Do you work in one of New York’s most dangerous jobs?

The recently released preliminary 2012 National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries performed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that nearly 4,400 workers were killed on the job across the country in 2012. While the definitive tally won't be complete until early next year, the news is encouraging: the 2012 preliminary total shows roughly 300 fewer job fatalities than 2011.

The deadliest professions

The deadliest jobs are not necessarily those that most people think of as hazardous, like law enforcement and firefighting. Based on its analysis of data from worksite injuries and work-related deaths around the nation, the most dangerous job in 2012 was that of logger, perhaps better known as a "lumberjack." Sixty-two loggers died in workplace accidents in 2012, a rate of 127.2 out of every 100,000 workers.

Coming in second is commercial fishing, a profession that has gotten much attention in recent years thanks to a number of reality shows centered around the day-to-day lives of fishermen and women. Ironically, thanks to the media scrutiny of the myriad TV shows highlighting the dangers involved, these jobs have actually gotten markedly safer in the past decade. Rounding out the top ten are:

  • Pilots/aircraft flight engineers
  • Roofers
  • Steel workers
  • Trash collectors
  • Power line installers/repairpeople
  • Truck drivers (includes both local and long-haul drivers)
  • Farmers/ranchers
  • Construction workers

New York's unique challenges

In the urban areas of New York state, particularly in the New York City metro area, there are some professions not seen on the national list but that still come with their own capacity to cause serious or fatal injuries to workers. In 2011, 71 workers died in New York City alone, many of them in industries that are specialized and not regularly seen outside the metro area.

For example, there are high risks associated with installing and maintaining the vast network of subways that move millions of commuters each week, particularly from electrocution via contact with the "third rail" that provides the power needed to run the trains and being struck by the trains themselves.

Taxi drivers, underground foundation/maintenance workers, specialized emergency service responders (particularly the NYPD bomb squad and tactical response/SWAT team), and iron/steel/construction workers make up the remainder of the most dangerous professions in the New York City area. Workers in these industries are seriously injured on the job or involved in fatal accidents at a higher rate than others are.

Getting help

Have you or a loved one been injured while on the job in New York? Do you have questions about seeking workers' compensation benefits for your injuries? Have you tragically lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident? For answers to these and other jobsite injury questions, seek the advice of an experienced New York work comp attorney in your area.