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View Full Version : Machinist - 8th most dangerous job in America?



KiddZimaHater
08-29-2010, 04:29 PM
I read this article, but have a few bones to pick with it.
Machinist made 8th most dangerous job in America?
How so?
I'd think Mining would be on the list.
Obviously some egg-head journalist wrote this without doing much investigating.
America's 10 most dangerous jobs (http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/110394/americas-10-most-dangerous-jobs)

doctor demo
08-29-2010, 05:01 PM
I don't know how He came up with the numbers, but some of that sounds a little skewed.
If it is correct however I may be going for some kind of prize for outsmarting Darwin:D . I fit in the bottom four out of five on the list and if the list was expanded to the top 20 there might be a few more spots I could fill:eek: .

I find it hard to believe that fire fighters, bomb squad, electricians, and highway workers are not on the list ahead of sanitation, machinists and laborers.

Steve

toolznthings
08-29-2010, 09:19 PM
Hello,

As usual the job description is not even close for a machinist. I am not sure anyone knows what a real machinist does !:mad:
Surely not these people !

Brian

J Tiers
08-29-2010, 09:30 PM
It might be worth noting that the annual death rate in the US population at large, was 8.7 or so per 1000 in 2005

That would be 800+ per 100,000.

So being alive at all is 45 or so times more dangerous than being a machinist.

The article is just fluff, it is CNN, after all. Not intended to be a "study".......

Possible political motivation? Since "industrial machinist" requires industry, and industry pollutes and is best sent overseas...... as all progressives know. Annual death rate for web page designers is probably a lot lower....:rolleyes:

lazlo
08-29-2010, 10:15 PM
I think they're talking about a traditional (manual) machinist. All the other categories are classic top 10 high death rate jobs (fisherman, logger, ironworker), so machinist sounds believable.

Edit: It's actually not a fluff piece -- it's a report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The "machinist" title is actually very broad: "Industrial machinery installation, repair, and operation":

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cfoi.pdf

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/MostDangerousJobs.png

J Tiers
08-29-2010, 10:58 PM
There is a key difference.....

The graph data you show is for "Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers".

In other words Millwrights and other related workers, including those who presumably do similar tasks in the repair of machinery.

That is NOT "machinists".

x39
08-29-2010, 11:05 PM
I find it hard to believe that fire fighters, bomb squad, electricians, and highway workers are not on the list ahead of sanitation, machinists and laborers.
I thought about it for a while, and relying just on my memory I can recall far more cases of people killed in industrial accidents than fighting fires (not counting 9/11) or getting blown up diffusing bombs. In fact, I can't recall a single instance in recent memory of a person getting killed disposing of a bomb outside of a war zone.

KiddZimaHater
08-29-2010, 11:07 PM
Why don't I see Mining on any of these lists?
I always thought that mining (the actual guys who go down into the tunnels, stooped over, with a lamp on their heads) was a dangerous gig.

x39
08-29-2010, 11:08 PM
There is a key difference.....

The graph data you show is for "Industrial machinery installation, repair and maintenance workers".

In other words Millwrights and other related workers, including those who presumably do similar tasks in the repair of machinery.

That is NOT "machinists".
Many of those mentioned may indeed be machinists. Many machinists do more than just make chips.

J Tiers
08-29-2010, 11:19 PM
Many of those mentioned may indeed be machinists. Many machinists do more than just make chips.


but your argument is irrelevant.

They may also moonlight as police officers, or housemovers. Those "might be" items are not counted.

While they are "installing, repairing, or maintaining" machines, they are acting as "mechanics", "millwrights" etc, and NOT performing the tasks of machinists.

The statistics are, or should be, for the "job performed" and not for the name applied to the primary skill training of the person........ The primary task of machinists is not those things described in the graph, so those things "might be done" by some machinists, but are not part of the job category.

If machinists DO those things, they would be counted as risks within the category of "machinists", and not of "millwrights" etc, which the true category is. (in the old days there was much less distinction)

Otherwise these statistics are worse than useless.

hornluv
08-29-2010, 11:43 PM
I can believe it, what with all those snakes trying to eat through metal lathes :D

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=43312

lazlo
08-29-2010, 11:52 PM
Why don't I see Mining on any of these lists?
I always thought that mining (the actual guys who go down into the tunnels, stooped over, with a lamp on their heads) was a dangerous gig.

