The UK’s most dangerous jobs

Have you ever sat at your desk longing for a more exciting job? Spare a thought for these professionals who risk life and limb just to get through a normal working day.

Fishermen and Farmers

Despite only making up a small portion of the UK’s workforce, Agriculture accounts for one in five workplace deaths.  Figures leading up to April 2011 revealed that the total number of injuries across all industry sectors was around 200,000 and the number of deaths was 171.

The top reasons cited for making this industry so dangerous include tractors and machinery not working properly, farmers not being trained effectively when it comes to using machinery, working with animals such as bulls and falling from high places such as when repairing roofs.

According to a study by Oxford University, everyday life is also dangerous for those working at sea. Being 50 times more likely to die compared to those in other professions, being a commercial fisherman certainly is not for the faint hearted.


The construction industry also has an alarmingly high rate of injury and fatality. In fact, despite only accounting for 5% of the UK workforce, it makes up a staggering 27% of fatal injuries. Those most at risk include scaffolders, plumbers, steel workers and steeplejacks with the most common accidents comprising falling from heights, slips, trips and electrocution.


Following closely behind construction, manufacturing accounts for 21% of fatalities and 15% of injuries to UK employees. The vast majority of these accidents involve machinery, with food manufacture rates being twice that for manufacturing as a whole. Fortunately, major health and safety improvements have been made in the industry which has seen the number of fatalities and injuries continue to drop.

Miners and Rig Workers

Miners, tunnellers and rig workers face many occupational hazards including roof cave-ins, explosions, fires and flooding and also have a much higher risk of developing lung diseases in the future. As a result of extracting volatile substances with heavy machinery, rig workers are often exposed to dangerous situations especially when dealing with remote locations and extreme weather conditions.

There are plenty of other high risk jobs out there including security guards, circus performers, stunt performers and dangerous sports such as Formula 1. Are there any others you can think of? Let us know your thoughts below.


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