America’s Most Dangerous Jobs


A worker in the oil and gas industry is six times more likely to die on the job than the average American worker. Last year 112 oil and gas workers died from workplace injuries.

But how does oil and gas compare to other dangerous industries?

Oil and gas is consistently less safe than construction and consistently safer than fishing. Based on the past decade of data, fishers, hunters and trappers are 23 times more likely to die on the job than the average American worker.

Here’s a look at the worker fatality rates – in deaths per 100,000 workers – for the past 10 years in oil and gas; construction; fishing, hunting, and trapping; and U.S. industry overall.

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Get the data: CSV | XLS | Google Sheets | Source and notes: Github

As Emily Guerin reported in her story on the history of coal mining safety, oil and gas is now less safe than coal mining – although that wasn’t always the case.

Inside Energy will be focusing on the issue of workplace safety in the oil and gas industry all week in our Dark Side Of The Boom series:

  • Stephanie Joyce will look how commercial fishing in Alaska has turned its safety record around, and whether oil and gas can do the same. She’ll also be asking why Wyoming’s oil and gas worker fatality rate has dropped in recent years: Is it because the boom has moved on, or because of new safety measures?
  • Emily Guerin will investigate why North Dakota’s oil and gas fatality rate is three times higher than the national rate.

View the data behind this graph – which is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries – as a Google spreadsheet.