In the vast timeline spanning the early 20th century to the present day, the United States has seen significant advancements in workplace safety. Although there has been a noticeable decline in workplace fatalities between 2003 and 2022, danger lurks in many professions. A closer look at 2022’s data reveals a staggering 4,836 workplace-related deaths, indicating that the specter of danger is never too far away for several professionals.

Keep reading to learn more about dangerous workplace stats. Contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 to request a free legal consultation if you have suffered a workplace injury.

America’s Hazardous Occupations

Based on insights from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some jobs are inherently riskier than others. The roles most fraught with danger include:

  • Logging professionals
  • Individuals in fishing and related sectors
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
  • Roofing experts
  • Waste and recyclable material collectors
  • Structural iron and steel specialists
  • Driving and sales-related roles
  • Agricultural roles encompassing farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers
  • Electrical power-line installers and repairers
  • Supervisors in landscaping, lawn service, and grounds-keeping

Dissecting the Causes of Workplace Fatalities

An analysis of the fatalities paints a grim picture. Violent acts and injuries inflicted by humans or animals accounted for 14% of the total deaths. However, the vast majority, about 85%, of these fatalities were unintentional mishaps.

Transport-related incidents emerged as major culprits, causing approximately 42% of the fatalities in 2022. A significant portion of these, nearly half, involved large transportation vehicles like tractor-trailers, semis, and tankers. Besides transportation incidents, another major cause of fatality was due to falls, slips, or trips.

Sadly, in 2022 alone, 648 individuals lost their lives due to falls from elevated locations. This hazard is particularly prevalent for those in roles like roofing, aviation, electrical maintenance, and even landscaping, where ascending ladders is a routine requirement.


The peril does not end here. Occupations like logging and steel working, which demand the operation of heavy machinery, present the threat of falling objects. In 2022, objects and equipment led to the tragic demise of 519 individuals, with trees, vegetation, highway vehicles, and specialized machinery being the primary culprits.

Additionally, a vast majority of these high-risk jobs entail working outdoors, exposing workers to the whims of nature. In a concerning trend, fatalities due to extreme temperatures showed an uptick from the previous year. In 2022, an alarming 424 souls were lost to harmful environmental exposures.

Braving the Odds

Despite the advances in safety protocols, unexpected challenges like sudden weather shifts, equipment malfunctions, or even a co-worker’s oversight can spell disaster. Those who choose these challenging professions are aware of the inherent risks but soldier on, often with no assurances of their safety. If you ever cross paths with someone from these high-risk sectors, take a moment to appreciate their courage and resilience.

For those unfortunate enough to face workplace injuries or worse, avenues for legal recourse and compensation exist. If you, or someone you know, has been adversely affected in a workplace incident, reach out to PLBH at (800) 435-7542 for professional guidance and support.