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Risk and reward: how well are you paid for your dangerous job?

As we have said before on this blog, there is no job that comes without some safety risk. Whether it’s the risk of carpal tunnel or the risk of chemical exposure, every job presents its workers with some kind of danger that we hope employers account for.

That having been said, we also know that there are some jobs that are more dangerous than others. Some people believe that it’s because of this increased risk of serious or fatal injuries that these employees should or are paid better. That way, the employee will not struggle financially after an injury. But as our California readers will soon see, this isn’t always the case, which further highlights the need for workers’ compensation benefits for workplace injuries.

Let’s take for example employees in the fishing industry. Considered to be one of the most dangerous occupations, those working in this industry are at risk of falling overboard, drowning, onboard and onshore injuries as well. According to one report, the death rate among fishermen is 36 times higher than the average occupation.

Unfortunately, according to some financial statistics, most fishermen only make around $36,000 a year. If this is the worker’s only income, even a temporary injury could result in lost wages and mounting medical bills. Without workers’ compensation, they might find themselves facing a far more difficult situation than they can imagine.

A more common, but just as dangerous, job is driving semi trucks. Truck drivers must often endure lengthy trips over the course of several days, sometimes not getting the right amount of sleep between hauls because of deadlines. This can be incredibly dangerous and is one of many things that can cause accidents to occur.

But pay ranges vastly from a little more than $27,000 to nearly $41,000 a year. For workers on the lower end of the pay scale, prolonged injuries that inhibit a person’s ability to work could be devastating financially, especially without benefits.

Though we only mentioned two, it’s important to remember that anyone can suffer a work-related injury. The hope though is that if your income does not cover the expenses of recovery then workers’ compensation can.

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet, “Price of Risk: How Well Do the 5 Most Dangerous Jobs Pay?” Erika Rawes, June 28, 2014