If you’re looking for action and danger, you might be considering becoming a stuntman, or a police officer, perhaps even a wise mountain guide. Most of us have given up on our dreams of becoming a dinosaur by now, but hey, it sounds pretty exciting – you could always give it a shot. Let us know how it goes.
It’s not these jobs which should be sending a chill down your spine, though. Many of the most dangerous jobs are actually the jobs which seem fairly mundane. I mean, no-one thought that the makers of glow-in-the-dark watches were in all that much peril in the early 20th century, then their jaws all fell off.
These five jobs are not generally considered to have quite the same danger as, say, being a MMA fighter or extreme sports aficionado – but swapping your Aran jumper for a Tapout shirt would be the easy way out. A nice gentle retirement.
5. Recycling Worker
Image by Kevin Dooley
Working in recycling might sound like a lovely, vaguely hippy-ish occupation to be taken up by blokes with well-kept pony-tails and badly-kept acoustic guitars. In reality (although we’re sure there are all kinds of people involved in recycling!) it’s one of the most dangerous occupations in the UK.
While only a very small number of workers in the UK (0.6% of all workers) work in waste and recycling, it gives rise to a disproportionate number of injuries (2.8% of all injuries). Most of the most serious injuries come from moving vehicles, with slips, trips, falls and handling errors accounting for more serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.
4. Truck Driver
Image by Don O’Brien
Truckers face huge obstacles to getting their job done every day. Unrealistic, excessive working hours and unpredictable fellow road users are just the beginning of their troubles.
As well as the obvious, persistent risk of getting in a serious accident, truck drivers constantly suffer damage to their health by being seated and stationary for so much of the day.
They’ve also got all the problems that come from handling heavy loads, or even dangerous loads. Getting cut off going round the M25 is really the least of their worries.
Image by Martin Pettitt
Farmers, far from spending all their days in pastoral idylls chewing on corn stalks, actually spend most of their time dealing with heavy machinery, heavy goods vehicles, heavy animals and presumably a good amount of heavy metal to help them cope. There are many common causes of farming accidents, but they almost all fit these themes.
Unlike vehicle operators like truckers, and those who work for highly-regulated industries which are often run by the state such as waste and energy, many farming injuries – especially less serious injuries – go unreported.
So the disturbingly high numbers of Agricultural injuries are probably an underestimate…farmers telling you to get off their land are almost certainly doing it for your good, not theirs!
Fisherman’s Chapel by Alex Brown
While whaling’s got a bit of a macho swagger about it, and shark fishing has its own reputation – despite how reprehensible they both are – fishing is mostly associated with big, funny sweaters and accordions.
What it should be associated with, of course, is extreme risk of injury and constant battle with the elements. It’s surely no accident that one of the few successful completions of the infamously gruelling Ninja Warrior course was made by fisherman Makoto Nagano.
Fishermen have the highest fatality rate of any profession within Great Britain.
1. Animal Feed Worker
You’d think that working with animal feed was pretty mild. It’s not.
Due to the near-Victorian levels of safety and accident-prevention measures in place (there often aren’t any), accidents with animal feed are tragically common, and working with animal feed is extremely dangerous.
Machines closing, opening, or starting at just the wrong time are the culprits, as well as people getting their clothes caught in machines. There are all kinds of risks associated with working with animal feed, though, from being crushed by animal feed pellets to being hit by some of the many vehicles used to transport the stuff around.
Working with animal feed is definitely the most conventionally dangerous apparently-harmless job in the UK.
Accidents At Work
Accidents at work can happen in any profession, even if you’re not a tree surgeon or furnace operator.
Whatever you do, make sure you take all appropriate precautions to protect yourself.
If the worst does happen, though, get in touch. We could help make an awful situation easier to manage.