What Are The Most Dangerous Jobs In Canada and Why?

Posted on April 26, 2021

Did you know that in Canada, according to a 2019 Report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates, almost 1000 employees died due to work-related causes?

One may think that the police officers who protect our streets have the riskiest jobs. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let's learn about the obvious, and not so obvious, most dangerous jobs in Canada. Would you compromise your safety for a pay cheque from one of these occupations? 

One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in Canada is an Airline Pilot

Airline Pilot Job Image

Choosing a career as a pilot may sound glamorous at first. You get to soar across the air, travel to various countries, and meet many interesting people in the places you land. 

Although there are apparent advantages to being a pilot, there are also certain drawbacks. It can be very costly to study for and maintain your pilot's license. Also, you miss out on any family time as well as public holidays and your weekends.

A career as a commercial pilot comes with a lot of responsibility and stress. Although it is exciting flying an airplane, you are in charge of the lives of hundreds of passengers. Should anything happen, you can suffer from guilt leading to mental health issues. These stress and health issues go for both male and female pilots.

There is also a real issue with fatigue. Because you are flying worldwide, your body does not get time to relax during travel, and you can suffer from body fatigue. That is concerning as it could cause you as a pilot to make a mistake and ultimately cause an accident.

In Canada's aviation past, since the first air crash in Victoria, on August 6th 1913, there have been several catastrophic accidents. These include non-commercial and commercial Canadian aircraft.

Roofers

Roofers Job Image

As the name says, roofers work on roofs! It does not require any higher education to become one; however, you have to have a good head for heights and be good at working with your hands.

Although it is easy to become a roofer, it is a potentially hazardous job. It's unfortunate enough that a fall could kill you, but roofers still have to deal with several other dangers on the job. Roofers face various hazards daily, including burns from toxic tars and explosives, electrocution from contact with exposed power lines, and injury from fallen tiles and other roofing materials.

Per year, more than 40,000 workers in Canada are injured as a result of falls. Each year, about 50 roofers are killed on the job, the majority caused by falls.

OHSA regulations, mandate employers to take precautions to protect employees. They must provide training, information, and make sure they use or wear necessary protective equipment.

Power Line Workers

Electrical Workers Image

When you combine high-voltage power lines with severe weather, you have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Electrical power-line workers build, operate, and restore electrical power.

Wind-damaged lines are sometimes repaired by linemen, often during the same winds that caused the failure in the first place. They're pressed to get it done fast to return power to neighbourhoods, which can lead to deadly mistakes.

These workers work with high-voltage lines that can send thousands of watts flowing into their bodies at any minute!

In the last decade, there have been 1,250 recorded overhead powerline contacts in Ontario alone. That has resulted in an average of two fatalities per year.

Iron and Steel Workers

Iron Workers

Installing iron and steel frames for houses, bridges, and other infrastructure is the job of an ironworker. 

Ironworkers employed on a full-time basis are covered by generous group insurances. They include health, life, dental,  and vision benefits. Usually, workers' compensation and retirement plans are also included. Additionally, the majority of employers offer paid sick leave and holiday pay to ironworkers.

Jobs in the iron industry face various hazards, ranging from muscle fatigue to burns and falls. There are approximately 30.3 deaths per 100,000 ironworkers. Although safety policies and laws have improved over the past few decades, this remains one of the most dangerous occupations.

Truck Drivers

Truck Drivers Image

Truck drivers do not top the list in terms of fatalities per 100,000 jobs, but they lead the list in terms of overall fatalities. That is since there are more truckers than in any other occupation. Accidents and seasonal weather are the leading causes of workplace mortality. 

There are approximately 18 deaths per 100,000 trucking drivers.

I am sure that you have watched 'Heavy Rescue: 401?' It is a Canadian reality tv program that chronicles several heavy truck recovery and rescue towing companies.

Mining and Quarry Workers

Mining Workers

Cave-ins, fires, poisonous air, and high temperatures are just a few of the dangers of underground mining.

Many mines reward employees with cash compensation for superior safety results. These bonuses, most often are in the form of a set incentive for maintaining an accident-free record for a specified period of time.

The mining sector claims more lives and work injuries than any other industry.

One way to tackle the ever-dangerous mining conditions is through safety conditions. Also through machinery and software advancement, and increased automation.

Farmers and Ranchers

Farmers Vehicle Image

Farmers are at risk of being harmed by adverse weather, heavy vehicles, large animals, and a variety of other dangerous practices. Many farmers also operate under duress. For example, though growing crops take the whole season, harvesting must typically be done as soon as possible due to spoilage of crops.

Approximately 36 farmers and ranchers per 100,000 die per year from accidents.

Loggers

Loggers Job Image

Logging has consistently been ranked as one of the riskiest occupations in Canada.

A recent Discovery Channel series tracks a party of British Columbian loggers as they conduct logging in British Columbia. The loggers face an uphill battle climbing the mammoth trees, removing their ends and tops, and positioning them for lift-off. That series gives you an idea of tree logger life.

Annual fatal accident rates for loggers are about 100 per 100,000 workers on average.

Timber industries should adhere to all applicable government safety standards. Additionally, the industry should take a step forward by implementing safety controls. They should use safer equipment and machines for their employees. These changes will contribute to creating a safer working climate for logging workers.

Construction Workers

Construction Worker Image
Construction workers wear face coverings in downtown Los Angeles, California during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on April 14, 2020. - California Gavin Newsom said Tuesday California is "bending the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic and outlined six indicators that must be reached before the state's stay-at-home orders can be relaxed. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Construction is a significant sector of the Canadian economy, hiring over 1.2 million workers aged 15 and older. According to OSHA, one out of every five worker deaths were in construction. 

Falls are top as a cause of death in the building industry since workers often work at great heights.

Construction needs to provide safety and health instruction to their workers to prevent accidents at work. Additionally, they must perform routine checks and make necessary equipment upgrades. Putting these measures in place will remove the majority of risks. Such as spills, electrocution, and dropping objects.

Trash and Recycling Collectors

Trash Collector Job Image

There are almost 35 000 trash collectors in Canada at one given time.

Though garbage collection does not seem to be a dangerous job, industry officials in Canada warn it can present health and safety hazards.

Although occupational fatalities are uncommon, ergonomic accidents such as back strain are common. Also, wounds from sharp objects, as well as exposure to bacteria and toxins, are still a risk.

To minimize accidents, protective gear should be used. These are rubber gloves, long trousers, and sturdy boots, ideally steel-toed.

Collectors must maintain current tetanus and hepatitis vaccinations. They should also where available, use automatic loading truck devices to load large and heavy bins.

Fire Fighters

Fire Fighters Image

On the job, firefighters face grave dangers such as heat exhaustion, injuries, and physical and emotional discomfort. They are also often exposed to dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide and other hazardous substances. Firefighting increases the risk of critical diseases such as:

  • cancer
  • traumatic injuries
  • cardiovascular illness
  • respiratory disorders
  • mental health issues

All the above are due to exposure to hazardous substances. Due to the vast range of threats encountered by a fireman, rigorous training and practice are often the only way to avoid injuries at work.

It's Not Just Another Day At the Office!

Although each workplace carries its own set of risks, some of the most dangerous jobs in Canada are clearly riskier than others. 

Very few people who take up a career give much thought to the fatality rates associated with the profession. However, as previously said, the risk of death or illness is far greater in some occupations than in others.

It is good practice to protect yourself and your loved ones by taking out insurance if you work in a risky environment.

If you have any insurance requirements, we are here to assist you!

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