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Deadliest jobs list includes usual suspects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its yearly list of the 20 deadliest jobs in the nation. While many of the jobs on the list come as no surprise, there are some that people don’t generally consider dangerous unless they are in the industry. People expect to see police officer and construction worker on the list. They are sometimes surprised to see janitor and garbage collector.

Placement on the list is no guarantee of publicity. More important than public knowledge is whether the list informs lawmakers and safety experts of the need to protect workers in these professions. 

Working an unsafe job

There are many ways a job can be unsafe. In some cases, the danger comes from insufficient training on equipment or proper procedure. In other cases, it comes from unsecure, dangerous job sites. Other sources of danger include insufficient oversight, substandard tools or equipment, unpredictable conditions and more.

The workers in these jobs often know that they are in danger. They may be reluctant to report the problem if it might lead to the loss of the job or a reduction in hours. If they do report, it might be ignored or addressed half-heartedly by an employer more concerned with speed and profit than worker safety. In any case, the result is that workers are regularly put in a bad position.

Anyone who has been injured at work owes it to themselves and other workers to seek full compensation. Dangerous jobs will not be made safer if workers are allowed to bear the cost of injuries alone. Every job could be made safer and every job in the top 20 most dangerous jobs has room for improvement.

Source: CBS News, “The 20 deadliest jobs in America, ranked,” September 2017

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