they do: Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 15.0

12. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

construction workers

What they do: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 18.7

10 (tie). Miscellaneous agricultural workers

american farming
Workers weed a cantaloupe field on April 23, 2015 in Firebaugh, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, farmers in the Central Valley are struggling to keep their crops watered and many have opted to leave acres of the fields fallow.

What they do: Work on farms or other agricultural businesses.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 19.8

10 (tie). Grounds maintenance workers

Lawn mowers
Greenskeepers mow the 13th green during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf championship on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York, June 15, 2009.

What they do: Maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 19.8

9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

soybean farmer
Farmer John Duffy and Roger Murphy load soybeans from a grain bin onto a truck

What they do: Plan, direct, or coordinate the management or operation of farms or other agricultural establishments.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 23.2

8. Structural iron and steel workers

structural steel worker

What they do: Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 26.3

7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

truck driver

What they do: Drive truck or other vehicle over established routes or within an established territory and sell or deliver goods.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 26.8

6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

garbage collector tip

What they do: Collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 35.2

5. Construction trade helpers

construction worker miami
onstruction workers build the $1.05 billion Brickell CityCentre condo/retail mix use complex on July 7, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Condo projects are booming in the South Florida area as foreign investors pour money into the new residences being built.

What they do: Assist construction laborers on construction sites.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 40.0

4. Roofers

Roofers work on new homes at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas, Nevada April 5, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Marcus
Roofers work on new homes at a residential construction site in the west side of the Las Vegas Valley in Las Vegas

What they do: Cover roofs of structures with shingles, slate, asphalt, aluminum, wood, or related materials.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 54.0

3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

pilot

What they do: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 61.8

2. Logging workers

logger cutting tree

What they do: Use mechanized equipment or hand tools to cut down trees.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 68.9

1. Fishing and hunting workers

fishing

What they do: Use nets, fishing rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish or other aquatic animals.

Fatal injury rate (per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers): 145.0

How we ranked the above occupations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics documented how many people died on the job in 2019 for the equivalent of every 100,000 people who held that job.

To find the most dangerous jobs in America, we identified the jobs from the Bureau’s list with the highest fatal injury rate. Each of these jobs has a fatal injury rate above the national average for all workers of 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Overall, the greatest number of fatal work injuries resulted from transportation incidents, with 2,122 cases in 2019. Falls, slips, and trips; violence or other injuries by persons or animals; and contact with objects and equipment were other leading causes of workplace deaths.

The above are the 34 deadliest jobs in America, ranked by their 2019 fatality rates per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. We also included a description of what workers in these jobs do from the Department of Labor’s O*NET careers database or the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Amazon ‘wellness’ guide tells workers to buy shoes at the end of their shift to better fit their swollen feet

A worker packs a customer order at the 750,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Romeoville, Illinois.
A worker packs a customer order at the 750,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center in Romeoville, Illinois.

  • An Amazon “wellness” guide told workers to train like “industrial athletes” to perform better, Vice reported.
  • The guide gave tips like buying shoes at the end of workers’ shifts to better fit their swollen feet.
  • An ex-employee leaked the guide to Vice and he claimed Amazon told him to keep working after an injury.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Amazon distributed a “health and wellness guide” to workers at a warehouse in Tulsa, Oklahoma, instructing them to train like “industrial athletes” in order to improve their performance on the job, Vice News reported Tuesday.

The guide, according to Vice, tells workers to “prepare their bodies” for walking “up to 13 miles a day” and lifting “a total of 20,000 pounds” during a single shift (more than 30 pounds every minute for a 10-hour shift).

The guide, Vice reported, discusses topics including nutrition, hydration, sleep, footwear, ergonomics, and injury prevention, with suggestions such as: eat five to nine servings of veggies per day, “monitor your urine color,” and buy shoes “at the end of the day when your feet are swollen to allow for plenty of room when they swell during work.”

