Most people don’t go to work every day worried about death or serious injury. However, the job market is harsher than we may believe, and there are some jobs with incredibly high-risk thresholds. The way that these dangerous jobs are compiled is by taking a look at government data, which compiles the rates of mortality and injuries that happen on the clock of certain jobs. Not only are there jobs that are physically dangerous or demanding, but there are also risks associated with neglect and unnecessarily hazardous working conditions. Many of the jobs on this list are jobs that are done outdoors or require a strong physical effort. This is one of the main reasons why they are so dangerous- they put the body in harm’s way more than any other jobs in the world. Another unfortunate truth is that these jobs don’t usually come with the highest paycheck. There is very little compensation for the kind of risk that the people in these jobs are exposing themselves to.
For many job-related dangerous, governments around the world set up standards of health, safety, and occupational hazards. These standards and governing bodies help to regulate the number of deaths and injuries happening in the workplace. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is responsible for this mitigation of risk. This organization was set up in 1970 and helped to drastically reduce the number of workplace fatalities and injuries happening in the country. However, some jobs are still naturally and unavoidably more dangerous than others.
The police officer may be the first job that you think of when considering dangerous employment options. It’s true that this career path is one of the most dangerous in the world. However, it depends very much on what country you’re a police officer in and what type of officer you are. Evidently, police officer deal with weapons and their job involves coming face to face with criminals. This is dangerous in and of itself. But, there are many unexpected jobs that are even more dangerous than being a police officer.
In America, 2013 statistics indicated that about 11.1 of 100,000 police officers died from a job-related injury. It’s important to note that most of these deaths were not murders, shootings, or dramatic events like one may imagine. Although these tragic things do happen, many police officer die in accidents. Less than half of police officer deaths are actually homicides.
Although being a police officer may not be as dangerous as one thinks in terms of life and death, it is quite taxing on physical and mental health. This job forces quite a bit of contact with difficult people and quite a bit of demanding physical activity. Not to mention, being a police officer in the middle of a political riot, economic crisis, or in an unstable crisis is much more dangerous than in a first-world country that is relatively stable. Being a police officer in America is quite safe, but police officers in other countries deal with quite a bit more danger, which is why the profession is found on this list.
Most people don’t think about astronauts when considering dangerous career options. However, it’s actually one of the jobs with the highest fatality rates. The mortality rate of this job hits about 7%, which is higher than most other jobs. This translates to about 1 in 25 astronauts dying on the job, whether in space or while training for spaceflight. It’s more dangerous than climbing Mount Everest! But, it’s important to consider why it’s so high. First of all, there really aren’t that many astronauts out there. Compared to other jobs, there are relatively few astronauts who actually get to go up to space. Plus, space exploration is relatively new. Although it may seem like we have it all figured out, humans haven’t made it to space that long ago. We are still learning how to get there, solve problems, and not lose any astronauts in the process.
Another danger of being an astronaut is called spaceflight radiation carcinogenesis. Astronauts who go to the International Space Station are exposed to extremely high levels of radiation, higher than anyone is exposed to here on Earth. Unfortunately, this exposure can cause a number of health issues including cancer.
There are so many things that can go wrong during a space mission, and space is quite unforgiving. If a spacecraft fails, astronauts have no backup plan and no other options of where to go. If astronauts run out of oxygen, if the spacecraft is hit with space junk, if a tiny problem occurs in navigation, they could be paying with their lives.
Bodyguards work in dangerous situations and the whole point of their job is to protect a given person or group from those situations. As such, it’s common for bodyguards to have to put themselves in harm’s way. This has resulted in bodyguards having one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. It’s essential for bodyguards to be able to react to situations quickly and respond to potential emergencies, all the while keeping the best interest of their client at heart. It’s no easy feat, and it’s definitely a stressful job.
Being a bodyguard comes with a fatality rate of about 7.4 per 100,000. There is also a high level of injuries in this line of work. Bodyguards are hired for a reason; they aren’t protecting people who don’t need to be protected. Bodyguards aren’t always killed by homicide- often their injuries and deaths are as a result of accidents or situations that get out of hand. They may get stuck in riots, violent protests, or even be in the middle of an assassination attempt. Overall, the risk level is quite high.
However, this is why bodyguards need to be highly trained and ready for anything to happen. Most bodyguards work as security guards or regular law enforcement officers before getting their positions as bodyguards. With this kind of experience and background, bodyguards can be prepared for potential attacks, and they can also be skilled at diffusing situations before they are allowed to spiral out of control and become a risk.
