While no job is completely risk free, there are some roles that are a lot more hazardous than others. Still, when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, we’ve come a long way over the years.
In this infographic, we take a look back at some of the most dangerous jobs in history and explore the risks involved with each. From the chariot racers of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, to the body collectors during the Bubonic plague in the 1300s, to the matchgirls of the 1800s and 1900s, we consider what kind of compensation payouts these workers would be entitled to if they suffered some of the most common work-related accidents and injuries of their day in 2020.
Highest compensation payouts
So, who on our list would be entitled to the biggest payout? That award goes to the medieval monarchs of Europe, who were 700 times more likely to be violently killed than the average citizen. If these monarchs were to suffer the same fate today, their next of kin would be entitled to a maximum payout of half a million pounds.
Head injuries and brain damage
Next up are the Ancient Greek and Roman chariot racers, whose work saw them colliding with other racers, falling from their chariots, being entangled in reins, being trampled on and, sometimes, being dragged to their death. Due to the extremely perilous nature of the job, these racers were at risk of a whole host of accidents and injuries, including head trauma and brain damage. If workers were to sustain these types of serious injuries in the present day, they’d be entitled to up to £379,100.
Hatmakers of the 1700s and 1800s, whose work left them vulnerable to mercury poisoning, and women who worked in match factories in the 1800s and early 1900s, who were exposed to white phosphorus as they carried out their tasks, were also at risk of brain damage. Like the Ancient Greek and Roman chariot racers, they would be able to claim up to £379,100 if they were to experience the same injuries today.
To find out more about some of history’s most high-risk jobs, including information on the hazards faced by workers of yesteryear and how much they’d get if their accidents and injuries took place in this day and age, check out our infographic below.