Research Outline

Unsafe Outdoor Industries


To identify unsafe outdoor industries that employ many workers, in Europe and the United States. This information will be used to identify potential clients who may benefit from a new safety technology.

Early Findings

United States

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industries with the most unsafe outdoor jobs (ranked by workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers) in the US are logging (53,600 workers), roofing (160,600 workers), refuse and recyclable materials' collection (115,130 workers), agriculture, including farming and ranching (876,300 workers), structural iron and steel installation (98,600 workers), construction industry supervision (598,210 workers), and landscape and lawn service (100,320).
  • Many other jobs in the construction industry are considered unsafe, including construction laborers, construction equipment operators, and operation engineers. The total size of the US construction industry is estimated at 7.3 million employees.
  • While the fishing industry is also considered very unsafe in terms of fatalities, the relatively low number of fishers and related workers is relatively low (520 workers), so would likely not be a viable target industry.
  • USA Today notes that the most dangerous industries often involve heavy machinery and may take place in locations that may be inherently more unsafe, such as the top of buildings or remote wilderness locations.
  • Several additional outdoor unsafe industries beyond those mentioned above include electrical power line installation and repair (114,800 workers). Total electricians (considered an unsafe job) in the United States are estimated at 729,400, some of which are likely to occur outside.


  • According to Eurostat, the most unsafe outdoor industries in Europe (ranked by fatal and non-fatal injuries) include construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, "water supply, sewage, and waste management", mining and quarrying, and "electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply".
  • There are approximately 12.7 million employees in the European construction industry. The industry is expected to grow to $2.0 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 4.4%.
  • The European agriculture industry has approximately 9.7 million employees, skewing toward older males.
  • As of 2017, the forestry and logging industry is estimated to employ 483,700 in Europe, with the highest industry workforce in Poland (52,700 workers), followed by Germany (48,000), Romania (47,800), Sweden (41,000), and Italy (39,800).
  • There are an estimated 1.8 million electricians in Europe, though this does not reflect those working exclusively outside.
  • The mining and quarrying sector employed 417,000 in Europe in 2017.
  • Workplace safety in Latvia and France is relatively low, while Germany and UK safety is relatively high.

United Kingdom

  • Three industries found to be unsafe in the United Kingdom include building (construction), farming/agriculture, and refuse collection. There were 1.32 million construction workers in the UK in 2017, while the number of farm workers is conservatively estimated at 346,000 (the number of seasonal workers is difficult to estimate). The waste collection industry is estimated to employ approximately 167,000.
  • The construction industry was found to be the most improved of the top 3 unsafe industries in the UK, though still ranked third in 2019, with 6.05 deaths per 100,000 workers. Agriculture was found to be the most unsafe industry in the UK in 2019.


Workplace Safety Technology Trends

Top European Companies in the Construction Industry

  • According to Construction Europe magazine, the top 5 construction companies in Europe include Vinci, ACS, Bouygues Construction Divisions, Hochtief, and Skanska.

Summary of Early Findings

  • In our first hour of research, we were able to identify a number of unsafe outdoor industries, and corresponding workers in those industries, in Europe, the United States, UK and Germany. We also found a list of top construction companies (the most unsafe industry) in Europe.
  • Unsafe industries were generally identified by workplace fatalities (or workplace fatalities and non-fatal accidents). We then provided the most recent workforce statistics as reported by the relevant government agency.
  • We also identified several safety trends associated with technology in outdoor industries.
  • Recommendations for further research are based on the information uncovered in early research.