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Missouri Sunset

An overview of the top 10 unsafe jobs in the U.S.

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Posted on July 17, 2018

In late 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, but the data found in it should still be of interest to employers and employees in Missouri. It ranks the 10 most hazardous jobs in the U.S., and while some of the inclusions are to be expected, others may be surprising.

The top five positions on the list go to logging workers, fishers and fishing workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, roofers and trash and recycling collectors. The ranking is based not on the total number of deaths that each industry incurred but on its fatal work injury rate. Ninety-one logging workers died in 2016, but the industry’s fatal work injury rate was a startling 135.9 per 100,000 workers (either full-time or the equivalent). The fishing industry had a fatality rate of 86.

Spots 6 through 10 on the list contain iron and steel workers; truck and sales drivers; farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers; construction supervisors and extraction workers; and groundskeepers. Truck and sales drivers saw 918 deaths in 2016, which was the highest out of the 10 industries.

Transportation accidents, in fact, accounted for the most fatalities in 2016 (a full 40 percent). They additionally killed 116 farmers and 62 groundskeepers. Workplace violence, including not only assault from co-workers but also assault and robbery from customers, was ranked as the second most frequent cause.

Regardless of the cause, victims of an on-the-job accident may be eligible for damages. All they have to do is file a workers’ compensation claim, and they could receive benefits that cover a percentage of their lost wages and medical expenses. In the event of death, families or other eligible dependents can receive death benefits covering the burial and some portion of the decedent’s weekly wage. A lawyer could explain the laws in more detail and handle every step, even mounting an appeal if necessary.