Deadliest Catch

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For over 10 years viewers have been tuning into Deadliest Catch, a reality television show that follows captains and crew about various fishing vessels fishing for crab in the Bering Sea off the Alaskan coast. Viewers are mesmerized by the excitement and danger of fishing for crab in the rough waters. The show started out in 2005 with the intent of letting viewers experience the danger of what they called the deadliest job on the planet. Reality indicates . . . they aren't fall off.

The 2014 U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting for fatal occupation injuries was release in late 2015 and indeed showed that among civilian occupations with the most fatal work injuries per 100,000 workers, fishers and related workers were number two! What was number one? Logging workers!

The list and chart shown provided by the report by the BLS contains many surprises in the top 10 most dangerous occupations in terms occupational deaths per work. Occupations such as aircraft pilots and electrical power-line workers may not be a surprise to you but how about farmers, drivers (both sales and truck drivers) and first-line supervisors of construction trades. These may be a surprise.

So what can we learn about these statistics? "Sure am glad I'm not a logger!" Certainly! But if you look closely at the list you find that many of these activities we all participate in at some time in our life and just how dangerous these activities are . . . even if it's not our occupation. Even more important is that we participate in these activities without the training, equipment and knowledge that the professionals who were killed or injured in their chosen occupation had.


Take driving for example. We all drive and this activity is number 8 on the list. Roofers come in at number 4 and I'd venture to say that we have all been on the roof of our house or other height in the past couple of years where falling, the number one reason for death of roofers is certainly a danger. Sometime after a storm or to obtain firewood many of us have picked up a chainsaw and started cutting up wood.

We have all participated in these activities. The key for us today in this toolbox is to understand that these activities have been shown to be especially dangerous and fatal to the professionals who do this for a living. We as the occasional novice must pay specific attention to the hazards as we participate in these types of activities or perhaps pay a professional to do them for us.

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