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Denver-area jobs among the nation's most dangerous occupations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has an annual, unpleasant ritual. The federal government agency announces the totals for workplace injuries and workplace fatalities. Let's face it, the only acceptable number of on-the-job injuries and fatalities is zero.

Unfortunately, we are headed away from that ultimate goal. The BLS recently reported that for the third straight year, workplace fatalities have risen. The grim numbers always give rise to the question of which occupations are most dangerous.

The most dangerous job in America is one familiar to many Colorado families: logger. With more than two-thirds of our state covered in forest or woodlands, logging has been a rich source of jobs for generations. Unfortunately, it's also an incredibly dangerous job, with a fatality rate of 135.9 per 100,000 workers, BLS says.

The most common injury in logging: being struck by an object.

The second most dangerous line of work in the nation: fishers and related fishing jobs. Their fatality rate is 86 per 100,000 workers.

In third: aircraft pilots and engineers, with a fatality rate of 55.5. Many of the other risky occupations are ones we're very familiar with in Denver, including:

  • Roofers: fatality rate of 48.6 per 100,000 workers
  • Refuse and recycling collectors: fatality rate of 34.1 per 100,000 workers
  • Iron and steel workers: fatality rate of 25.1 per 100,000 workers
  • Drivers (sales and truckers): fatality rate of 24.7 per 100,000 workers
  • Construction laborers: fatality rate of 15.1 per 100,000 workers
  • Police officers: fatality rate of 14.6 per 100,000 workers
  • Landscaping, lawn service workers: fatality rate of 13.2 per 100,000 workers

Keep in mind that all of these figures involve fatalities. Workplace injuries are a separate category that we expect BLS to report on extensively in coming days.

Those who have suffered an on-the-job injury and had a Colorado workers' compensation claim denied can speak with an attorney experienced in workers' comp appeals.

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