What is the most dangerous job in California?

California has a lot of dangerous jobs. But which jobs are the deadliest? The answer depends on whether you are looking at total number of deaths from job-related injuries, or the death rate for the number of workers in that industry in California. The Sacramento Bee looked at the number of deaths in each industry from 2012 to 2016 and ranked the most dangerous jobs by the death rate per 100,000 workers. Researchers found the following jobs to be the five most dangerous in California: 

  1. Loggers. Loggers lead the way, even though they only had 15 deaths over the study period. The ratio is still incredibly high for this small group of folks. Obvious risks include falls and falling objects.
  2. Pilots. Pilots of aircraft also make up a relatively small group of workers, so their 30 deaths rate them high on the list. Although air travel is safer than it has ever been, private planes are much more dangerous than commercial flights.
  3. Truckers. Nationwide, truck drivers lead the number of workplace fatalities, so it's no surprise that they are third in California. As for number of deaths, no other workers come close to the 295 fatalities on the job. Of course, California has many more truckers than pilots or loggers, although their ratio was very close to that of pilots.
  4. Construction workers. There are many ways for a construction worker to become injured on the job, but most fatalities are the result of falls. Other injuries include electrocution, being struck by an object and "caught between" or crushed. At 114 deaths, construction workers are a little over half the fatality ratio of truckers.
  5. Taxi drivers and welders. These two occupations tied for fifth place with 20 deaths each and the exact same death ratio. Taxi drivers face car crashes, but welding dangers are not as obvious. Most injuries are caused by electrocution, fires, explosion and exposure to gas and fumes.

The jobs on the list may be as surprising as the jobs not on the list. Police officers come in at number 12, and firefighters did not rank in the top 12 at all. This list highlights only the five most dangerous jobs in California in terms of fatalities and the death ratio, however. The list does not consider the jobs that cause the most work-related injuries.

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