Most Dangerous Jobs, Those in the Sky: Windowwashers, Helicopter Linemen and Pilots (Part VI)

A few weeks ago, we posted the third part in our dangerous job series. It focused on the dangers involved in fishing and farming. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at three dangerous jobs for workers who work in “the sky”: window washers, helicopter linemen and pilots.

American window cleaners of high-rise buildings wear safety harnesses, cradles and helmets as they go about their jobs. That is not always the case in other countries. In fact, in Dubai, window cleaners there have been known to step out onto ledges 400 feet in the air to clean windows while secured by nothing more than their grasp of the window frame.

Fortunately, OSHA would never allow this in the United States; in the United Arab Emirates, however, thousands of unskilled workers take horrific risks just to wash windows. And for many of them, they have no choice. If the immigrant workers speak up, especially in safety matters, they end up deported.

Helicopter linemen also have it especially dangerous. Not only do they operate high off the ground, but they do most of their work with electric lines charged with high voltage – using only their bare hands. And not very many of the workers have the special training needed to perform the risk work.

Pilots, while not working with high voltage electric lines, do work with high powered machines high in the air. And for many pilots, it’s a number of factors that make the job dangerous: the machines, the weather, and the fact that there is little to no room for error. Weather can change almost instantly, making it particularly dangerous – especially when flying in small planes in rough country.

Regardless of whether you are a pilot, window washer, miner, logger, fisherman or factory worker, there are many jobs across the country that are inherently dangerous. And even those that might not appear as dangerous can result in worker injuries – especially when employers don’t follow safety regulations as they should.

Related resource:, “America’s Most Dangerous Jobs.”