Osha: Most Dangerous Jobs Of 2018

BY: Koszdin | Friday, November 2, 2018.

Since the 1970s employers in the United States have had to follow regulations laid out by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA enforces safety standards in the workplace as a means to try to prevent workplace injuries, both fatal and nonfatal. And while workplace safety standards have definitely improved since the ‘70s, some jobs are naturally more dangerous than others and result in more fatalities, even in 2018.

When deciding on what ranks a job as a dangerous one, two factors come into play: obviously, the reported number of deaths, but also fatal work injury rate per 100,000 people. If a higher fatality rate exists per 100,000 workers, the job is considered to be one that’s higher risk.

Below are the top five most dangerous jobs in the U.S. as of 2018.

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

You probably wouldn’t expect refuse and recyclable material collectors to be among the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., but waste collecting is an industry with a high incidence of transportation accidents – not to mention slips and falls that regularly injure workers. A fair amount of the transportation accidents that result in fatalities among workers in this industry are classified as “pedestrian vehicular incidents,” meaning that a number of workers are killed after being struck by someone else’s car. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2016 there were:

  • 34.1 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers
  • 31 total fatal injuries; 6,170 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common accidents caused by falls, slips, and trips


The act of climbing atop of a roof is dangerous in its own right; performing work that involves heavy lifting, climbing, bending, and kneeling, often in extremely hot weather, puts roofers at risk of experiencing serious accidents. As of 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:

  • 48.6 fatal injuries per 100,000 roofers
  • Total of 101 fatal injuries; 3,150 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common accidents are due to falls, slips, and trips
  • Injured workers spend an average of 20 days away from work following an injury, longer than recoveries in other industries

Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers regularly have inconsistent work schedules often involving overnight layovers. The demands of the job often lead to exhaustion, which increases the risk of accidents. As of 2016, aircraft pilots and flight engineers experienced:

  • 55.5 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers
  • 75 fatal injuries; 470 nonfatal injuries
  • The most common accident caused by overexertion and bodily reaction
  • Each death was due to an accident while in transit

Fishers and Related Fishing Workers

Commercial fishing is a dangerous gig, involving a large amount of physical labor in risky environmental situations. Fishers are often exposed to things such as extreme weather that people with typical jobs are not exposed to. Fishing workers are often out on the water or some other remote area when an accident occurs and may not be able to access medical help. As of 2016, fishing workers experienced:

  • 86 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers
  • 24 total fatal injuries

Logging Workers

The most dangerous job in the U.S. goes to workers in the logging industry, which experienced nearly 50 more fatal injuries per 100,000 logging workers than those in the fishing industry. Logging a physically demanding job which primarily takes place outdoors in remote areas, far away from quick access to medical aid; the most common accident involves workers being struck by objects, including fallen branches, logs, and other forest debris. Loggers also work with machinery such as chainsaws and harvesters, which pose dangers in their own right. As of 2016 logging is considered the most dangerous job in the country and is about 38 percent more dangerous than any typical job.

To break all that down:

  • 135.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in 2016
  • Total of 91 fatal injuries; 900 nonfatal injuries
  • Most common accident: Workers being struck by objects

Contact Our Legal Team

Our skilled team of lawyers at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Kats can help you file a worker’s comp claim if you’ve recently experienced a work-related injury. Our legal team specializes in worker’s compensation, workplace injuries, workplace illnessrepetitive motion injury, and mental health claims. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Prev Next

Top Mistakes to Avoid After an On-the-Job Accident

BY: Koszdin | Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

Psychological Injuries at Work: Understanding Workers’ Comp Law

BY: Koszdin | Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Workers in Los Angeles: Your Rights Explained

BY: Koszdin | Saturday, February 10, 2024.
Top Icon
icon phone