“It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it” – that’s the kind of thing you’d expect a burly cop or firefighter to say.
But in terms of workplace hazards, firefighters and police officers are relative lightweights compared to workers at greatest risk for job-related accidents, and death.
Of all the dangerous jobs out there, loggers take the prize for putting their lives at greatest risk, according to FinancesOnline.com.
Nevertheless, despite dangers that include falling trees and cutting equipment, the average Canadian logger earns a paltry $26,500 a year – if he is lucky enough to get full-time work, according to Service Canada.
Clearly, risky careers don’t pay. They tend to be blue-collar occupations, according to this list of top 10 most dangerous jobs (and their biggest hazards):
1. Loggers: falling trees, cutting equipment.
2. Fisheries workers: drowning, heavy equipment.
3. Pilots and flight engineers: air disturbances, high altitudes, takeoffs and landings.
4. Roofers: falling from heights, heat stroke in summer.
5. Structural iron and steel workers: falling from heights, heavy materials, welding.
6. Garbage and recyclables collectors: hazardous materials, heavy equipment, road accidents.
7. Electrical power line installers and repairers: electricity, falling from heights.
8. Truck drivers and mobile sales workers: road accidents, exhaustion.
9. Farmers, ranchers, agricultural managers: heavy equipment, large animals.
10. Construction workers: dangerous equipment and large animals.
Accidents involving transportation are the top cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for nearly half, according to data from the 2012 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in the U.S.
But even so, dangerous jobs hold a strange fascination for fans of reality TV series such as Deadliest Catch (about deep-sea fishing), Ice Road Truckers and America’s Toughest Jobs.
Nostalgia may explain their popularity. After all, dangerous jobs are overwhelmingly held by men – rugged labourers who, like industries such as logging and fisheries, are gradually going the way of the dodo.