While fishing workers took the top spot for most dangerous occupations in the U.S. according to a 24/7 Wall St. review of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, people in Illinois may be surprised to hear of other occupations that ranked high in fatalities across the U.S. Many of these fatalities were related to working at dangerous heights, working with dangerous machinery or having to operate a motor vehicle for a substantial amount of time.
For example, refuse and recyclable material collectors ranked 5th in the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. with 34.9 fatalities per every 100,000 workers in 2017, and 1,340 nonfatal injuries that same year. Many of these workers use a motor vehicle every day as part of their job duties, which increases the risk of being involved in a traffic accident. In addition, these workers can be exposed to dangerous substances, resulting in illnesses.
Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers ranked 8th in the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. with 24 fatalities per every 100,000 workers in 2017, and 180 nonfatal injuries that same year. These workers must work with a variety of motorized vehicles and farm machinery. In fact, in 2017 this occupation was one of the few that saw a greater number of fatal injuries than nonfatal ones. Nearly 60 percent of injuries in this occupation in 2017 ended in a fatality.
Finally, firefighters ranked 24th in the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. with 8.9 fatalities per every 100,00 workers in 2017. That year saw 34 fatal injuries. While it may seem obvious that firefighters could be burned or inhale smoke while performing their job duties, the most common cause of fatal accidents were transportation accidents.
These are only a few occupations Illinois workers may hold that present dangers to them while they are on-the-job. If a worker is injured while performing their job duties, they may want to seek workers' compensation benefits. The compensation provided through the workers' compensation system could provide a worker with the financial resources they need to recover from their injuries. However, pursuing such benefits can be challenging, and some claims for benefits are initially denied. Therefore, those seeking benefits may want to enlist the help of a professional experienced in workers' compensation injury cases, to ensure they understand what is required in order to obtain benefits.