Report: America's most dangerous jobs might not be what you think they are

Feb 24, 2011

Farming: More dangerous than police work?

Although there is widespread public acceptance that some jobs are dangerous - police officers, commercial fishing crews and the like - some even more hazardous occupations are not recognized as such, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The annual fatality rate per 100,000 farmers - for example - is 38.5, nearly triple that of police officers and sheriff's deputies, according to the newspaper, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Labor Department economist Jim Rice told the Journal media coverage has much to do with the disparity between perceived job riskiness and its actual level of danger.

"It seems counterintuitive because you hear about violent accidents; you probably hear less about people dying when tractors roll over on them. For those who do work on farms, it's still a dangerous occupation," he said.

While the general population may have a cloudy view of employment risk, life insurance companies certainly do not, and those in particularly dangerous jobs will frequently find themselves paying higher rates for their coverage.

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