When most people think of information technology (IT), they think about the guys behind the computers bumping up company security, fixing failing software, and developing extensive business websites.
However, despite the measures taken by the United States to ensure workplace safety (such as requiring entry level employees to take OSHA 10 hour courses), there are some really perilous tech jobs being performed daily in America and around the world that just aren’t safe.
1. Electronics Assembly
Remember the frenzy that hit the stores when the iPhone X came out? Now think about how those iPhones were assembled and delivered to retail shops around the world.
Tech companies put tremendous pressure on assembly line workers to put together trending electronics that are going to generate millions in sales. And unfortunately, in places such as Shenzen, China, this pressure often leads to suicide.
Of course, assembling electronics such as iPhones is not inherently dangerous. In addition, scenarios like this are often isolated and involved many more factors than what is being is reported.
That said, there is definite concern over the working conditions in places such as Foxconn, which is known for being one of the most infamous technology manufacturers in the world.
2. Communication Towers
Communication towers throughout the world keep our mobile calls connected. And sometimes people have to climb these towers (some of which reach heights of nearly 2000 feet) in order to do things such as test antenna signals, make repairs, and troubleshoot issues.
Some of the risks associated with what OSHA once called the most dangerous work in America include lack of training, rushed jobs to get service back up and running, burns and electrocution, and of course falls.
3. E-Waste Recycling
You may not realize this, but all of your recycled electronics have dangerous elements such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and brominated flame retardants inside of them. Luckily, these things are not dangerous unless you come into direct contact with them.
That said, in an effort to recycle old electronics, or worse, strip gold, silver, and other precious metals out the circuit boards of some machines, people are coming into contact with these harsh elements and are becoming ill with neurological diseases and learning disabilities.
When you handle e-waste, it’s crucial you wear protective gear to ensure there is no exposure. And while America takes care to educate employees in the e-waste industry about the dangers these hazardous materials present, other countries fail to do so. In fact, even small children in some underdeveloped countries smash machines looking for valuable elements to turn in for cash without protective gear.
However, there was a time when U.S inmates from 10 federal prisons were exposed to hazardous materials while processing e-waste for recycling. This just goes to show that even with our knowledge about the dangers of e-waste, not everyone is always protected from workplace dangers.
And there you have it! Some of the most dangerous tech related jobs in the world. So, the next time you enjoy your technology, remember, someone may have risked their life working with that same technology.