Slaughterhouses are fast-paced, deal with a lot of heavy-duty machinery, and have the potential for disease and other health issues to spread quickly. This job may not sound dangerous, but it is one of the deadliest and risky professions in the world. People who work in slaughterhouses have to handle the killing, cleanup, processing, and often packaging of animals. This can range from cows and pigs to chickens and ducks. No matter what animals are involved, the job is full of risk and danger.
Some United States statistics about slaughterhouse workers are quite shocking- including around two amputations every week happening to workers. Some of the other common injuries include serious burns, fractures, and head trauma. Compared to the average American worker, slaughterhouse workers are three times more likely to be serious injuries.
Slaughterhouse workers have to work at extremely high speeds with sharp, heavy, and dangerous equipment. There is very little margin for error, and slaughterhouse workers can pay high prices just for making small mistakes on the job. Another big problem for slaughterhouse workers is a chronic illness like carpal tunnel. Since they are forced to make repetitive motions very quickly, slaughterhouse workers often suffer from arm and hand pain. Not only that, but these motions can lead to serious muscle or skeletal problems in the future, especially after years of doing the same job.
Luckily, many workers are fighting back against this extreme danger and risk. Efforts to lower the line speed for slaughterhouse workers and provide further training in order to avoid serious injuries and deaths.
Being a part of a rescue team or a search team is also part of the most dangerous jobs in the world for obvious reasons. When people need to be found or rescued, it’s for a reason. They are usually stuck in dangerous terrain or risky environments. The brave people who willingly head to rescue people are often at a high risk of getting injured or killed themselves. People who work on rescue teams or as emergency responders are often willingly exposing themselves to risky situations and dangerous environments. These environments alone pose a huge risk to workers who are usually entering in order to help someone or remove someone from the situation. The job involves risking their own lives in order to save other people.
Other risks from being a rescue worker include PTSD and other mental strife from being in high-stress situations. Sometimes, rescue workers can’t save everyone or have to see people in pain or even passing away. This takes a toll on their psyche and can definitely have long-lasting effects. Rescue workers have to make an effort to keep their mental health and physical health equally prepared to face the everyday struggles of their job.
Not to mention, it’s essential that rescue workers are well-versed in reacting to danger and being able to make quick decisions. The wrong decision in a dangerous situation could be the difference between life and death. Since rescue workers are usually around and in charge during chaotic and extreme moments, this is a non-negotiable part of the job.
5Land Mine Remover
Wars and conflict often leave something awful behind- land mines. These land mines are usually buried in old war or battle sites, which can be massive expanses of land. That’s why land mine removers are in high demand to get rid of these explosive and extremely dangerous devices. However, it’s clear that working with explosives on a daily basis results in some serious risk for land mine removers themselves.
Countries all over the world have leftover mines from recent and long-past wars, and removing them carefully is an essential step of cleaning up and making the areas safer. Countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos have some of the largest remaining minefields that are still being actively demined. Although land mine removers are highly trained and experienced at safely removing the landmines, one mistake is a life and death matter. There is no margin for error in this line of work. Luckily, the more landmines are removed, the fewer accidents there are. It’s much easier to remove landmines when there is some space around the land mine remover and they are not in the middle of several explosives. It’s important to remove landmines from rural areas and landmines so that unsuspecting people don’t accidentally unearth them.
Some animals have even been trained to detect and remove landmines. Small animals like rats are not small enough to make the land mines detonate, but they are intelligent enough to detect the mines and notify humans about the explosive so it can be safely removed.
Mining is one of the most lucrative professions, but it’s also one of the most dangerous in the world. Miners often work in underground mines, using heavy equipment and complicated manoeuvers to access a wide array of valuable materials. This could include coal, oil, diamonds, or other precious metals and minerals. Miners are constantly exposed to everyday dangers and the potential to get chronic illnesses. However, they are also at a high risk to be affected by accidents and large incidents involving heavy machinery.
Some of the biggest causes of death for miners are explosions, cave-ins, and toxicity in the workplace. Since mining has to take place underground, there is always a risk of the ground giving way and collapsing on top of mine workers. This is especially true in less developed countries or on mining sites that are not as carefully prepared. In certain areas, miners could be at risk for drowning if flash flooding or heavy rains are common.
Another risk of working underground is the lack of ventilation. Methane gas can easily build up if it isn’t ventilated quickly or well enough. This can cause huge explosions that are fatal to the people working in the mines. Another problem with lack of ventilation is the build up of chemicals or even just dust. Constant exposure to these things can cause serious issues and even death to the miners who are working inside. Accidents often happen in relation to the heavy machinery and technology that is used inside mines.
