8 Jobs that are Risky and their Safety Measures
March 23, 2020
CATEGORY : Career Development

Some jobs are riskier than others because of machines, chemicals or the way the tasks are carried out.  A number of these occupations require highly skilled or trained individuals who choose to dedicate their lives for their higher inner calling. 

1. Firemen

Photo by Pexels

Firemen respond to fire and extinguish it with chemical or water means. They must also use ladders and climb stairs and rescue trapped people. Risks they could face include falling hot debris, suffocation from smoke, electrocution, and explosion.

Safety measures: 

  • Wearing heat resistant suit
  • Strategic firefighting 
  • Use of advance fire fighting equipment
  • Carrying emergency kit such as portable oxygen 
  • Wearing a face mask
  • Following safety protocols


2. Foundry Worker

Photo by form PxHere

Foundry workers make mould castings and melt metals using a very high-temperature furnace. They may use a large and cup-like holder to carry molten metal and pour them into moulds. The foundry produces products such as steel and alloys used in cars, buildings, shipbuilding and semiconductors. Foundry work is hard and perilous as workers face noise, high temperatures, chemicals, possible accidents, explosion, and constant exposure to fumes. It’s hard to imagine what damage can be made by molten metal pouring like water.

Safety measures: 

  • Wearing heat resistant clothing
  • Wearing ear muffler
  • Using radio telecommunication equipment
  • Following foundry safety measures 
  • Use of robotic/mechanical aids.

3. Linemen for powerlines

Photo by alcangel144 from Pixabay

Linemen install and fix power lines and its transformers (those hanging cylinder objects). They work for private or government-controlled energy companies and restore power outages. Risks they may face include electrocution falls, explosions, fires, fractures, sprains and adverse weather conditions. Some power companies that don’t use a lineman crane are more vulnerable to falls as their employees manually climb power poles.

Safety measures

  • Use of safety gears such as hardhat, electricity resistant gloves, insulated sleeves, composite toe boots, face shields, goggles, trousers and fire-resistant clothing
  • Use of power line cranes

4. Lumberjack

Photo by Abby Savage from Unsplash

Lumberjacks identify a hardwood or softwood tree and cut them into different sizes, logs that are further processed into furniture, cabinets, paper and wood products. This job is dangerous since they are using a chainsaw - a power tool that if not handled properly could cause kickback (a sudden upward motion chainsaw) that leads to cuts and gory injuries. 

Safety measures: 

  • Following correct use of a chain saw. 
  • Wearing safety gear such as hard hats, kevlar/steel gloves sleeves, clothing and booths.
  • Use of a robotic-like lumberjack machine named ECOlog that uses an extendable claw with circular saw and clamp to hold and cut trees in a few seconds to minutes. The robotic arm uses wheels to move the log and debranch it.

5. Meat Processor/Butchers

Photo by the US Department of Agriculture and a public domain photo

Meat processors use cutting machines and sort meat (pork, beef, tuna, venison, chicken) into various parts.  They work in the meat section of supermarkets and commercial meat factories. The machines they work with include a dicing machine, meat shredder, meat slicers and meat saw cutter - all use very sharp rotating or moving blades. Any accidents while operating these devices could send someone on a quick trip to the hospital. 

Safety measures: 

  • Wearing Kevlar and steel gloves, hard hat and arms shielding 
  • Use of cutting for large pieces of meat from cattle
  • Following safety measures such as proper use of machine

6. Miners

Photo by Ahtammar from Pixabay

Smartphones are increasingly becoming sophisticated featuring dual cameras and sharp screens, but did you know they won’t exist if not for miners? These guys are overlooked. Miners are responsible for retrieving rare earth minerals such as gold, platinum, silver, palladium, copper, terbium, neodymium, praseodymium, yttrium, lithium, lanthanum - all used in integrated circuits, batteries, speakers, displays, circuit boards. 

Miners constantly face dangers such as exposure to heavy metals and the breathing of coal dust. Deep inside the mine, the oxygen concentrations are lower than 19.5%. There’s a possibility of landslides and extreme heat. The whole body vibration WBV or daily exposure to vibration caused by jackhammer can cause musculoskeletal problems and female reproductive problems. Unsafe handling of explosives to carve identified mining sites can be disastrous.

Safety measures: 

  • Wearing a hard hat, face shield, goggles, and a facepiece dust mask to filter ambient dust. 
  • Use of flame-resistant coveralls, harnesses, belts, thermal socks. 
  • Use of wireless communication devices and GPS tracker for easy access and prevention of deadly situations during accidents. 
  • Use of drones to access areas deemed inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. The safety kit provides portable oxygen, bandages and first aid tools for an emergency.

7. Mortician

Photo by Davidrase and licensed under creative commons

Morticians or embalmers prepare bodies to forestall decomposition and make sure that the deceased have their dignity before burial. While they work like those people preserving biological specimens (lizards, frogs) in a jar of chemicals and working in a silent and tiled room (so safe area), the chemicals and bloodborne pathogens in the bodies are a source of concern.

Formalin, an embalming fluid, contains formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde- both listed as a probable carcinogen. The chemicals smell so strong that it packs a pickle-like odour. Its odour still lingers even after you leave a lab site. A seeping and free-flowing formaldehyde can contaminate groundwater.

Glutaraldehyde is used as a fixative, disinfectant, and sterilizing agent for surgical tools. Hospital chemicals use it in products such as Aldesen, Cidex, Matricide, Hospex and Omnicide. 

Safety measures: 

  • Wearing protective masks, goggles and gloves
  • Proper disposal of wastes such as body fluids, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde.
  • Correct use of embalming chemicals and cleaning of instruments. 
  • Use of a less toxic chemical.


8. Structural Workers

Photo by bridgeward from Pixabay

Structural workers make up those demolition men, window cleaners, foremen, power tool workers, crane operators and riggers who all do the manual labour planned by engineers. They face risks of falls, cuts, ricocheting projectiles from a nail gun, burns and heat stroke during summer time especially in middle eastern countries. During the winter season in temperate countries, they could suffer hypothermia. Accidents such as falling metal bars and falls could occur in unsafe construction sites.

Safety measures: 

  • Proper use of safety protocol and scaffolding
  • Wearing of harness, goggles, full face shields, long work pants, gloves, vest, long sleeves, safety shoes and hard hat
  • Use of harness to prevent fall accidents
  • Use of safety signages
  • Use of radio devices for communication
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