List of High-Risk Jobs

construction worker image by Greg Pickens from

People go to jobs every day risking their lives and limbs to accident, injury or death. Even common or safe-sounding jobs have a lot of risk. While not all people who do these jobs are going to die or get seriously injured, they are risking a lot more than people who work in sedentary occupations. Some jobs have very high risks for injuries, but not life-threatening ones. Jobs with intense physical labour or repetitive motion can cause a variety of permanent negative health conditions.

Emergency Service Workers

Not all emergency service work pays well, but for some jobs, the risks are high. Police officers, firemen and other emergency workers are at high risk of injury or death because they run into dangerous situations every day to protect or rescue people. Police officers are at risk of homicide or injuries from a physical attack, while firefighters and medical teams risk injury from fires, rescue situations and climate.

Construction and Agricultural Workers

Construction and agricultural workers deal with heavy machinery, unsafe conditions and strenuous work on a daily basis and have high risks for workplace accidents or work-related injuries. Electricians, high-altitude workers, oil drilling crews and machinery operators are high-risk construction workers because they deal with volatile and dangerous situations every day. No matter how well-trained they are, accidents can and do happen. Agricultural workers are prone to injury from strenuous manual labour and mechanical accidents.


Commercial fishermen are at high risk for drowning or being injured by their equipment. Some commercial fishermen work on fairly small rigs with large crews that go into treacherous waters and climates to seek their catch. With lines, anchors and nets strewn about the deck and waves battering the deck, one wrong step or slip and a crew member can go overboard. Smaller, inshore fishing operations are less dangerous than offshore and deep-sea ones.


Drivers and pilots are at high risk for injury or death from causes such as collisions and vehicle malfunctions. Public taxi and limousine drivers have a higher risk of homicide than other drivers. Pilots have a much higher risk for aeroplane crashes or malfunctions. Truck drivers run long hours alone at the wheel of large, powerful vehicles that can easily tip, spin or flip off roads or bridges at the slightest mistake.

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