For the majority of us, paper cuts, caffeine jitters and the occasional post-lunch stomach trauma comprise the extent of our work-related hazards—none particularly serious and certainly not life-threatening. But every day some Americans go to work and literally risk their lives for a paycheck.


Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupation Injuries indicates that nearly 4,610 fatalities occurred as the result of work-related injuries in 2011. While that figure is down from the reported 4,690 in 2010, it's still uncomfortably high. The national fatality average for the U.S. workforce in 2011 was around 3.5 per 100,000 full-time employees.

Fishermen have the most dangerous job in America, with a death rate of 121.2 per 100,000 full-timers; followed by logging workers, who reported 64 work-related deaths in 2011; and airline pilots, with 72 fatalities last year.

Overall, 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries occurred as the result of transportation accidents. Violence claimed the lives of 780 workers, and slips and falls killed 666 in 2011.

Those interested in working in some of the safest environments might want to consider full-time employment as a file clerk, insurance sales agent or a customer-service representative.

The Top 10 Deadliest Jobs

  1. Fishing workers
  2. Loggers
  3. Pilots
  4. Trash collectors
  5. Roofers
  6. Steel workers
  7. Farmers
  8. Truck drivers
  9. Power-line installers
  10. Taxi drivers

[Today]