Amazon also said in the guide, according to Vice, that workers could seek help from “injury prevention specialists” for “body discomforts that you may have as an industrial athlete.”

Amazon told Insider the guide was created “in error” and that it has “removed” the guide. It’s unclear if the guide was distributed at additional warehouses beyond the one in Tulsa.

Amazon did not respond to Insider’s follow-up questions about who was responsible for creating the guide, why no one noticed what the company claimed was a mistakenly created guide before it was distributed to workers, or when it was removed (Vice reported that the guides dated back to 2020).

Vice reported that it obtained the guide from former Amazon employee Bobby Gosvenor, who claimed the company told him to keep working even after he suffered a herniated disc – an injury he sustained due to a broken conveyer belt the company hadn’t yet fixed – and that Amazon delayed him from getting treatment for two months by forcing him to seek diagnoses from multiple doctors.

Amazon did not respond to questions about Gosvenor’s injury.

Vice’s report about Amazon’s “wellness” guide, which told workers how they should take care of themselves, comes the same day as an analysis from The Washington Post that found that Amazon is doing a significantly worse job taking care of its workers as competitors.

In 2020, about 5.9 out of every 100 Amazon employees were injured on the job, compared to 2.5 at Walmart, according to The Post’s analysis. That echoes previous reporting from Reveal and other news outlets showing that Amazon has long had higher workplace injury rates than what’s typical for its industry, and has deceived the public and regulators about those rates by underreporting injuries, delaying workers from seeking medical treatment, and assigning employees to “light duty” work in an effort to downplay the hours of labor lost due to serious injuries.

In response to The Post’s story, Amazon told Insider that the company is investing more in workplace safety and taking a number of steps to reduce injuries. One of those programs is its WorkingWell program, which includes phonebooth-sized enclosed boxes where employees can practice mindfulness.

In Jeff Bezos’ final shareholder letter as CEO, he also detailed Amazon’s plans to use algorithms to rotate workers between jobs in an effort to use all of their muscle groups rather than overloading one muscle group.

But none of Amazon’s wellness programs had previously appeared to address what some experts say is the root of its injury rates: demanding and inflexible productivity quotas, which require workers to complete a large number of tasks per shift and penalize them for “time off task.”

Amazon employees have repeatedly told Insider and other media outlets that restrictive time-off-task allocations and the fear of retaliation force them to skip bathroom breaks and pee in bottles and contribute to grueling working conditions.

On Tuesday, Amazon published a blog post saying that it would measure each worker’s time off task over a longer period of time in an effort to focus more on resolving “operational issues” relative to identifying “under-performing employees.”

However, Amazon did not commit to easing up on its productivity quotas or allowing workers more time off task.

Aiha Nguyen, a researcher at the think tank Data & Society, who studies how Amazon and other employers use technology to extract more productivity out of workers, said in a recent report that the rise of workplace surveillance – along with weakened labor law – contributes to “work speedups, overwork, and injury.”

“Amazon has been leading the pack toward technologically driven speedups,” Nguyen said, citing its time-off-task policy and a game called “Mission Racer” that Amazon created to make workers compete with each other to fulfill customer orders.

“Making work into a race contrasts with other standard and accepted principles of engineering that set rates based on the ability of an average worker or the overall workforce, not an algorithm,” Nguyen said. “As a consequence, the injury rate for warehouse workers is increasing.”

In response to The Post’s report, labor groups affiliated with Amazon workers called for the company to end its time-off-task policies.

“The stunning analysis released today is proof that Amazon’s impossible productivity requirements are unsustainable and must be brought to a swift end. Amazon’s grueling and strenuous pace of work puts workers in increased danger of serious injuries, and appallingly has been used to punish any workers who push back,” Debbie Berkowitz, director of the worker safety and health program at the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement.

“Amazon workers don’t need meditation booths. They need Amazon to end rate and Time Off Task requirements and redesign the physical layout of the jobs to provide workers with a safe workplace. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck,” she added.

Read the original article on Business Insider