Manufacturing and Health Care Workers Get Injured or Sick the Most

May 7, 2007 ( - Being a fisherman was ranked as the most life-threatening job in 2005, and was also one of the lowest paying jobs, according to preliminary figures from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the BLS, there were four fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 working in the U.S. in 2005, with fishermen and related workers (118.4 fatality rate), logging workers (92.9 fatality rate), and aircraft pilots and flight engineers (66.9 fatality rate) taking the top three spots for the most life-threatening jobs.

Manufacturing jobs accounted for the greatest percentage (20%) of the U.S. non-fatal job injuries in 2005, with beet sugar manufacturing, truck/trailer manufacturing and iron manufacturing causing the most injuries. Health care followed manufacturing, making up 16% of job injuries.

Health care workers reported 19% of the 242,500 new occupational illnesses in the private sector for 2005; however, manufacturing workers actually get sick from work most often, accounting for 39% of reported injuries.

According to BLS data, the following jobs had some of the highest fatality rates for 2005, following the top three:

  • Structural iron and steel workers: 55.6 fatality rate, with an average salary of $43,540
  • Refuse and recyclable material collectors, 43.8 fatality rate, with an average salary of $30,160
  • Farmers and ranchers , 41.1 fatality rate, with an average salary of $39,720
  • Electrical power-line installers and repairers, 32.7, with an average salary of $49,200
  • Truck drivers, 29.1 fatality rate, with an average salary of $35,460 (for heavy or tractor-trailer drivers)
  • Miscellaneous agricultural workers, 23.2 fatality rate, with an average salary of $24,140.
  • Construction laborers, 22.7 fatality rate, with an average salary of $29,050

The full BLS data report for workplace fatalities is here . Data for workplace injuries is here .