10 Toxic Occupations that are Hazardous to Health

10 Toxic Occupations that are Hazardous to Health

There’s no denying that there’s no such thing as zero risks. It is a known fact that chemicals, dust, fumes, fibers can put a person’s health at risk. In fact, in several occupations, the stakes are so severe, they can be life-threatening.

According to research, stats, and insights provided by domestic and foreign organizations, occupations like construction site workers, roofers, pilots, flight engineers, and loggers have the highest mortality rates.

Following are some of the most hazardous occupations known to man because they involve working in dangerous conditions or around toxic materials. 

Construction Workers

One of the riskiest occupations is construction site working. Since this job consists of manual labor, most of the construction work is done by hand, which exposes workers to dangerous materials.

One of the most dangerous materials encountered in this profession is asbestos, a material used in various applications like concrete, bricks, pipes, and ceiling insulations. As workers are exposed to asbestos, they inhale toxic fumes while working with building materials. Over the years, exposure to asbestos fumes results in fatal lung damage – also called mesothelioma, is an incurable form of cancer.

Several construction companies don’t warn their workers against this dangerous material and refuse to provide any protective gear and get away clean. But, with information readily available, if any worker is diagnosed with mesothelioma, legal action can be taken against the company for not issuing warnings or providing safety equipment.

This legal action entails hiring a qualified and experienced mesothelioma lawyer to manage all legal issues and seek compensation against any damages caused to the worker.

Commercial Fishing

If you think recreational fishing gives you the excitement of self-fulfillment, commercial fishing is the complete opposite. The purpose of commercial fishing is profit and becomes mandatory for fishermen who make a living out of that.

Because fishermen venture out into deep seas and oceans, their usual cause of death is harsh weather conditions or transport accidents. The fatality rate of commercial fishing is 86 deaths per 100,000 workers.


It may sound fancy to hear about someone flying an aircraft; at the same time, this job is risky. Pilots fly all types of aircraft, from propeller planes, helicopters to commercial and military planes.

Some pilots even perform complicated, risky tasks like search, rescue, or firefighting, which is sometimes fatal.

This job has a fatal injury rate of 55.5 and causes approximately 75 deaths each year, all because of plane crashes.

Logging Workers

Logging is just another toxic occupation, where a worker harvests thousands of acres of woodlands each year. The timber they cut is the raw material that is then used in several industrial products.

This occupation is considered one of the most dangerous as the fatality rate of logging workers is exceptionally high, with 91 total deaths per year. It also faces approximately 135.9 fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers.

Medical Equipment Preparers

Since a medical equipment preparer’s daily tasks include operating steam autoclaves, cleaning, sterilizing equipment, and assembling surgical trays, they are exposed to contaminants, multiple diseases, pollutants, and infections.

If medical equipment preparers aren’t cautious, these hazardous conditions can lead to severe illnesses, primarily if the equipment they are exposed to was used to treat a contagious disease.

Recyclable Material Collectors

Recyclable material collectors dig in all sorts of trash from different residential, commercial, or industrial areas for processing it. Garbage is infested with dangerous insects and bacteria, which form methane gas – hazardous if inhaled. Newcastle Safety Servicing recommends that any worker at risk of gas inhalation be equipped with an MSA ALTAIR 4XR Gas Detector, vital in keeping workers safe from exposure to toxic gas on the worksite. In addition, digging in waste heaps also leads to infections and illness.


Welding is a dangerous profession as well. When workers heat metal, it generates harmful toxic fumes. A chemical element called manganese is present in the fumes, which is mainly damaging for humans. Manganese, if inhaled, can cause a person to have fatigue, headaches, eating disorders, body stiffness, or tremors.

These fumes can be deadly if inhaled for prolonged periods and known to cause lung cancer, COPD, and larynx cancer.


Farming is one of the most hazardous sectors to work in. While harvesting grains, if a farmer consistently inhales the rotten plants, he can have asthma attacks that can damage his lungs and cause death. Most farmers also develop a farmer’s lung, an allergic illness caused by bacteria found in crops and other grains. Work-related fatalities take a heavy toll in underdeveloped countries as they are not blessed with automation or modern farming equipment.

Another severe disease that plagues farmers is the Silo filler disease, which can be developed if a farmer inhales toxic gas during the fermentation of the crops in a silo (a tower to store grains). This can also cause lung disease and death. The initial symptoms of this disease are dizziness, burning in the chest, and coughing.

Heavy Vehicle Drivers

Driving 18-wheelers or piloting excavation equipment isn’t for the faint of heart. It might be scary seeing heavy vehicles in your mirror, but moving them around for hours is risky for the drivers. Truck drivers often fall asleep while driving through nights and end up having fatal accidents.

What’s more, when a driver spends 8-9 hours using such heavy machinery, they can even lose consciousness and hurt themselves and those near that machinery. Several fatal accidents were caused by truck drivers who fell asleep at the wheel and lost their lives after being involved in a deadly accident.


A groundkeeper’s job is to maintain grounds, be it a sports ground, school ground, institution, or any other ground that he is assigned to look after. Because he is exposed to sharp tools, heavy materials, and elements, there are high chances of injury and destruction.

Even though this the least dangerous job out of the above list that we have provided, it is still a dangerous occupation.


When it comes to health risks during work, it should be controlled. Employee health and safety is a serious concern which companies often ignore to save additional material costs. But it’s an ongoing issue that organizations should pay attention to and understand what precisely the laborers are working on and what materials they’re exposed to.

Work-related injuries happen in developing and 3rd world countries. Organizations in these countries should be responsible for creating procedures that reduce health risks by eradicating the hazards or reducing them to tolerable levels.

Written by Frederick Jace

A passionate Blogger and a Full time Tech writer. SEO and Content Writer Expert since 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Reasons Why You Need Master Data Management Software

5 Reasons Why You Need Master Data Management Software

How to Make a Trip to Vegas your Most Memorable Experience Ever

How to Make a Trip to Vegas your Most Memorable Experience Ever