What is the most dangerous job in America today? Police officer? Fire fighter? Lumberjack?
According to an HBO special, "Death on the Job" (10:30 p.m. Sunday), it's commercial fishing, and the program offers graphic footage of the danger as a fishing trawler sinks, taking several hands with it.
But commercial fishing isn't the only dangerous profession. In fact, this thought-provoking show insists that one of the most dangerous things you can do in America today is show up for work. According to National Safety Council figures, 10,000 Americans are killed and 6 million are injured on the job every year.
Using often gripping news film and interviews with workers and victims' survivors, "Death on the Job" looks at recent disasters in the fishing, construction and petrochemical industries. The program is narrated by the actor Joe Mantegna; his somber voice adds the proper tone.
Says the widow of a man killed at an explosion at an Arco plant in Pasadena, Tex., where the company was blamed for pushing for more production despite unsafe conditions: "Nobody should have to die to earn a living--not in this country."
The producers of "Death on the Job" asked for comment from the companies involved and were refused. Curiously, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is charged with protecting workers in the United States, also refused to comment.