For some of the UK population, the most danger that they will face at work involves wrestling paperwork on a desk, but for others, they face potentially deadly situations every day. You might think that the riskiest jobs are obvious, such as firefighters and police officers, but there are a large number of industries that pose a risk to the workers. It also might surprise you to learn that some of the UK’s deadliest jobs are also some of the worst paid.
#1 Vehicle Maintenance
Around 20% of workplace deaths in the UK are caused by vehicles with 26 people in the car maintenance industry suffering a fatal accident in 2016. Whilst the most obvious cause of injury within this sector is workers being hit by a moving vehicle, workers in the vehicle maintenance industry may also be exposed to other, less obvious hazards, including hazardous chemicals.
#2 Waste Management
Waste management can be both a dirty and dangerous job. Exposure to harmful bacteria and the risk of being struck by a vehicle make waste management one of the riskiest jobs in the UK. Waste management does not only pose a threat to the workers, but waste also needs to be handled in a specialised way that ensures that no harm is caused to others or the environment. Waste management is also one of the worst-paid job roles on our list.
You probably won’t be surprised to see health care professionals on this list as they are constantly exposed to illness within the workplace. There is an understaffing problem in the health care industry which creates many unsafe conditions. One of the most common is chronic overtime, nurses typically stay on their feet for long hours at a time and lifting and transferring patients is also risky. Combine all of this with workplace stress and this makes working in the health industry a risky job.
#4 Painting & Decorating
The majority of workplace deaths in painting and decorating are caused by falling, which is also the major cause of workplace fatalities in other sectors. Other risks include sharp tools, which are often used in painting and decorating, such as scrapers and penknives. Both painters and decorators also often work with materials that are highly flammable.
From nightclub bouncers and supermarket security staff to bodyguards and protection officers, security work can one of the riskiest jobs in the UK. The Service Industry Authority provide essential training for individuals working in the private security industry and as such, makes this type of employment a popular choice for those who have worked in high-risk jobs before, such as police officers or military personnel.
Electricity is dangerous and the job of an electrician is a risky job. Installing facilities with electrics is one of the most hazardous jobs in the UK. Even simple domestic jobs can be dangerous for electricians, as they are sometimes called-out in order to rectify poor or faulty work attempted by someone more inexperienced. Electricians work in a number of different environments and so they may be exposed to any number of hazards including harmful materials such as lead or asbestos, risk of electrical shock, risk of electrical burns, fire, working in confined spaces, extreme temperatures and more.
Any job that involves working at heights poses a risk of injury or death. The majority of workplace fatalities are due to falling from a height. When a roofer gets on a roof there is likely a wide range of places that they can trip or lose their footing, such as missing tiles. If a roofer steps in the wrong place, they could fall and severely injure themselves. A large number of roofing fall injuries are fatal because of the serious damage caused by falling. Other risks include working with hazardous materials such as asbestos.
#8 Civil engineering
Civil engineers are probably one of the highest earners on this list with job vacancies offering on average £8,000 more than the UK national average salary. It may not sound like a very dangerous job but helping to build up the UK’s infrastructure is a risky job as civil engineers in the UK are most commonly in danger of accidents involving heavy machinery, excavations collapsing or being struck by vehicles.
Construction is a job you’d probably expect to find on a list of risky jobs. The construction industry has a high injury rate and one of the highest rates of workplace fatalities. Construction workers have to be aware of many dangers in the job such as falling off of ladders or being injured by heavy machinery. In construction, there are approximately 80,000 workers suffering from work-related ill health, with 64,000 non-fatal injuries and 30 fatal injuries to workers each year. Almost half the construction deaths in the last five years were attributed to falling from a height.
Agriculture is officially the most dangerous job in the UK. It has a mortality rate 18 times higher than the national average across all industries, with 1 fatality per 100,000 workers. Figures published in the HSE’s report ‘Fatal injuries in agriculture, forestry and fishing in Great Britain 2018/19‘ show that 39 people were killed as a result of farming and other agriculture-related activities during the year with overturning vehicles or being struck by a vehicle causing the most deaths.
If you are concerned about the risks associated with your business, visit our business insurance page to find out more or call Ashburnham Insurance on 0800 1696137. We can provide insurance for all sorts of trades.