25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Which jobs and occupations are the most dangerous? The answer might surprise you.

Posted: 10/10/2019

There were 5,147 accidental deaths in the American workplace in 2017 according to data presented from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number makes up the highest in the past decade though slightly down from the previous year. This data displays that certain occupations carry a much higher risk than others.

Transportation accidents were overwhelmingly the leading cause of death. With the size of the state, this puts Montana at a much higher risk. Falls, slips, and trips were the second leading cause of death, responsible for 887 fatal work injuries that year.

But which jobs are the most dangerous?

Using this data presented from the BLS, the following is a look at the occupations with the most fatalities per 100K workers in 2017.

25. Electricians
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.4 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 74 fatal injuries, 4,890 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
24. Firefighters
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 34 fatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
23. Painters, construction and maintenance
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 8.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 44 fatal injuries, 4,200 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
22. Athletes, coaches, umpires and related workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 9.5 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 24 fatal injuries, 3,170 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
21. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 10.5 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 62 fatal injuries, 2,640 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
20. Mining machine operators
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 11.7 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 7 fatal injuries, 370 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Contact with objects and equipment
19. Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 11.8 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 45 fatal injuries, 2,230 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
18. Police and sheriff's patrol officers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 12.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 95 fatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Violence and other injuries by persons or animals
17. First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers and repairers
  • Fatal injuries in + 2017: 13.1 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 35 fatal injuries, 3,540 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
16. Construction laborers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 14.3 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 259 fatal injuries, 21,760 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
15. Grounds maintenance workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 15.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 191 fatal injuries, 13,310 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
14. Maintenance and repair workers, general
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 16.6 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 87 fatal injuries, 23,200 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
13. Helpers, construction trades
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.3 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 11 fatal injuries, 2,660 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
12. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.4 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 121 fatal injuries, 5,320 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
11. Miscellaneous agricultural workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 17.7 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 154 fatal injuries, 13,500 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 18.6 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 26 fatal injuries, 1,710 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Exposure to harmful substances or environments
9. First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and groundskeeping workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 21.0 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 53 fatal injuries, 1,040 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Contact with objects and equipment
8. Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 24.0 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 258 fatal injuries, 180 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
7. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 26.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 987 fatal injuries, 77,470 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
6. Structural iron and steel workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 33.3 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 14 fatal injuries, 1,280 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 34.9 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 30 fatal injuries, 1,340 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
4. Roofers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 45.2 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 91 fatal injuries, 2,810 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Falls, slips, trips
3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 51.3 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 59 fatal injuries, 630 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents
2. Logging workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 87.3 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 55 fatal injuries, 350 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Contact with objects and equipment
1. Commercial Fishers and related fishing workers
  • Fatal injuries in 2017: 100.0 per 100,000 workers
  • Total: 41 fatal injuries, 120 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common fatal accidents: Transportation incidents

At Odegaard Kovacich Snipes, we have decades of experience helping clients who have been involved in workplace accidents that were caused by their employers negligence. Contact us or fill out a No-Risk Case Evaluation Form.


Injury rates were calculated as the number of fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, where a full-time worker is equivalent to 2,000 hours worked by an employee during the calendar year, and are for 2017. Data on median annual wages and total employment came from the Occupational Employment Statistics program of the BLS and are as of May 2017. Data on nonfatal injuries are for the private sector only, and came from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program of the BLS for 2017.
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