Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / FEB. 10, 2016
version 8, draft 8

10 Jobs That Are Damaging to Your Health

The Occupational Information Network, a US Department of Labor database, recorded the world’s unhealthiest jobs having looked at the risks that were associated with the duties and nature of each job. In specific, the O*NET’s results were based on the following six health risks:

  • Exposure to contaminants
  • Exposure to disease and infection
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings
  • Time spent sitting

The data showed that occupations which had the highest percentage of these risks were also the unhealthiest. Indeed, if you think about it, being a medical professional means that you come in contact with people who carry various diseases on a daily basis and, as such, run a higher risk of having poor health.

If you’re curious to know which jobs are considered to be the most damaging to your health, check out O*NET’s top 10 results.

See Also: Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the World

1. Dentists, Dental Surgeons, and Assistants

Dentist at work

Dentists and dental surgeons score high on the scale of risks they have to face while exercising their profession. Examining and treating patients’ diseases, injuries, and often deformities of teeth and gums puts these professionals first on the list. It doesn’t come as a surprise, however, considering that they come in contact with germs and other harmful chemicals on a daily basis. The overall unhealthiness score for these professions reached 65.4.

  • Exposure to contaminants: 84
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 75
  • Time spent sitting: 67

2. Flight Attendants

Flight attendant with passenger
The Huffington Post

Flight attendants spend a lot of time of their every day in a plane that’s thousands of feet up in the air. Apart from that, they meet and greet people from all around the world, many of whom may even carry diseases and other serious viruses. These professionals score 62.3 on the level of unhealthiness.

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

3. Anesthesiologists, Nurse Anesthetists, and Assistants

Just like dentists, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists also come in contact with people who carry serious diseases and are more prone to getting infected. These professions are considered to be unhealthy at a percentage of 62.3.

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 94
  • Exposure to contaminants: 80
  • Exposure to radiation: 74

4. Veterinarians and Veterinary Assistants & Technicians

Veterinarians, the people who diagnose and treat animals with various injuries and diseases, also run a high risk of getting infected – and even injured by untrained pets. Overall unhealthiness is at 60.3.

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 81
  • Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 75
  • Exposure to contaminants: 74

5. Podiatrists

You might think that podiatrists have nothing to worry about; however, having to diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot is no walk in the park. These professionals also face a high risk of getting infected and are most of the time exposed to radiation. These jobs score 60.2 when it comes to overall unhealthiness.

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 87
  • Exposure to radiation: 69
  • Exposure to contaminants: 67

6. Immigration and Customs Inspectors

These professionals run a higher risk of developing health issues due to their exposure to contaminants caused from vehicles passing through the immigration borders. Radiation is also a problem. Overall, these professions score 59.3 in unhealthiness.

  • Exposure to contaminants: 78
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 63
  • Exposure to radiation: 62

7. Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians

Man working in lab

Histotechnologists and histologic technicians are responsible for preparing histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination. Even though their job sounds exciting, it’s also full of hazards. The level of unhealthiness is high for these professions, too: 59.0.

  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 88
  • Exposure to contaminants: 76
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 75

8. Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Water treatment operator

Professionals working at wastewater treatment plants are more prone to contaminant infections. The work environment they are based in is not the safest in the world, either. Unhealthiness is at 58.2.

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

9. Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Boiler operator

Stationary engineers and boiler operators run a higher risk of getting infected by dangerous chemicals. Who said controlling machines was a safe and easy job to do? Overall unhealthiness is at 57.7.

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

10. Surgical and Medical Assistants

Surgical and medical assistants, as well as technologists and technicians, run a higher risk of getting sick through various infections. Having to assist surgeons isn’t a hands-off job, and they do get actively involved in the surgery under the surgeon’s supervision. The unhealthiness score for these jobs is 57.3.

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 88
  • Exposure to contaminants: 80
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions: 69

See Also: Top 10 Hardest Jobs in the World

Who would have thought that these professions that pay relatively well are also considered to be amongst the unhealthiest jobs in the world? The takeaway here is that if you’re in the middle of choosing a career path to follow, make sure you do so wisely.

Are you aware of any other jobs that could be damaging your health? Let me know in the comments section below!

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