The jobs putting you at greatest risk of Covid death – as men under 60 TWICE as likely to die than women

ALMOST 8,000 British workers have now died from coronavirus since March last year.

Working men are twice as likely to die than women, new data from the Office for National Statistics revealed today.

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Between March 9 and December 28, 5,128 men, from 20 to 64 years old, died from Covid.

Binmen and male lorry drivers were among the group most at risk from the virus, with the most deaths per 100,000 workers.

Men employed in “elementary occupations” – including cleaners, factory workers and security guards – have been worst hit in the pandemic.

This particular group has seen 699 deaths, a rate of 66.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Women working in factories and as carers have seen the most fatalities out of all jobs in Britain.

People working in close proximity to each other and with regular exposure to Covid, continue to have higher virus death rates when compared with the rest of the working age population, according to the data.

Chefs and taxi drivers have also seen a rise in deaths, compared to other more easily distanced roles.

A total of 389 van, bus, coach and taxi drivers have died of the bug. With 332 carpenters, builders, plumbers, roofers, bricklayers and painters killed by the virus in the last ten months.

Dan Shears, GMB National Health, Safety and Environment Director, said: “The deaths of eight thousand working age people is a devastating and bitter milestone that could have been avoided.  

“The truth is that the UK was too slow to respond to the outbreak in workplaces.

“Workers are still being forced to use inadequate PPE, and some people are attending work despite being infectious because they cannot afford to self-isolate. 

“These are structural problems that could have been fixed months ago.”

Among care workers, both male and female, deaths are higher than the wider working population, the ONS found.

Around three in four Covid deaths were from those based in social care work, with rates of 79.0 deaths per 100,000 males and 35.9 deaths per 100,000 females.

Other jobs with high Covid death rates for men and women included:


  • Restaurant and catering establishment managers and proprietors (119.3 deaths per 100,000 males; 26 deaths)
  • Chefs (103.1 deaths per 100,000 males; 82 deaths)
  • Taxi and cab drivers and chauffeurs (101.4 deaths per 100,000 males; 209 deaths)
  • Bus and coach drivers (70.3 deaths per 100,000 males; 83 deaths)


  • Sales and retail assistants (26.9 deaths per 100,000 females; 111 deaths)
  • Social workers (32.4 deaths per 100,000 females; 25 deaths)
  • Managers and directors in retail and wholesale (26.7 deaths per 100,000 females, 24 deaths)

Among healthcare workers – including doctors, nurses, ambulance staff and hospital porters – men had a statistically significant higher rate of death involving Covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic it has been reported people often fail to self isolate as they fear not being paid or losing their jobs.

Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “These figures demonstrate all too clearly the toll the pandemic has taken, showing in particular that carers, nurses and nursing auxiliaries and assistants, and men who work in healthcare were markedly more likely to die from Covid-19 than the general population between March and December.

“This data shows how important it is to abide by lockdown restrictions while the vaccination programme is being rolled out and that national policy on PPE is adjusted as needed as we gain more evidence around the impact of new strains and whether they pose greater risks."

Teachers have not seen a significant rise in risk of death from the virus through work, the data found.

For both men and women the rate of fatality remains low in comparison with other fields of work – presumably due to the use of bubbles, distancing and PPE.

Ben Humberstone, ONS head of health analysis and life events, said: "Jobs with regular exposure to Covid-19 and those working in close proximity to others continue to have higher Covid-19 death rates when compared with the rest of the working age population.

"Men continue to have higher rates of death than women, making up nearly two-thirds of these deaths."


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