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The 8 most dangerous jobs in the UK

Accidents by their very nature are unexpected and largely unpredictable. On the other hand, when it comes to accidents in the workplace there are a variety of solutions that can help you avoid a personal injury when people are working dangerous jobs.

Health and safety in the workplace has advanced dramatically in the past few decades, however, thousands of people in Britain still suffer from illness and workplace injuries, from paper cuts to catastrophic injuries.

With this being the case, we’ve compiled a list of 8 jobs that are considered among the most dangerous in Britain according to a study by Adzuna, in order to help you stay safe at work or when you’re choosing your next job role.

Waste collector

According to Adzuna’s study, collecting waste is one of the most dangerous job in the UK. Waste collectors are in close proximity to heavy machinery, compactors and heavy waste on a regular basis, and as a result, twenty people succumbed to fatal injuries in 2016.

Civil engineer

Civil engineering may be one of the oldest occupations in the world, but it remains one of the most dangerous for residents of the UK.

Spending the working day surrounded by heavy materials, construction works and large moving vehicles increases the inherent risk of a workplace injury, and the Health and Safety Executive reported that there were a total of 20 civil engineer fatalities in 2016.


Tradesmen including electricians, plumbers and other installation professionals encounter a variety of hazards in their workplace on a daily basis.

Water, electricity, fire and other elements all provide tradesmen with a host of risks and hazards to be aware of at all times.

Many tradesmen also work on construction sites which also increases their chances of sustaining a workplace injury

Common injuries include burns and hypothermia and unfortunately, in the past year 26 tradesmen passed away as a result of a workplace injury.

Mechanics and vehicle repair specialists

Next on the list are the heroes that keep our vehicles in working order. Around 20% of all workplace fatalities within the UK are related to some sort of vehicle incident.

Working under cars is particularly dangerous, and in 2016 a reported 26 people lost their lives whilst carrying out vehicle maintenance.

Joiners and painters

Joiners offer an invaluable service to the construction industry, but as with any job, it has its dangers. As with many other tradesmen, joiners often work on construction sites. Responsible for constructing timber frames, building staircases and many other wooden structures, their work requires them to operate heavy and often sharp machinery.

For example, bandsaws cause numerous workplace accidents each year.

Painters also help our houses become our homes, allowing us to visualise our own styles in our homes.

Whilst painting may not sound as dangerous as being a joiner, they share a common hazard.

Both joiners and painters often work at great heights, and as a consequence, they put their lives at risk.

In 2016 18 of the 28 recorded deaths of joiners and painters were as a result of a fall from a great height.

Lorry drivers

Sitting in a cab, clasping to a steering wheel for several hours a day may not seem like a life-threatening career choice, but unfortunately, more lorry drivers suffered catastrophic or fatal workplace injuries in 2016 than those who died whilst performing a civil engineer role.

One may be forgiven for thinking that HGV vehicles pose a threat to those around them given their size and on occasion their hazardous cargo, however, in 2016 a quarter of all fatal accidents were as a result of other moving vehicles.

Roofers and scaffolders

Working at great heights always poses a risk to the worker, but it is an element that roofers and scaffolders cannot avoid.

Approximately 30% of all workplace accidents in the UK are as a result of falls, with roofers and scaffolders making up a large amount of that figure.

Sadly workplace accidents resulted in 69 roofers and scaffolders sustaining catastrophic injuries in 2016.


Number 1 of the most dangerous industries according to the HSE is farming.

Every day farmers face unavoidable risks that can often be life-threatening.

Many work with large, heavy machines on a daily basis, whether it is tending to crops or moving farming materials.

Farmers also have the added inherent risk that animals pose. Cattle farmers, in particular, have to deal with animals that are often 4 or 5 times a farmer’s weight, with an average cow weighing approximately 680kg.

With seemingly a danger at every turn, farmers top the list of catastrophic workplace injuries, with a total of 167 people being seriously injured or fatally wounded in 2016.


If you are considering a career change then we hope this article has provided some guidance.

Of course, all the roles and industries above are for the most part completely safe, but as in any walks of life, accidents do happen.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident and you believe it wasn’t your fault, we can help.

We have an experienced team of specialist accident at work solicitors waiting to help you claim the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Employers have a duty to comply with Health and Safety laws and regulations and provide their employees with a safe workplace and if they don’t fulfil this duty then they are breaking the law, as well as putting you at risk.

We offer a free initial consultation, where we will discuss the potential of your claim, as well as gathering important details for your case.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, call us for free on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you at a more suitable time.