How visibility affects our perceptions … and our pocketbooks. 

When a firefighter or police officer is injured or killed on the job our emotions are peaked and rightly so. There is widespread publicity. We translate that emotion in many cases into an open wallet in terms of the benefits provided. Afterall, these are dangerous jobs and it takes a special kind of person to do them. No dispute there. 

But what is interesting is how our perceptions and emotions cloud reality. The fact is that neither firefighter nor police office are among the most dangerous jobs in terms of deaths per 100,000 hours worked. Actually they are not even in the top ten. 

We rarely hear of the deaths of fisherman who have the most dangerous job, or loggers which are near the top. They too have families to support and they too leave behind children needing a college education. 

It’s interesting how our emotions work, often impacted by what we see and hear. 

Source: The Deadliest Jobs in America | Bloomberg Business – Business, Financial & Economic News, Stock Quotes


  1. Yes there are many dangerous jobs out there. I think the that difference is that emergency responders and soldiers are protecting you and me directly. I really don’t care how a 2×4 made it to the lumber yard or how the fish got on my plate. The big difference is that a logger can say no, not that tree today or we need different equipment to cut it safely. A fisherman can say that the seas are too rough no fishing today. But a policeman may not even get a chance to see who is going to shoot him, or a fire fighter doesn’t say that the people are not worth saving today because I might get hurt. When is the last time you hear about a logger coming and cutting down a tree just before it falls on your car driving down the road and saving a life.

    I do get your point. There are a lot of on the job fatalities that should not be. I just happen to look at the 2016 list last week and tree trimmers and loggers were killed all over the country. Another shocking listing was the number of work place murders (robberies or from co-workers).


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