The BLS tracks statistics for on the job fatalities. Their report for the 2008 fatality figures just came out last month.
So what are the most dangerous jobs?
In rank of fatalities per 100,000 full time workers :
|Fishers and related fishing workers||128.9|
|Aircraft pilots and flight engineers||72.4|
|Structural iron and steel workers||46.4|
|Farmers and ranchers||39.5|
|Refuse and recyclable material collectors||36.8|
|Electrical power-line installers and repairers||29.8|
|Driver/sales workers and truck drivers||22.8|
|Taxi drivers and chauffeurs||19.3|
The overall fatality rate for all jobs is 3.6 fatalities.
The dangerous nature of some of these jobs is more obvious than others. It might be a surprise to see jobs like "Refuse and recyclable material collectors" or Taxi Drivers on the list but no mention of police officers or firemen.
The reality is that the largest causes of fatalities on the job are highway accidents and falls which account for about 23% and 13% of all fatalities respectively. So jobs like trash collectors, truck drivers and taxi drivers have higher fatality rates due to more highway accidents.
Seeing fishermen and loggers at the top of the list may not surprise some people due to television shows such as Deadliest Catch or Ax Men which feature the dangerous nature of those jobs.
This is not to downplay the dangerous nature of any particular job that didn't make the top 10 list, but statistically speaking in 2008 the people on the list above were most likely to have on the job fatalities and therefore the most dangerous in that respect.