January 04, 1999
After being second most dangerous from 1992 to 1996, logging was the most dangerous occupation in 1997. "Timber cutters" suffered over 128 deaths per 100,000 workers, a fatality rate more than 27 times greater than the average for all occupations.
Fallen trees are the leading cause of worker deaths in the logging industry. From 1992 to 1997, more than 70 percent of the 772 fatal injuries to loggers resulted directly from contact with trees and logs.
Logging occupations are physically demanding, involving lifting, climbing, and other strenuous activities in remote locations that are frequently isolated from readily available medical services. Because the work is performed outdoors, adverse weather conditions and irregular terrain also hamper working conditions.
Data on fatal occupational injuries are available from the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. For additional information, see "Logging is Perilous Work" (PDF 58K),Compensation and Working Conditions, Winter 1998.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Most dangerous occupation of 1997? Timber cutting on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/jan/wk1/art01.htm (visited August 22, 2014).
This edition of Spotlight on Statistics examines labor productivity trends from 2000 through 2010 for selected industries and sectors within the nonfarm business sector of the U.S. economy. Read more »