4 Most Dangerous Industries With Extreme Safety Hazards

IQ Newswire

In 2022, there were 4,695 preventable work deaths, which is a large number. Workplace safety is a fundamental right, ensuring well-being and protection from harm to employees while on the job. However, certain industries require people to work in extreme conditions, and safety hazards are uncommon in a regular workplace.

These include mining, firefighting, etc., and calling them dangerous is a grotesque understatement. This article will discuss these dangerous industries in detail, as well as the occupational hazards workers face in them. The intention is to shed light on what these industries entail and enlighten those who want to join them to facilitate informed choices.

Firefighting and AFFF Use

We are not even halfway through 2024 yet, and the U.S. has already witnessed 27 firefighter fatalities this year so far. As if putting their lives on the line to save countless lives was not enough, firefighters work in some of the most challenging conditions known to humanity. From intense heat burns to lung damage from smoke inhalation, the occupational hazards in this industry are pretty extreme.

According to TorHoerman Law, the firefighting foam, AFFF, has been linked to several health concerns, including cancer, due to its PFAS content. PFAS chemicals, or forever chemicals, are found in firefighting foam.

The reason behind the nickname is that these chemicals never break down and continue to acclimate to the environment and the human body for a long time. Exposure to this chemical can lead to various cancers, neuroendocrine tumors, mesothelioma, and more.

There’s an active AFFF lawsuit in the U.S. against firefighting foam manufacturers, including DuPont, Chemours, 3M, and a few others. Victims, including firefighters, military personnel, and civilians living close to suspected discharge sites, are holding manufacturers accountable for risking people’s lives despite knowing the dangers.

Mining Industry

The mining industry is swarming with extreme occupational hazards, posing severe threats to workers. From cave-ins that bury workers alive and dangerous explosions to a constant health threat from toxic fumes, these hazards contribute to an alarming rate of fatalities and injuries among miners.

Additionally, there are no stringent safety regulations and enforcement in places where active mining occurs. In these places, mainly developing nations, workers face a precarious situation. They have to face inadequate protection and limited resources while operating in fatal working conditions.

This is especially concerning because of acute, immediate health risks like black lung and various types of cancer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, mining fatalities increased by around 22% from 2020 to 2021, with oil and gas, metal ore, and coal being the most dangerous types of mining.

Logging and Forestry

Another industry infamous for its high rate of injuries and fatalities is logging and forestry. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau ranks this industry as the second-highest at-risk group. Goes without saying that operating powerful machines like chainsaws and heavy equipment is quite dangerous. Add to it the risk of falling trees and branches, rugged terrain, and unpredictable weather, and you have a difficult industry with high fatality rates.

The forestry and logging workers are also exposed to dangerous chemicals like herbicides and pesticides during the course of their jobs. These chemicals impose serious health risks, as they cause issues ranging from skin irritation to long-term sickness.

Even worse, logging and forestry operations generally occur in remote places with poor or no medical care facilities. This means that it’s difficult to provide timely medical attention to the victim in case of emergencies or accidents, further amplifying risks associated with the industry.

Commercial Fishing

Fishing or commercial fishing is considered to be the world’s most dangerous occupation. This is because of the alarmingly high fatality rates caused by accidents on sea. If the numbers from research by PewTrusts are to be believed, over 100,000 fishing deaths occur yearly. While this statistic is mind-blowingly alarming, it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Fishermen face perilous conditions like rough seas, unpredictable weather, and strenuous and long working hours in a day’s work. Apart from these, there’s the risk of getting entangled in a fishing net, falling overboard, and more. To make matters worse, fishermen’s boats operating on international waters often lack the necessary medical care paraphernalia. This leads to unsafe working conditions and a much higher likelihood of these accidents going unreported.

So, there you have it. The entries explored in this article represent the most dangerous and disturbing corners of the industry at large. While progress is being made to improve safety conditions and protect workers’ rights to safety, strict regulations and enforcement remain critical.  The health and wellness of the people working in these industries should not be sacrificed for the sake of economic gain.

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