Tag Archives: pilots in Alaska

The Deadliest Jobs in the World

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics rates occupations based on the rate of accidents and fatal on-the-job injuries.
The list of the deadliest jobs in the world is as follows:-
1. Lumberjacks
2. Alaskan King Crab Fishing
3. Aircraft pilots in Alaska
4. Roofer
5. Structural iron and steel workers
6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
8. Drivers/Sales workers and truck drivers
9. Farmers, Ranchers and other agricultural managers
10. Construction labourers


Each year thousands of US workers die from injuries whilst performing their work. Breaking down the numbers, the BLS reports the top spot on the list goes to logging workers, who lose their lives at a rate of 82 per 100, 000 full-time workers. Also known as lumberjacks, they typically harvest, cut and transport timber to be processed into lumber, paper and other wood products. The task of working all day logging and cutting down trees with a chainsaw alienates a good chunk of the labour force on pure physicality alone. Factor in the gigantic piece of wood that is hurtling towards the ground on an 80 -degree incline and the fast moving machinery, and you have got yourself a deadly career cocktail – not to mention the volatile and forbidding mountain weather patterns that many lumberjacks find themselves working in on a daily basis.

Alaskan King Crab Fishing

This type of fishing is carried out during the fall months in the waters off the coast of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Alaskan crab fishing is very dangerous and the fatality rate among the fishermen is about 80 times the fatality rate of the average worker. It is suggested that, on average, one crab fisherman dies weekly during the season. According to University of Alaska economist Gunnar Knapp,
“The environment in which crabbing is done, in the Bering Sea, in winter, has to be some of the worst conditions on Earth. You are hundreds of miles from port, in stormy seas, with ice forming all over, sometimes so thick, it capsizes the boat.”

Fishermen also sustain injuries from working with heavy gear and mighty machinery. Alaskan crabbers use huge cages as traps.
“Imagine”, says Knapp, “steel lobster pots, only ten times the size, hundreds of pounds apiece”.
Furthermore, the crab crews are in a mad dash to fill their holds. The season only lasts three or four weeks. They often work 40 out of every 50 hours.

Aircraft Pilots In Alaska

Flying in Alaska is highly treacherous, but these aviators are prepared to run the risk to get around, have fun and save lives. It is not just racers who suffer on the Iron Dog, reputedly the world’s toughest snowmobile race, their airborne crews suffer too. Battling whiteouts, mechanical malfunctions and icy winds, this is flying at its most deadly.

Being a bush pilot in the “Last Frontier” state means turning your hand to any job going. Whether it is guiding skiers, delivering post, protecting the state capital’s main power line, or escorting a prisoner to jail, danger is never far away. Catching herring is big business in Alaska so boats use spotter planes to locate their prey. It is not just the massive shoals of seriously expensive seafood these pilots must look out for, in crowded skies a mid-air collision is sometimes only a wingspan away. These pilots are as extreme as they come.

Roofer (Steeplejacking)

Sometimes known as roofing, the art of steeplejacking carries a similar level of danger to that of standard construction work, but the added risk of using alarmingly unstable buildings as your work space. Tasked with scaling church steeples and climbing onto roof tops, risks may vary from sliding down the tiles and falling off the ledge of a house, to more minor (but still painful) rope burns.

Often precariously perched on top of old and uneven structures, the steeplejack also runs the risk of meeting their untimely and grisly demise by falling down chimney shafts, like a notorious case in England when a steeplejack fell 50 meters to his death down an old mill chimney when his scaffolding collapsed. The job title even carries the risk of “being shot down by a sniper”

Structural Iron and Steel Workers

While we mill about like ants during our work commutes or lunch breaks, construction workers navigate their respective office spaces from above. Forget the famous photo of New Yorker workers eating sandwiches on a girder, the job of the construction worker is not to be taken lightly. The possibility of being crushed under steel beams or falling from scaffolding is a very real one, and therefore sits at the very top of a construction worker’s risk list. There is a whole host of other dangers like power tool malfunctions, risk of explosion, gas leaks and electrocution to add to the hazards of the growing construction business. It is worth noting that roughly 4000 workers are killed on the job each year in the US alone.

Refuse and Recyclable Materials Collector

This is probably the most under-rated dangerous job in the world.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors – the ones who every morning whisk our garbage away to some unknown location. They do the dirty work – literally. They also face danger – so much danger actually that this is the 7th most dangerous job in America. So next time you see a garbage man hard at work, pay some respect; not only is he cleaning up after you, he is also putting his life at risk while doing it.

Refuse and recyclable material collectors are responsible for gathering and collecting garbage, waste, refuse and recyclable material from homes, offices and businesses and transferring it to dumps, landfills or recycling centers. They ride garbage trucks, usually standing on small platforms protruding from the back of the truck and hang onto rails attached to the back of the truck. Refuse and recyclable material collectors empty garbage bins, dumpsites and recyclable bins into the garbage truck manually or by using hydraulic lifts. The fatality rate for refuse and recyclable material collectors is about 29.8 fatalities per 100, 000 workers.

Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

Power line installers and repairers climb poles and towers to get and keep electricity up and running. Power lines are typically high off the ground, and workers are at high risk of injury due to falls. Plus, these workers are often at risk of electrocution from contact with high-voltage power lines.  The fatalities are about 33 deaths per 100, 000 workers.

Drivers/Sales workers and truck drivers

Truck drivers deal with difficult hours and thin profit margins. His truck is governed to 68 miles per hour because the company he leases it from believes it keeps him and the public and the equipment safer. The driver pays for his own fuel. For example, he may need to be 1, 014 miles from where he loaded, in two days. He cannot misrepresent his federally mandated driver log, because he no longer does it on paper. He is logged electronically. He can drive for 11 hours in a 14 hour period, then he must take a 10 hour break. His exhaustion and lack of concentration leads to collisions, overturning and jackknifing given the size and clumsiness of the vehicle. Fatalities are on average 21.8 per 100, 000 truck drivers.

Farmers, Ranchers and other agricultural managers

While often understood to be a peaceful existence, farming and ranching actually presents great danger, mostly in the form of tractor and heavy machinery. In fact, non-highway vehicle accidents account for most of the casualties among farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers. The fatalities are in the region of 41 deaths per 100, 000 workers in this sector.

Construction Workers

Most construction worker fatalities – about a third can be attributed to falls, transportation incidents, contact with objects and equipment, and exposure to harmful substances or the environment. Fatalities are around 15.6 per 100, 000 construction workers.