The average American understands what it means to put in a hard day’s work. However, not all lines of work present the same levels of risks. Some Alabama workers face considerable safety hazards upon each shift, and others even put their lives on the line when clocking in. What are some of the nation’s most dangerous industries, and are they getting safer?
Because of its inherent risks, Forbes names fishing as the most hazardous job in the nation. Volatile weather conditions and heavy equipment naturally make this field of work a risky one. Aircraft pilots and loggers also face considerable safety hazards on the job. Aside from the obvious risk of crashing, those in any airline field face threats when testing equipment and when carrying out emergency responses. Much like the fishing industry, loggers work with bulky equipment and nature’s unforgiving elements. A line of work that largely goes unrecognized involves recyclable materials collecting: Forbes explains that these workers face dangers such as heavy traffic and harmful materials on a daily basis.
The riskier jobs may be evident, but how dangerous are they? TIME looks at America’s difficult occupations through a safety lens, gauging each by the number of fatalities. Logging workers saw the most deaths in 2016, with 135.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 employees. The roofing industry also saw a considerable number of fatal injuries that year, with 48.6 lives claimed. One perhaps lesser-known dangerous field involves not the equipment required for the job, but the customers. According to TIME, taxi drivers often face safety threats from passengers. The jobs themselves may be inherently risky, but as a whole, America has seen a gradual decline in its number of workplace accidents.