Ideally, hardworking Pennsylvanians should not have to put their lives on the line every time they report to work. However, despite safety measures, there are some jobs that are just inherently dangerous. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2012, almost 4,400 workplace deaths occurred in the United States. Although the figure is down from the previous year’s 4,693 fatalities, one death is always too many. The BLS listed the professions that incurred the most number of injuries and deaths.
The BLS based its findings on the number of work related deaths linked to a profession that employed at least 100,000 full time workers. Based on preliminary data, logging workers were the most prone to deaths as 62 workers died in 2012 — giving it a fatality rate of 127.8 worker deaths per 100,000 workers. The difficult terrain, cutting equipment and falling trees were among the dangers of working as a logger. Fishing workers placed second with a 117 out of 100,000 workers fatality rate. The extreme weather, drowning and heavy equipment were the known dangers for fishermen and other fishing workers.
A distant third were pilots and flight engineers with a 53.4 worker deaths per 100,000 pilots. Besides airline pilots, helicopter operators were also included. Crashes, testing equipment and emergency responses were among the dangers of this profession. Roofers placed fourth with a fatality 40.5 deaths per 100,000 workers with the summer heat and heights being the reason for injuries and deaths in this profession.
Rounding out the top five were steel and structural workers with a fatality rate of 37 deaths per 100,000 workers. Tractor operation and firefighting, which seem like dangerous jobs, were actually found to be relatively safe.
Ninety-eight percent of the workers who died were men. This does not mean that men are most prone; it is just that many dangerous professions disproportionately lack female workers. Another statistic Pennsylvanians should be wary of is that 90 percent of the deaths occurred in the private sector.