If you’ve ever been to Rwanda, you’ll know why street sweepers are on the most dangerous jobs list. Many women work all hours of the night in busy traffic and less than friendly neighborhoods.
Between ice, long falls, jagged rocks, wind, low air pressure, and a whole slew of other dangerous sounding conditions, climbing mountains is not known for its safety. In one 2009 report, 11 guides had died on the job.
It’s a historically old job, and it’s also more dangerous than you may think. A broken hip falling from the second floor, a crushed finger, or a dislocated collarbone after slipping from a ladder are a few of the numerous ways you can get injured on this job.
Stuntmen make the Hollywood action stars look good, and they put their lives on the line to do so. Between driving cars over cliffs and jumping out of high rises, these daring performers stare death in the face every day.
With Amazon, Uber Eats, and other services, convenient delivery has become a more desirable service. Whether it’s pizza or newspaper delivery, this is a dangerous job in most countries. These workers are often the victims of armed robbery and other violent crimes. So, tip them well and be nice.
Alligator Wrestlers & Lion Tamers
Alligator wrestlers, lion tamers, and basically anybody who deals with dangerous animals on a daily basis knows they’re walking pretty close to death’s jaws, especially when they stick their heads in the animals’ mouths.
Imagine mountains of broken computer parts that need to be sorted, some with chemicals oozing out and mixing into the rainwater. Recyclers have to deal with that every day, and in some parts of the world like Guiyu, China, working with e-waste is their entire life.
Utility Lineman & Power Workers
Working with electricity is bad enough, but working with electricity high above the ground is even worse. One wrong decision, and they’ll meet a grisly death by electric shock and crash landing. The linemen required to hang out of a helicopter to complete the job get bonus danger points.
Farmers & Ranchers
Spending long hours dealing with large animals, tractors, and other intensive conditions, farmers don’t just sit on their porches all day. Their work can actually be quite dangerous.
We probably didn’t have to tell you firefighters have dangerous jobs. From rushing into burning buildings to digging ditches in the middle of the Australian Outback, firefighters hop into the fray and save lives by putting their own in harms ways. If that weren’t crazy enough, of the 1 million firefighters in the United States, 70% of them are unpaid volunteers.
Most would assume correctly that falling from high elevations and getting bad sunburns are normal hazards of this job. However, you might not know they also are in danger of electrocution, scorching hot tiles, and chemical hazards from volatile tars. Add heat stroke to the mix, and you’ve got one nasty job. To make it even worse, the median wage is only $35,920.
Police officers have to answer potentially deadly calls and address highly stressful situations on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they are not the most popular public servants in many parts of the world. Yes, corruption is real, but many police officers really do put their lives on the line for others.
Since the beginning of the Russian and American space programs, about 430 astronauts have gone to space. With 34 deaths, that is a 7.5% mortality rate, a rate significantly higher than many other professions on this list. Also, the Apollo Space Program astronauts suffered cardiovascular health problems due to overexposure to radiation.
Bodyguards & Armored Car Drivers
When your literal job description is to take a bullet for someone else, you definitely have a dangerous job. Of course, depending on what part of the world we are talking about and who or what is actually being guarded, the levels of risk can vary. Sadly, in some cases, guards have been killed while only three weeks on the job.
Often times heavily exploited, the rate of injury is over three times that of other manufacturing and processing jobs. These injuries are often the result of the demand for speed at the assembly line, where workers are many times required to slaughter up to 50 cattle per hour.
Between fumes, chemicals, and dangerous tools, mechanics working on everything from mini-coopers to fighter jets are exposed to their fair share of hazardous situations.
Besides dealing with the obvious things like heat and metal, these workers typically experience negative health effects in the long-term due to exposure and inhalation of various chemicals.
Search and Rescue
Whether it’s the Coast Guard facing high seas or a mountain rescue team facing sub-zero temperatures at night, it’s not hard to see why this job would make the list. While they are highly trained, these brave men and women risk it all to save lives.
Dealing with all sorts of unspeakable waste has its own challenges. In many places, it’s a well-paid position for a reason. The potential exposure to all sorts of hazardous materials raises the danger level a few notches.
Land Mine Remover
Although in some parts of the world this is the military’s job, there are many formerly war-torn regions completely covered in land mines. With governments that could care less, there is a job opening in the private market, and it’s not a fun one.
Personal Transport Drivers
Although busses and trains have their own dangers, driving rickshaws, tuk tuks, and taxis is in a whole different ball park. Besides the obvious dangers of the road, the persistent danger of robbery or violence is ever-present. Even in the United States, taxi drivers have one of the higher on-the-job mortality rates.
Few jobs destroy your health like mining. Besides the long-term danger of black lungs, the constant risk of cave-ins, gas explosions, and health problems from the chemicals and radon inhaled make it a deadly job.
Everybody knows that pilots have a dangerous job. Planes crash all the time, right? Wrong. At least, not the planes you’re probably thinking about. Large airlines are a very safe mode of transportation. If you were talking about bush pilots though, that’s another story. Facing extremely hostile weather and terrain, their job is anything but safe.
Deep Sea Fishermen
Here’s a classic. It actually used to be the most dangerous job on most lists, especially Alaskan crab fisherman. Between high seas, long nights, freezing temperatures, and lots of moving parts, it certainly earns the title.
Along with deep sea fishing, the logging industry is a long time source of workplace danger. Big trees, sharp saws, and hard hours are not a good mix for logging workers.