The ocean is ruthless at times, and nobody knows this better than someone who has worked as a deep sea fisherman. Because of the general dangers of being far out at sea, along with the technical challenges of deep sea fishing and the extreme physical toll- deep sea fishing has one of the highest danger rates of any job. One of the most dangerous parts of being a deep sea fisherman is simply the lifestyle. Deep sea fishermen have to put up with a lot of fatigue and physical exertion. It’s much easier to make fatal mistakes when you are extremely tired. However, the highest risks come from the ocean itself. Waves are extremely powerful and can easily sweep someone away or cause a boat to sink.
Storms or even just bad weather can cause deep sea fisherman and their boats to be pounded by freezing waves that have the potential to sink them. Even if the boat stays afloat, getting hypothermia or overexposure to the elements are real risks. Working as a deep sea fisherman requires a lot of long hours and is a generally difficult and demanding job. Add the risk of the ocean and heavy machinery, and this makes deep sea fishing one of the most dangerous professions in the world.
They often have to work in the most dangerous parts of the ocean, freezing cold and far from the shore. Taking risks at sea often seems worth it to deep-sea fishermen due to the potential for a high payout from a big catch.
Working on a garbage truck or in another area of sanitation is surprisingly dangerous. Although sanitation workers are rarely very well paid or well recognized, they have to deal with one of the world’s most dangerous jobs ever. Why? Working in sanitation comes with a lot of exposure to potentially hazardous materials, use of heavy equipment, and exposure to the elements.
Sanitation workers are more likely to be in an accident on the road than other drivers. Since garbage and recycle truck are constantly stopping and going, with workers hopping on and off- it’s easy for other cars to make mistakes or not pay attention to the truck or workers ahead of them. These workers don’t work in the healthiest of environments. They are exposed to plenty of pollution, fumes, and generally unpleasant substances. This, combined with the high physical demand, takes a huge toll on their immune system.
One of the biggest dangers for sanitation workers is exposure to waste. Waste can contain a number of different substances, some potentially hazardous. This is especially true if people don’t properly dispose of dangerous items. Sanitation workers may be exposed to sharp items, chemicals, pests, and of course many germs. Sanitation workers are often exposed to high levels of loud noise- this can cause hearing damage as well as other health issues. Overall, being a sanitation worker is no simple career choice. The workers are often given less training and preparation than other jobs and are exposed to much higher risks.
The deadliest and most dangerous job in the world is being a lumberjack. Logging is an essential trade, extremely common in countries with big forests like Canada and America. However, it requires a ton of work on the part of lumberjacks. Lumberjacks have to work with dangerous and unpredictable weather, heavy machinery that has the potential to do a lot of damage, and logging accidents are not uncommon.
Lumberjacks often have to work in secluded areas, far from adequate medical care or any hospitals. Even if their injury could have been treated, lumberjacks may suffer from worse consequences or even fatality simply because they are too far away from the right kind of care. Most people who work in logging are well aware of the extreme risks of the job. The life of a logger is filled with demanding physical work and risks like rolling logs or falling trees.
The rate of mortality for lumberjacks is at a whopping 91 in 100,000. This is a huge number of deaths and doesn’t even take into account the high number of lumberjacks who get seriously injured on the job as well. Not to mention, lumberjacks are not well paid by any standard. Many of these deaths and injuries are caused from nature- loggers may fall out of tall trees, get hit by a fallen tree, or even succumb to the elements if they are working in extreme conditions. There is also a number of deaths caused by the malfunctioning of technology.
Most of the jobs on this list are dangerous due to unavoidable circumstances. While levels of danger and risk can be significantly reduced with safety standards and attention to detail, there are some risks that are always there. Accidents and fatal errors are bound to occur in jobs where workers have to be put in harm’s way in order to complete their tasks. Often, this includes jobs that take place in hazardous environments, risk exposure to hazardous substances, or include the use of heavy equipment.
Surprisingly, the most common way that these jobs become dangerous or fatal is simply through accidents like slips, trips, and falls. This type of accident accounts for around 30% of fatal workplace injuries. The next most common, at 27%, is contact with toxic or harmful substances and being in dangerous environments. As you can tell from these numbers, many workplace fatalities take place due to accidents that are totally unforeseen.
There are other ways to calculate the deadliest jobs in the world. This list is full of the most dangerous, based on fatalities and serious injuries taking place at work. However, there are even some jobs with higher than normal rates of suicide among workers. There are also many jobs unaccounted for in these statistics since they may take place in war-torn countries, be off the books, or just be incredibly rare with very few employees overall. For example, the unusual job of salvaging wrecked ships- a very rare yet extremely dangerous line of work to be in.