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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

The 15 jobs that are most damaging to a worker’s health

The number one spot is quite surprising.

INTRINSICALLY, SOME JOBS have more health risks than others.

A nurse working in a hospital is far more likely to catch an infectious disease than a lawyer working in an office.

To rank the most unhealthy jobs in America, Business Insider used data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a US Department of Labor database full of detailed information on occupations.

In order to analyse jobs by their impact on workers’ health, authors Andy Kiersz and Max Nisen took O*NET measures of six health risks in each of the 974 occupations in the database:

  • exposure to contaminants;
  • exposure to disease and infection;
  • exposure to hazardous conditions; exposure to radiation;
  • risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings;
  • and time spent sitting, since studies show that frequent inactivity shortens your lifespan.

O*NET scores these factors on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating an increased health risk. The countdown:

15. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

What they do: Collect and dump refuse and recyclable materials into trucks.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 97
  • Time spent sitting: 69
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 63

Overall unhealthiness score: 55

14. Nuclear Equipment Operation Technicians

image

What they do: Operate equipment used for the release, control, or utilisation of nuclear energy to assist scientists in laboratory or production activities.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to radiation: 89
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 77
  • Exposure to contaminants: 65

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.2

13. Medical, Clinical and Cardiovascular Technicians

What they do: Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to disease and infection: 96
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 69
  • Exposure to contaminants: 68

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.3

12. Airline Pilots, Co-Pilots and Flight Engineers

image

Image: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

What they do: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo.

Top three health risks:

  • Time spent sitting: 93
  • Exposure to radiation: 73
  • Exposure to contaminants: 68

Overall unhealthiness score: 55.7

11. Derrick Operators

What they do: Rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through a drill hole in the oil and gas sector.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 100
  • Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 93
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 91

Overall unhealthiness score: 56

10. Surgical Technologists

image

Image: ABC

What they do: Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 82
  • Exposure to contaminants: 81
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 59

Overall unhealthiness score: 57.3

9. Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

What they do: Operate or maintain stationary engines, boilers, or other mechanical equipment to provide utilities for buildings or industrial processes.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 99
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 89
  • Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 84

Overall unhealthiness score: 57.7

8. Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

image

Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

What they do: Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 97
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 80
  • Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 74

Overall unhealthiness score: 58.2

7. Immigration and Customs Inspectors

What they do: Investigate and inspect people, common carriers, goods, and merchandise to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Top three health risks:
  • Exposure to contaminants: 78
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 63
  • Exposure to radiation: 62

Overall unhealthiness score: 59.3

6. Podiatrists

image

Image: Podiatry/Shutterstock

What they do: Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

Top three health risks:
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 87
  • Exposure to radiation: 69
  • Time spent sitting: 61

Overall unhealthiness score: 60.2

5. Veterinarians

What they do: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals and perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals.

Top three health risks:
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 81
  • Exposure to burns, cuts, bites and stings: 75
  • Exposure to contaminants: 74

Overall unhealthiness score: 60.3

4. Anesthesiologists

What they do: Administer anesthetic or sedation during medical procedures, using local, intravenous, spinal, or caudal methods or administer anesthetic, adjuvant or accessory drugs under the direction of an anesthesiologist.

Top three health risks:
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 94
  • Exposure to contaminants: 79
  • Exposure to radiation: 71.8

Overall unhealthiness score: 61.8

3. Flight Attendants

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Air Stewardesses of British Overseas Airways Corporation in 1946. (Image: General/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images)

What they do: Provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. Greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment and serve food or beverages.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 88
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 77
  • Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites or stings: 69

Overall unhealthiness score: 62.3

2. Dentists and Dental Hygienists

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 87.8
  • Exposure to contaminants: 76.2
  • Time Spent sitting: 73.6

Overall unhealthiness score: 62.9

1. Histotechnologists


(YouTube: TheHistoTube)

What they do: Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists.

Top three health risks:

  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 94
  • Exposure to contaminants: 91
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 75

Overall unhealthiness score: 63.8.

Read: 8 strange jobs you’ve never heard of

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Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

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