The Most Dangerous Job (in America)

Think that your job is bad? Well, unless yours is listed below, be thankful that at least working doesn't come with the additional risk of on-the-job fatality. Forbes looks at the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States:

Topping the most-dangerous list: fishers and their staff. Thirty-eight fishermen--112 out of 100,000--died on the job last year, mainly off the frigid coasts of Alaska and Maine. There's a reason that Discovery show is called "Deadliest Catch."

Larry Simns--co-founder of Commercial Fishermen of America, a San Francisco-based nonprofit representing U.S. commercial fishermen--knows the pain. Last year Simms' friend Captain Philip Ruhle Jr. went down with his 80-foot squid ship in a storm roughly 40 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

"They all know the risks," says Simms. "There's a chance of getting killed, but you don't put a lot of emphasis on that. You're just extra cautious because you know you can't just get off the boat and walk home if something goes wrong."

http://www.forbes.com/leadership/2008/08/25/dangerous-jobs-fishing-lead-careers-cx_mk_0825danger.html - via mental_floss and I Met a Possum


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I ran some of the numbers in a post back in 2003 after the shuttle Columbia blew apart, and being an astronaut is indeed a very dangerous job, despite all the thousands of hours of training and billions of dollars spent trying to keep it safe:

http://www.penmachine.com/2003/02/damn-lies-statistics-and-fatality.html

The problem is that the sample size is very small, so there are wild variations year to year. On average, being U.S. President is very dangerous too (given the number of assassinations over the decades). So is being a professional high-altitude mountain climber.

Raymond also has a point about the military, but I think it's usually excluded from these lists because being in a job where people are TRYING to kill you (as opposed to accidentally dying) is a whole different kettle of fish. I also don't think current U.S. military mortality rates match those of astronauts (or presidents). However, some reports claim that 63% (!) of World War II German U-boat crew members perished on the job, and the stats weren't much better for Allied bomber crews either (about 30%). No current job that I know of comes close to that.
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This probably doesn't apply to last year specifically (I don't recall any space-related deaths last year), but over time, I suspect Astronaut is the most dangerous job. I can think of 15 or 20 who've died, and there have only been a couple hundred of them, right?
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i used to commercial fish up here in alaska. for crabbers the big dangers come from wild storms and huge waves. out on the bering sea waves will wash over the deck. but yeah, mistakes definetly cause alot of deaths up here. if you get caught on a crab pot, there is nothing anyone can do, and you essentially get dragged to the bottom of the ocean.
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For the life of me, why don't they list being in the military as being dangerous? It is a job, isn't it? What about the deaths of our soldiers over in Iraq?

List like this always forget to include our military. And I know that job HAS to be very dangerous!
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fishing is dangerous: naturally because of the weather, but also cause if you make a mistake you could very easily lose an arm or leg or just get whipped overboard.

I did it for a (very) short while - happened to start in weather building up to gale force - I couldnt stand on the boat unless I could hold on to something (and I was sick as a dog) meanwhile this older guy was walking across the deck, pausing casually to light his pipe - with matches(!) wind howling around us, boat lurching sickeningly :-)
But it's one of those things - if you like working on the water, you LOVE it - I'd go back if I got a chance.

Re making loads of money - it happens, but then you dont make anything when the weather is bad (unless maybe in bigger boats that can handle the weather) - and if you make the money you've got to work HARD for it...
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