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The 7 most dangerous jobs in technology

Employees who risk their lives and mental health

You may not think working in technology could be dangerous, but you'd be wrong. Some professions are particularly perilous, and could even involve risking your own life.

Some thrive on adrenaline, climbing thousands of feet to fix communications towers, whiole others risk only emotional damage, getting paid to consume disturbing internet content.

Check out this list of the seven most dangerous jobs in technology.

1. Internet content moderation

Think of the most disgusting things you've stumbled across online. Now imagine viewing the stuff that nightmares are made of - hate crimes, torture, child abuse - in living colour, from nine to five every day. That's the work of internet content moderators, who get paid to filter out that kind of material so you don't have to see it pop up on a social network or photo-sharing site. Demand for the work is growing, especially as more web-based services enable users to post pictures instantly from their mobile devices.

"Obviously it's not the job for everyone," says Stacey Springer, vice president of operations at Caleris. The US company's 55 employees scan up to seven million images every day for some 80 different clients.

"Some people might take it personally if they have a child and see images of children that might be sensitive to them, or if they see animal cruelty."

Caleris content reviewers receive free counselling as well as benefits including health insurance, but for some the psychological scars don't heal easily.

2. Electronics assembly

Safety nets around the dorms of an electronics factory in Shenzen, China, are a grim reminder that ten employees have jumped to their death there since January. A 25-year-old employee who later committed suicide reportedly had been beaten at the Hon Hai plant after losing a prototype iPhone 4 last year.

Recall the frenzy, hoopla, and queues at the launch of Apple's latest smartphone, and you can imagine the deadline pressure for the people assembling it. Foxconn, which makes iPhones, iPads, and other electronics for Apple, Dell, and HP, has been accused of fostering 'sweatshop' conditions. However complex the chain of events leading to suicide may be, human-rights groups have criticised Foxconn and other manufacturers for creating an unbearable, pressure-cooker environment for workers, mostly young migrants from rural areas.

In light of the suicides, the company has raised wages, promised psychological testing for employees, and tried to boost morale with rallies. Foxconn plans to increase its workforce of more than 900,000 to 1.3 million in the next year.

Psychological pressure isn't the only rough condition reported in electronics factories, though. Labour and human-rights organisations also charge that workers testing microchips and assembling LCDs for Samsung were exposed to radiation that caused cancer.

NEXT PAGE: Fixing undersea internet cables

  1. These employees risk their lives
  2. Fixing undersea internet cables
  3. Unregulated e-waste recycling
  4. Infrastructure work in war zones


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