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For most people, when going to work, some of the biggest concerns with certain positions are having to deal with unruly customers on the phone or finding a way to avoid that annoying co-worker that always wants to start conversations with you before you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. Those are common on-the-job concerns or annoyances that people experience but there are certain positions that people have that actually pose serious threats to their actual well being.

Can you imagine going in to work a position where you might experience bodily harm or put yourself at risk, all to make a living for you and your family? Well, it’s more common than you think and some of these positions you don’t even realize just how much you’re putting yourself at risk but it’s a sacrifice you’re willing to take. Some of the health risks from certain positions include the following:

  • Exposure to disease and various infections
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Hazardous working conditions
  • Risk of minor cuts, burns, and bites

Some positions have bigger health risks than others of course. A lawyer in a courtroom has a much lower chance of contracting HIV than a nurse working in a hospital. Even with those chances all positions layout job responsibilities and potential risks involved with those positions before a person starts the job.

For example, an MD looking for positions in urgent care facilities has to know and understand before taking on the position that they will indeed be putting themselves at risk of being exposed to infectious diseases as well as non-life-threatening conditions. The key is being informed before first. So before you jump into any career field, make sure you know and understand the health risks involved first. Take a look at the top positions that pose the biggest health threats to your health.


A radiologist is a doctor who analyzes medical images of patients using X-rays and other radioactive materials and technologies. In this position, radiologists are able to interpret what they see on those images to a patient’s primary physician and make recommendations for treatment.

The way a radiologist’s health is put at risk is by being exposed to X-ray radiation, which can be absorbed within the body. When radiation is absorbed into the body, it can damage molecular structures and actually damage human cells if you’re exposed to high doses of it.

Doctors and Nurses

Doctors and nurses have some of the most selfless positions in helping those in need but one of the risks of such a noble and honorable position include being exposed to infectious diseases, toxic materials and substances, and various injuries. Now, one health factor that you may not have considered in the medical field is workplace violence. It’s not very common but it does happen from time to time.

Because doctors have patient’s lives in their hands, whether it be from a prescribing standpoint or an operating room standpoint, doctors are not only putting their lives at risk medically… they’re also putting their lives at risk physically too. There have been instances where if a doctor loses a patient, the family of a patient will come after the doctor with violence, thinking their loved one’s death was the doctor’s fault due to negligence. Again, it’s not a very common workplace hazard but it is definitely a risk to consider.


An embalmer is a person in a position to preserve a human body by slowing the process of decomposition after death. Embalmers work in funeral homes and prepare the body and make it look presentable for a public or private viewing for the deceased’s loved ones. This is a position that you don’t really think about for potential for health risks but it actually does pose threats to your health.

In the embalming world, the biggest health threat is exposure to toxic substances. As an embalmer, you are exposed to blood and embalming fluid, which is composed of a mixture of:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Methanol
  • Humectants
  • Other solvents

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators

According to, wastewater treatment workers are exposed to various chemicals in the sewage system as well as disease-causing bacteria on a daily basis so the exposure risks are very high. Organisms found in sludge not only include disease-causing bacteria but they also include components that can greatly affect someone’s health like:

  • Pesticides
  • Radioactive materials
  • Flame retardants
  • Heavy metals

Because of such high risks of infections due to exposure to various bacteria and toxins, it’s very important for wastewater treatment plant operators and other workers in the field to take every precaution necessary to stay safe despite the working conditions associated with the position.