There are people in Minnesota who put their lives on the line every day. Are you one of them? Even if you are not an underwater welder, bull rider, snake milker or crocodile wrestler, several common, every-day occupations pose life-threatening hazards. You need not be a daredevil to face daily risks that could leave you with long-term health consequences or worse.
It is common knowledge that avoiding tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, are necessary to maintain good health. However, working with dangerous equipment, exposure to toxic or poisonous materials, and other hazards could send you to the hospital. How will you cope with the medical expenses, and will you be able to care for your family if you are unable to return to work for an extended period?
Is your job one of the ten deadliest?
Over the years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled lists of exceptionally dangerous jobs, with the following rated as the most hazardous:
- Industrial machine worker: If your job involves the installation or maintenance of large industrial equipment and machines, you will face risks such as burns, crushing injuries, and being struck by or trapped between machine parts. Severe and even fatal injuries occur in this industry each year.
- Construction worker: Working on construction sites will put you at risk of an endless list of hazards. They range from heavy materials, dangerous equipment, extreme weather conditions, and working at dangerous heights, all of which cause life-changing injuries to thousands of construction workers in Minnesota and elsewhere every year.
- Ironworker: In this occupation, you will handle scorching welding equipment while working at dangerous heights on tall structures. Safety authorities rate this occupation as the sixth-deadliest full-time job.
- Truck driver: Driving a big rig and hauling cargo across state lines put you at significant risks of road accidents. It is a lonely job with a lack of opportunity to exercise, which could have adverse health consequences, and truckers often suffer musculoskeletal injuries from handling heavy cargo.
- Garbage collector: If you collect garbage and recyclable material, exposure to hazardous materials, sharp objects, and contact with vermin or other pests will only be part of the risks. You also risk being hit by vehicles while you navigate through traffic with garbage bags and the hazards of being crushed by the compactor.
- Roofer: As a roofer, the most significant risk will involve falling and suffering injuries that might even cause paralysis. Along with the dangers of falling over unprotected edges, there will also be skylights and other openings that pose fall hazards, and adverse weather conditions can exacerbate the risks.
- Logger: If you work as a logger, you will risk your life every day. Some of the dangers include extreme terrain, falling trees, razor-sharp blades and working at dangerous heights.
- Agricultural worker: Whether you are the farmer, rancher or a worker, you could face risks related to animals, heavy machinery with dangerous moving parts, exposure to deadly pesticides and more. Extended working hours could cause fatigue, which could increase the potential for injuries.
- Fisherman: Wielding heavy nets, poles or traps in the ocean, and exposure to frigid weather cause catastrophic injuries or claim lives of fisherman every year. If this is your source of income, you might be one of the victims in the future.
- Pilot or flight engineer: While some may see these jobs as exciting, spending your workdays in or around airplanes pose multiple deadly risks, putting it among the top five deadliest jobs.
Your rights to compensation
If you risk your life in any of these deadly occupations, you likely think that the Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance system will have your back in the event of an accident. However, not all benefits claims are straightforward. It might be sensible to seek the support and guidance of an attorney who has experience in fighting for the rights of injured workers. Legal counsel can navigate the benefits claims process on your behalf, allowing you the time needed to recover and get back to work.