Higher-risk workers do not see correspondingly higher pay

Los Angeles has its fair share of construction workers and truck drivers who pass through the area, and both of these professions are among the five most dangerous in the country, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers, farmers and ranchers and anglers occupy the other three most dangerous jobs based on fatal injury work rates.

Although employees in these professions are at a higher risk of death or injury, people in the fields of construction work or fishing earn about the same median pay as do secretaries or administrative assistants. Although aircraft pilots and flight engineers make more money than the national average, as do farmers and ranchers, these jobs require more education or experience and those with these jobs would likely be paid at a higher rate even if there was not a higher risk of accidents.

Of the five most dangerous professions, those in the fishing industry experienced the greatest fatality rate with 117 per 100,000. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers had a fatal work injury rate of 53.4 in 100,000, while truck drivers, driver sales workers and farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers had a fatal work injury rate of slightly more than 20 per 100,000. Construction laborers had the lowest death rate of the five most dangerous professions with 17.4 deaths per 100,000.

Truck drivers and driver sales workers had by far the greatest number of deaths, perhaps because the category encompassing these workers is broad. However, construction laborers had the greatest number of nonfatal work injuries or illnesses at roughly 183,000 in a year. Employees who suffer workplace injuries may want to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that their medical expenses are paid and that they receive all of the lost income to which they are entitled.

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet, “Price of Risk: How Well Do the 5 Most Dangerous Jobs Pay?“, Erika Rawe, June 28, 2014

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