2. Timber Logging Workers
The second most dangerous in the top ten most dangerous jobs are positions in timber logging, with a fatality rate of 86.4 per 100,000 workers in 2007. Timber logging has frequently earned the position of the most dangerous job for many previous years, with fatality rates as high as 118 per 100,000 workers in 2002 and 92.4 per 100,000 workers in 2006. A timber logging worker is around 20.6 times more likely to get injured on the job compared to an average worker. The estimate in 2009 shows a comparative decline in the fatality rate, at 61.8 per 100,000 workers, but timber logging still retains the second spot in the list of most dangerous jobs.
Timber logging jobs are physically demanding and hazardous. The job requires great skill to move logs and branches, very often manually, to use equipment such as chain saws skillfully to fell trees, to skid and load logs into trucks, and similar risky tasks.
The risk factors include:
- deaths or loss of limbs by being crushed under the falling trees, being trapped by the vines, or being trapped in between the rolling logs
- death or injury by encountering slippery ground, quicksand, poisonous plants, insects and snakes, etc., and
- loss of hearing capability owing to working under the constant sound of sawmills and heavy machinery.
Adding to the risk is the extended time spent outdoors in isolation, very often in adverse weather conditions such as extreme heat or extreme cold.