While many of us believe we are giving too much of ourselves — our time, mental exertion and personal freedoms — to our jobs, we likely have it better than workers in riskier career fields. In fact, there are several careers that put their workers’ lives in danger every day just by the nature of the job: police officers, fishermen and pilots, to name a few. But what is the job with the single highest fatality rate? Logging, by a mile.

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 67 loggers died on the job in 2015. While more truck drivers (885) and farmers (252) died that year while on duty, loggers had the highest number of deaths per 100,000 workers: 132.7. That is more than double the second highest, fishermen, at 54.8 per 100,000 workers. The American average, for reference, is 3.4 per 100,000, making logging 39 times more dangerous than the average job in the U.S.

So what is it that loggers do on a daily basis, and why does it make them so prone to on-the-job fatalities? And more importantly, what safety regulations are in place to protect them, and is it enough? I turned to Jeff Wimer, a senior instructor and manager of the Student Logging Training Program at Oregon State University (OSU) and chairman of the Western Region of the Council on Forest Engineering, to find out.

Loggers harvest timber from forests, making their line of work essential for our way of life. Trees provide materials for our buildings and furniture; their sawdust becomes our paper; their fibers can be used to make asphalt. Heck, we even owe a debt of thanks to trees and the loggers who fell them for baby food and toilet seats.

“The dangers to loggers are the same as they have always been,” Wimer says. The terrain of the Pacific Northwest, for example, is rugged and steep. “The majority of this ground still requires workers who have a much greater exposure to hazards than someone in a machine.” According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some of those hazards come from the very tools loggers rely on. Equipment such as logging machines and chainsaws, while they have come a long way from the days of homemade choppers, still pose a threat.

Read more of this article from The Penny Hoarder at https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/make-money/logging-jobs/.