If you read the BL&S report, they have a separate chart by industry sector. Mining is surprisingly low compared to the manufacturing sector, for example. Does "Government" include the military? Otherwise, why are fatalities so high?

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/MostDangerousJobs2.png

If you fold the entire mining industry into the per-job function chart, it would be second on the list to fishing.

Geez, I knew fishing was dangerous, but Holy Cow, those guys need to find a new line of work!

dp
08-30-2010, 12:03 AM
Those wages they list seem awfully low.

whitis
08-30-2010, 12:25 AM
First thing I did was to go looking for the source that CNN failed to reference rather than going from the news medias mangled rendition where any resemblance to actual facts is purely coincidental. I found the same link as lazlo and it does indeed look like CNN have mangled that report beyond accuracy if not recognition. I don't think the fool at CNN even knows what a machinist is.

In that report, the table is a "selected occupations" and not represented as a top 10 list. And no, it did not list machinist in that graph. Even the original BLS report was pretty shoddy in its categorization and not listing the number of people who fell into each category. They do have a metal worker category but that wold include a lot of other trades and they don't give a denominator (number of workers) to go with the humerator (number of deaths).

BTW, mining is a lot safer in the US than it used to be and a lot safer than in many other countries. When miners die, they often do it in groups which makes the headlines.

Willy
08-30-2010, 12:47 AM
When reading statistics such as these, two things come to mind:

1. When the media reports on armed confiflict...the first casualty is usually the truth.

2. Figures don't lie, but liars sure figure.

This may may be a rather simplistic view, but it sums up my experience with the the media.

toolmaker76
08-30-2010, 01:26 AM
The term used was industrial machinist. I have spent half my career in industrial maintenance; retired early from one of the big 3 automakers. They are well paying jobs but there are 1001 ways to get killed.

My trade designation was toolmaker/ machinist- and for the most part it was what most would consider a traditional machinist job, but there are elements that make it dangerous; crawling inside something to get measurements to make spare parts, or above, or in an automated cell.

Most of the time you are working around machinery that could eat you- it was a challenge when I started but in the last years there it got old. There were safety procedures implemented but there is no such thing as fail safe.

There was a fatality in the plant after I left, a millwright. I took early retirement so I could spend the rest of my career in a nice quiet little shop somewhere!

Paul Alciatore
08-30-2010, 02:04 AM
So how long could you figure on lasting if you were a logger who fished on the weekends?

gnm109
08-30-2010, 02:14 AM
I don't think that being a regular machinist is all that dangerous. I can think of one job classification that was omitted and that is building demolition. When I was working for a workers' compensation company as a safety consultant, the highest rate was for demolition. It was $100 of premium for each $100 paid to the employee.

The rate was very high due to the high number of fatalities and cases of paralysis from falling ceilings, beams, walls, etc.

Due to the fact that the rate was so high, many employers would not even admit to doing any demolition.

For this reason, about 25 years ago, the Workers' Compansation Rating Bureau was forced to get rid of the classification and merge it into the building classes. That is, demolishing a building was then charged the same premium as erecting the building.

Nonetheless, the list included all of the main culprits. Roofing and Trucking are prime causes of lifetime disability and death, even to this day.

I think they may be combining millwright functions with machining to call it that hazardous. It's really not one of the main industries that I would think of as super hazardous in industry.

dp
08-30-2010, 02:37 AM
I think motocross racing should be somewhere up near the top of the list with Pro football and extreme curling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQWebGbAjxU.

Tinkerer
08-30-2010, 02:49 AM
I read this article, but have a few bones to pick with it.
Machinist made 8th most dangerous job in America?
How so?
I'd think Mining would be on the list.
Obviously some egg-head journalist wrote this without doing much investigating.
America's 10 most dangerous jobs (http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/110394/americas-10-most-dangerous-jobs)
I believe the writer just watched a week of Discovery Channel and TLC.

1, Deadliest Catch
2,Swamp Loggers or Axe Men
3, New Alert.. Alaska
4, American Cowboys (or something like that)
5, Sell My House
6,Modern Marvels Disasters
7, Scrapper
8, American Choppers
9, Ice Road Truckers
10, Home Make Over

:D

Marc M
08-30-2010, 04:11 AM
...they are "installing, repairing, or maintaining" machines, they are acting as "mechanics", "millwrights" etc, and NOT performing the tasks of machinists...

