In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, here’s a reason to be thankful: hopefully you aren’t working in any one of these ten most dangerous jobs in America.

Compiled annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the list for 2011 was recently released (it is compiled from 2010 figures). This list is formally from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CF0I), part of the BLS Occupational Safety and Health Statistics (OSHS) program, and compiles a list of all fatal accidents during the calendar year.

Some analysts and others quibble with this list as it ranks solely by fatalities, and doesn’t include, for example, workplace injuries or stress that leads to a shorter lifespan (admittedly, this last would be hard to measure but I think we all would know these jobs when we see them!). And also, typical of the BLS, there are some weird job classifications.

But methodology aside, these are jobs I’m glad I don’t have.

The good news is that fatalities in the workplace are down over previous years. The bad news is that in part that is attributed to rising unemployment.

Here's the countdown!

10. Driver/Sales Workers and Truck Drivers

9. Refuse and Recycling Collectors

8. Roofers

7. Mining machine operators

6. Coal miners

5. Farmers and Ranchers

4. Miscellaneous Extraction Workers (these workers examine and inspect equipment, construction sites and work in progress, often at heavy-construction projects)

3. Pilots and Flight Engineers (this includes test pilots and rescue aircraft)

2. Logging Workers

1. Fish-Related Workers (anyone who has seen Deadliest Catch can relate to this one)

Looking at this list, it’s obvious that environment plays a big role in the dangerous nature of most of these jobs. And many of these jobs are inherently risky.

Let’s all hope for a safe holiday season – and beyond – for these workers.

Thoughts? Please email me at

Tags: Industry, BLS, Coal miners, Dangerous Jobs, Farmers and Ranchers, Fish-Related Workers, Logging Workers, Mining machine operators, Miscellaneous Extraction Workers, Pilots and Flight Engineers, Recycling Collectors, Roofers, Truck Drivers