Many people travel to work with a mundane routine in mind. However, there are several dangerous jobs that have a much higher risk of fatality. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 5,000 work-related injuries. Most of the work-related deaths occur in a general group of dangerous careers to earn a living. Regardless of the utmost safety measures required in each field, fatalities still occur because of several uncontrollable factors surrounding high-risk careers.
The number one most dangerous career since 1992 is fishing. Uncontrollable factors such as weather and malfunctioning equipment result in fishing being the leading profession ending in the highest risk of death among workers. Other factors include long fishing hours with barely any sleep as well as limited medical attention without the assistance of the US Coast Guard.
The family of a fisherman that passed on the job does have remedy within the law. The family can be entitled to damages related to the federal maritime law. Furthermore, a family can collect damages based on The Death of the High Seas Act if the commercial fisherman was killed because of the negligence of the employer’s vessel determined to be non-seaworthy. High seas are defined as 3 nautical miles off the coast.
The Death of the High Seas Act provides damages to the family limited to the lost wages that the death of the fisherman caused the family that is typically based on the current earnings and life expectancy of the deceased fisherman. A lawsuit must be brought forth within 3 years of the incident.
Logging qualifies as another high-risk occupation. Several factors such as high altitude, heavy machinery, and working with large, movable objects all contribute to a high number of deaths. Loggers often work in isolated areas lifting heavy items without medical attention nearby. Loggers have a 27% greater incidence of death within their occupation and 100-150 deaths occur in the logging industry each year. The average salary for loggers is approximately $32,870 per year.
The logging industry is strictly regulated by OSHA standards. Any logging death will be fully investigated to ensure that the logging operation abides by all OSHA standards and regulations. Family members of the death of a loved one have a right to make a formal complaint against the logging company and OSHA due to negligence. Monetary reimbursement for lost and future wages is obtainable depending on the outcome of the investigation.
Another dangerous occupation is mining. Mining accidents are quite large and newsworthy due to the massive impact on location as well as multiple fatalities. Adding to the danger of mining is heavy machinery, explosive elements, and enclosed facilities without numerous exits. The fatality rate is approximately 20 per 100,000 workers or 172 per year. The average salary ranges from $37,200 to $89,440.
Typically with mining and other hazardous occupations, both large and small companies are required by law to offer the surviving spouse a lifetime annuity. There are stipulations surrounding the amount of the annuity including the time of death.
Death before retirement will allow the spouse to receive an annuity if the employee reached a sufficient age and performed enough service for retirement benefits. The annuity will depend on the size of the pension the worker would have received had they opted for early retirement. Again, with other hazardous occupations, there are death benefits in addition to annuities. Both pension plans and death benefits are enforced by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
More common hazardous occupations include airline pilots, farmers and ranchers, roofers, and truck drivers. Fortunately, there are laws that will assist the family of deceased workers in most cases. An excellent resource to find more information and remedies is the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.