Actually, those activities are one of the roles of a machinist:

From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Definition of MACHINIST
1a : a worker who fabricates, assembles, or repairs machinery
b : a craftsman skilled in the use of machine tools
c : one who operates a machine

I do have to object a bit to c - Just because you're operating a machine tool doesn't really make you a machinist - it makes you a machine operator. The majority of the operators where I work would be completely lost if asked to make the simplest of items in any of our home shops. It's really quite sad...

Marc -

Evan
08-30-2010, 08:01 AM
So why don't any of those lists, reports and charts list commercial diving? The commercial diving death rate is 40 times higher than the "all workers" death rate. That puts it in second place.

J Tiers
08-30-2010, 08:18 AM
Actually, those activities are one of the roles of a machinist:

From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Definition of MACHINIST
1a : a worker who fabricates, assembles, or repairs machinery
b : a craftsman skilled in the use of machine tools
c : one who operates a machine



I am NOT INTERESTED in the online dictionary, AND NEITHER ARE THE MANAGERS AT A LARGE SHOP.

If you suppose for one minute that "skilled machinists" from the toolroom (or productive machine operators, for that matter), at a large shop are going to be used to do the "heavy work" of installing large machinery, such as rolling mill lines, or large mixing units, pressure vessels and pumps etc at refineries, etc, well, you have a poor opinion of managers.

And, "machine operators" are unlikely to have the skills. The toolroom folks probably do not have the skills either. It is a specialized activity.

For one thing, there is a union conflict in those activities.... the various trades do their proper work.

Now, there may be a few doing that work who are actually skilled machinists, but you are not going to find the toolroom crew called out on the factory floor for installing machines. Yet they are industrial machinists.

Machine repair? machinists obviously do some of that. But it is a rare shop indeed where the machinists in the shop do the repair work... these days it is contracted out or done by the company crew.

Nope, it is just a totally wrong idea to confound the machinist with the person who is primarily a millwright etc. The statistic simply does not apply to machinists who primarily use the machines to make stuff.

And, whatever degree that machinists generally ARE involved with repairs etc, should properly be categorized in the "machinist" category, which manifestly is not what they have listed.

You had as well lump in truckdrivers. they might in some way help in machine installation or repair, since the machine is loaded off of, or onto, their truck as part of that activity.....:rolleyes:

philbur
08-30-2010, 08:27 AM
c) actually says "operates a machine". In the clothing industry somebody who operates a sowing machine is known in that industry as a machinist. It's a big and varied world out there, job descriptions distilled down to a single word can result in much confusion.

Phil:)


I do have to object a bit to c - Just because you're operating a machine tool doesn't really make you a machinist

Marc -

x39
08-30-2010, 12:48 PM
It's a big and varied world out there, job descriptions distilled down to a single word can result in much confusion.
Phil:)
I agree. "Machinist" is a very broad term.

dp
08-30-2010, 12:55 PM
I am NOT INTERESTED in the online dictionary, AND NEITHER ARE THE MANAGERS AT A LARGE SHOP.

That means you are willing by declaration to accept any definition anyone wishes to apply to the word, but when somebody does, you gripe!

Can't have it both ways, Jerry. :D

lazlo
08-30-2010, 01:12 PM
So why don't any of those lists, reports and charts list commercial diving?

It's a resolution issue. There are only about 2,000 full-time commercial divers in the US. Same problem they're fussing about with the "machinist" bin -- they're aggregating related occupations into bigger groups.


The commercial diving death rate is 40 times higher than the "all workers" death rate. That puts it in second place.

That's about right. I just looked up the BL&S fatality rate for commercial divers, and it's 180 deaths per 100,000, which is right behind fishermen.

