SAN FRANCISCO -- A new study has found essential workers, especially those in the food and transportation sector are at the greatest risk of death among Californians of working age during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cooks hold the most hazardous occupation among essential workers in the state with 828 deaths. According to UCSF researchers, that role has the highest "risk ratio for mortality."
The study examined death rates of California residents of working age from March through October 2020, and compared them with pre-pandemic data to determine which jobs had the largest increases in deaths.
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Packaging machine operators and agricultural workers are among the list of the state's riskiest jobs during the pandemic.
"While we pay a lot of lip service to essential workers, when you see the actual occupations that rise to the top of the list as being at much more risk and associated with death, it screams out to you who's really at risk," Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a UCSF epidemiology and biostatistics professor who worked on the study, told the Chronicle.
Working adults in the 18-65 range experienced a 22% increase in deaths during the pandemic, according to the study. Food and agriculture workers, however, had a 39% increase, with transportation and logistics workers seeing a 28% increase, facilities workers a 27% rise and manufacturing workers a 23% increase.
Workers ages 18 to 65 experienced an increased risk of death of greater than 20% during the pandemic, with an increased risk of greater than 40% during the first two full months of the state's reopening.
The study recommends people working those roles get moved moved ahead in the state's vaccination priority guidelines.
Below are the top 10 most hazardous jobs:
2. Packaging and filing machine operators and tenders
3. Miscellaneous agriculture workers
5. Construction laborers
6. Production workers
7. Sewing machine operators
8. Shopping, receiving and traffic clerks
9. Ground maintenance workers
10. Customer service representatives
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