5. Roadkill Cleaner

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  • State Farm Insurance estimates that each year more than 63,000 deer are hit and killed in New York, more than 28,000 in New Jersey and 10,000 in Connecticut, said Victoria Hodson, a company spokeswoman.
  • Some counties were too low in their estimates of the number of deer that would be hit and have broken their roadkill-cleanup budgets. Burlington County, N.J., spent almost $37,000 through the end August, and Bergen County spent more than $32,000 this year, both nearly triple what the counties expected, according to officials there.


4. Lumberjack


  • A lumberjack is a worker in the logging industry who performs the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products.
  • Logging is perpetually among the most dangerous occupations in the United States.

  • In 2010, deaths among loggers increased to 59 from 36 in 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

  • Some of the biggest dangers are the a logger can't see
  1. broken tops of trees or limbs hidden by live branches," said Dana Hinkley, founder of Logger Rescue, which trains workers in safety and rescue techniques.
  2. The broken tops that snag in the canopy are called "widow-makers" for their tendency to work loose and fall on the heads of lumbermen.
  3. Violent storms can raise the risk by twisting the trees. And special saw techniques are required to release some of that tension before the final cuts can be safely made.
  • Fatality rate per 100,000 workers: 92
Median wage: $38,660

3. Sewage Diver


  • A sewage diver is a person whose job requires them to dive into sewage to perform necessary maintenance work.
  • It all has to be done in zero visibility; a lot of times we're placing equipment within a millimeter, so you're drilling holes and using hammers blind. All professional divers tend to be tradesmen first.

  • "Normally we dive between three and four days per month. A dive can last for ten minutes or six hours. We come up and rest, and then we continue, so sometimes we’re out there for thirty-six hours straight, if it’s a bad blockage. In the rainy season, it’s much more intense. We could be diving everyday in the rainy season. We have to be ready at all times throughout the year, though."


2. Fisherman



  • Alaskan king crab fishing is carried out during the winter months in the waters off the coast of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. The commercial harvest is performed during a very short season, and the catch is shipped worldwide. Large numbers of king crab are also caught in Russian and international waters.

  • Alaskan crab fishing is very dangerous, and the fatality rate among the fishermen is about 80 times the fatality rate of the average worker. It is suggested that, on average, one crab fisherman dies weekly during the seasons.

  • "The major problem is weather," said Glen Brooks, a veteran of 30-years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. "It's hurricane season now, but even in the winter sudden storms can spring up." He and his crews tend long-lines, seeking grouper and snapper. The rigs use hundreds of baited hooks that can snag unwary crewmen. "People get hooked and dragged overboard."


  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29 fishermen died in 2010, which was down from last year. But with a rate of 116 deaths per 100,000 workers, it's easily the most dangerous job in America.
  • Fatality rate per 100,000 workers: 116
Median wage: $27,880


1. Broadcast tower technician

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  • "A lot of times it’s just maintenance maintenance, changing out antennas and feed lines and, you know, fixing lighting systems, changing bulbs."
  • "We climb up a cell tower, say anywhere from 200 to 500 feet and do maintenance mainly on cellular phone towers changing changing out transmission lines or antennas. Sometimes we just change out light bulbs on the tower, that sort of thing."

  • This is called free climbing, meaning no safety lines are used,” the narrator says. “It’s easier, faster, and most tower workers climb this way…. Free climbing is dangerous, of course, but OSHA rules do allow for it. Attaching, climbing, attaching and removing safety lines every few feet slows progress and is tiring.”

  • WE reports seven fatalities related to falls from towers so far this year, compared to five for all of last year--the fewest since 2003. That year, 13 people died while working on communications towers, three of them in Huntsville, Ala. Mohammad Ayub of OSHA said at the time that shortcuts often led to fatalities.

  • The highest number of fatalities occurred in 2006, when 18 people died in tower incidents. Among them were Leo Deters, a 57-year-old industry veteran from Norwalk, Iowa. Deters and two crew members, 27-year-old Jason Galles of Des Moines and 19-year-old Jon McWilliams of Cumming, Iowa, died while riding a headache ball up a 1,500-foot tower.