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The Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Mon, 07/07/2014 - 9:39am | by Guest Contributor

In today's tempestuous job market, most Americans think that the only danger they face is being laid off and joining the legions of the unemployed. But for some professionals, heading to the office for the day actually comes with mortal danger. And though the workplace is less hazardous than in the past (the amount of people dying due to their gainful employment has dropped over 20% in the last decade), thousands of hard working Americans still die on the job each and every year. So in case you are wondering which booths you might want to avoid at the next career fair, here is a look at some of the most dangerous jobs in America.

Fishing has always been, and continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. 116 out of every 100,000 fisherman are killed on the job, and Mother Nature is usually to blame. Hurricanes and winter storms while on the open seas can be devastating to a fishing boat, and people are regularly washed overboard. With the ropes, rigging, and vicious hooks that regularly line the decks it's no surprise this is one of the most dangerous jobs in America.

It's also no cakewalk on dry land, at least not for loggers. Deaths in the logging industry are on the rise, most often due to the limited visibility that comes with felling massive trees in thick forests. A logger can't always see everything he is cutting down, and the broken tops of other trees that hide high above in the leafy canopy have been nicknamed "widow-makers" for the amount of people they regularly take out. Storms are an issue, as are accidents with saws and other sharp objects.

The ocean and the forests are rough, but what about working up in the air? Well, life as an airplane pilot comes with an increased risk of death. Whether it's due to bad weather, machine failure or malfunction, or mistakes by the pilot, crashes of large and small aircraft happen all the time. Storms can often roll in without much notice, even with our advanced technology, and in smaller planes, decreased visibility can be deadly.

The farmer has been an integral cog in the wheel of life for as long as mankind has existed. But apparently, continuing the ranching or farming tradition brings a shorter life expectancy. Ranchers deal with wild animals, some of them often weighing tons. If things get out of hand, death can easily occur. But probably the most common cause of death on the farm is tractor accidents. New tractors come outfitted with protection from rollover accidents, so these issues should abate a bit. Yet there are still thousands of older trailers in use that leave the operator vulnerable. But the most disturbing cause of death on the farm? That would be falling into the grain silo and 'drowning'.

All of these jobs are performed far away from where most of America lives, and you may not know a single fisherman, logger, pilot or farmer. But one dangerous job exists in every city and town in the country, and that's being a sanitation worker. The men and women who drive those huge, smelly trucks are incredibly susceptible to personal injury, and even death in some cases. Many accidents happen when impatient drivers try to push past a garbage truck and run over the workers. But the bags and bins they're throwing into the truck can also be dangerous. Hazardous waste materials are often carelessly placed out on the curb, and it's the sanitation worker who suffers the consequences.

Breana Orland is a contributing writer for a premier law firm dealing with personal injury cases.

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