America's most dangerous jobs

The American workplace is a lot less hazardous than it was a decade ago, but these 10 industries are still pretty deadly.

The 10 most dangerous jobs in America
The 10 most dangerous jobs in America
Fishing has long been in the top 10 of America's most dangerous jobs.

At least there is some good news on the employment front: the American workplace is a lot less hazardous than it was a decade ago.

Only 4,547 workers died on the job last year, a 23% decline from the 5,915 fatalities that occurred in 2000, according to the latest report on workplace fatalities from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Workplace deaths in 2010 were more or less flat with the year before, which was deemed the "safest" year since the Bureau of Labor started tracking fatal occupational injuries. About 3.5 workers died for every 100,000 employed in 2010, the same rate as in 2009.

Two major disasters weighed on 2010's death toll: The explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, which killed 29 workers, and the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 workers. Combined, the two disasters helped send the number of mining-related fatalities for the year soaring 74% to 172.

While agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have helped to make the workplace safer, some industries are perennially popping up on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' list.

Here are some of the most dangerous jobs based on fatality rates per 100,000 workers.

By Les Christie - Last updated August 26 2011: 11:48 AM ET
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