Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

And the top 10 most dangerous jobs are …

"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

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