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5 of the most dangerous occupations in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Occupations of any type are dangerous to workers on nearly every shift. Some jobs, however, are more dangerous than others. Based on data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certain industries carry an inherent danger and the possibility of fatalities for American workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the most dangerous jobs, include:

  • Loggers: With a fatality rate of 111 per 100,000 workers, this is America’s number one most dangerous profession. Pennsylvania has 17 million acres of forest. Whether it is privately owned or state owned, the logging industry is robust. Unfortunately, falling branches or a felled tree can strike these workers. Additionally, heavy equipment can malfunction, leading to devastating injuries or death.
  • Derrick operators in oil, gas, and mining: With a fatal injury rate of 46 per 100,000 workers, this is the United States’ second-most dangerous profession. (While technically aircraft pilots and flight engineers have a slightly higher fatality rate at 53 per 100,000 workers, the majority of fatal crashes occur in privately owned planes and helicopters.)
  • Roofers: Nationwide, being a roofer carries a fatal injury rate of 41 per 100,000 workers. Even though these workers pay careful attention to weather and site conditions, working from a height is never an easy task. Whether slipping from the roof itself or falling from a ladder, roofers can suffer catastrophic injuries.
  • Garbage collectors: The most common cause of fatal injury for these workers is being hit by a garbage truck, resulting in a national fatality rate of 34 per 100,000 workers.
  • Ironworkers: Rounding out the top five most dangerous jobs in America are ironworkers, with a fatal injury rate of 29 per 100,000 workers. Because much of this work is conducted at great heights, falls, slips, and trips are the most common causes of these fatal injuries.

Whether an injury is the result of a single accident, exposure to toxic materials or repetitive stress, workers can struggle with devastating conditions following an on-the-job injury. These injuries can lead to chronic pain, loss of function and impaired mobility.


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