Michael Edwards
08-30-2010, 01:54 PM
I have done the commercial fishing and commercial diving ( both construction diving and harvest diving for sea urchins and sea cucumbers.) The harvest diving made the fishing look pretty tame. You have all the same hazards as fishing plus a whole lot more. Nothing quite like finishing a surdO2 dive and getting pulled up to the transom of the boat only to intermittantly see the ladder stabbing up and down in the water like a sewing machine, and you have to get out of the water and out of your gear and be run down in the chamber in less than five minutes. I say intermittantly because visibility was hampered by bubbles off of the anchor chain and bow of the boat. Did I mention the curent? Or the drag of a 400' umbilical in that current. GOOD TIMES! Glad I did it, it was a great experience, but I'm even happier to be doing something else now.

ME

J Tiers
08-30-2010, 09:37 PM
That means you are willing by declaration to accept any definition anyone wishes to apply to the word, but when somebody does, you gripe!

Can't have it both ways, Jerry. :D

You have written meaningless hash....... whatever are you attempting to say here?

If someone says this statistic applies to folks who install machinery, one must assume they MEAN that...... if they then call that person a "machinist", then either they are born 100 years too late, OR they are simply being stupid.

A "machinist", as anyone would understand that word today, is one who uses machines such as lathes, mills, grinders, etc to produce parts, typically but not exclusively out of metals. We would probably prefer to think of them as "skilled" people, as opposed to "button-pushers" or "operators", but in reality they are likely lumped together.

A millwright or in some cases "mechanic", is one who installs (erects) and maintains machinery of all sorts. Machine repair is possibly a separate category. Millwrights move the machine to the repair crew if that is appropriate, or dismantle big parts and deliver them for repair by the repair specialists, who may be actually machinists.

So the statistic appears to apply to millwrights and their ilk, and not to machinists......

To whatever extent "industrial machinists" DO regularly involve themselves in millwright tasks as well as their normal work, that "risk" should be listed under the heading of actual machinists, the same place the toolroom folks, production button pushers, etc, are listed. After all, in that case they are machinists performing their "normal tasks".

If a machinist transfers to the millwright gang, his risks go in "millwrights" now, no matter what his training is.... He is "being a millwright".

saltmine
08-30-2010, 11:42 PM
Gee, and here I was thinking that driving a dynamite truck hauling spoiled dynamite in Iraq would qualify as at least a number 3 most dangerous job.


BTW, there are no more "real" machinists, anymore. The guy who sits next to a CNC machine, reading a magazine, refills the coolant tank, and sweeps up the swarf isn't a machinist, he's a tool operator.

Just like the guy they call the manager at work....Yeah, he "Manages" to get outa bed and show up for work every day.

x39
08-31-2010, 12:03 AM
A "machinist", as anyone would understand that word today, is one who uses machines such as lathes, mills, grinders, etc to produce parts, typically but not exclusively out of metals.
I have worked in numerous factories as a toolroom machinist, and in every one of them I had a far broader range of duties than just being stuck on the end of a crank making chips. The ability to produce parts is what all machinists have in common, but the trade is very diverse. My workday would be completely different than a guy setting up and running a screw machines, building injection molds, or an outside machinist in a shipyard, but utimately we're all machinists.

x39
08-31-2010, 12:07 AM
BTW, there are no more "real" machinists, anymore.
I know a number of people who would be surprised to hear they're no longer with us. ;)

J Tiers
08-31-2010, 08:44 AM
I have worked in numerous factories as a toolroom machinist, and in every one of them I had a far broader range of duties than just being stuck on the end of a crank making chips. The ability to produce parts is what all machinists have in common, but the trade is very diverse. My workday would be completely different than a guy setting up and running a screw machines, building injection molds, or an outside machinist in a shipyard, but utimately we're all machinists.

Of course.... but ultimately it isn't "stuck on a crank", it is producing parts, producing tools to make parts, etc.

Skilled machinists DO that, and for every "machinist" who is assembling some huge machine, or doing some otehr task, there are hundreds if not more , making parts, tools, etc, using mills, lathes, etc..... (if there are so many as 100 machinists in the US anymore:rolleyes: )

That is the point..... the label on the statistic is stupid.....

Maybe someone of them moonlights as a taxidriver, but that doesn't mean that the risks of being a taxidriver should now be reported under machinists or millwrights......

x39
08-31-2010, 09:52 AM
(if there are so many as 100 machinists in the US anymore:rolleyes: )
Actually, this may touch on a point that could skew the numbers as well, which is the aging demographic for those in the trade. For example, if a guy has a heart attack and dies on the job, it probably gets figured into the mix.