Even though safety on the job has improved drastically since the creation of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the latest stats show the overall death rate in the U.S. is still more than three fatalities per 100,000 workers. According to the latest figures, these five industries have the highest fatality rate.
Reality TV shows like Ax Men tend to glamorize the trade, but this line of work consistently tops the list of most fatalities per 100,000. With 62 people killed in 2012, the industry’s fatality rate is 127 — a rate, it has unfortunately maintained for the past three years. Despite the danger, the median annual wage is less than $34,000.
Even with a 24 percent decrease in deaths year-over-year, from 42 in 2011 down to 32 in 2012, the fishing industry still had a 117 fatality rate per 100,000. Fishing, just like logging, has become the focus of reality TV shows — like Deadliest Catch entering its 10th season — that capitalizes on the danger of the trade. But, just like logging, the median wage in the industry is less than $34,000.
3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
These occupations may be the only ones on the list where the pay is proportional to the risk. In May 2012, the annual median wage for airline pilots was $114,200. Although the annual median wage for commercial pilots was considerably lower at $73,280 it is still nearly double the wage workers in the logging or fishing industry receive.
The number of fatal injuries to roofers shot up 17 percent year-over-year with 70 roofers being killed on the job in 2012 — a fatality rate of 41 per 100,000 workers. The number represents the highest amount of deaths in five years. On average, roofers earn just under $17 an hour — or $35,290 annually.
5. Structural iron and steel workers
Rounding out the top five positions are iron workers — the men and women who install steel beams and girders to build bridges and other structures. In 2012, 22 workers died in this sector. Their annual median wage was $46,140 or $22.18 per hour.
Although every day on average 12 workers in the U.S. die due to work-related injuries this is considerably less than the 38 per day that occurred before OSHA was implemented in 1970.