Are Extreme Sports More Dangerous than High Risk Occupations?

Extreme Sports or High Risk OccupationsJust how dangerous are sports when compared to some of the most dangerous occupations on the planet? It is a known fact that manual labor, construction and manufacturing jobs place workers at significant risk of injury or death, but sports can be just as deadly. Here we will take a look at the leading jobs and sports in the world in terms of the risks employees and participants take on.

The Most Dangerous Occupations on Earth

Men are far more likely to be killed or injured on the job than women due to the fact that they are far more likely to choose work in areas such as construction, manufacturing or occupations that require the operation of heavy machinery. In 2015 there were over 4,800 workplace fatalities reported in the United States. The vast majority of those killed were men.

Here are some of the most deadly occupations men can choose.

  • Landscaping and grounds-keeping— according to government labor statistics, about 18 out of 100,000 workers in the landscaping industry are killed on the job each year. These workers are routinely exposed to the elements and often required to operate heavy machinery, increasing their risk of involvement in a devastating accident. (see more here)
  • Power line installation and repair— roughly 21 out of 100,000 power line maintenance workers are killed every year. These workers must work outdoors with live currents and at dangerous heights. All of these factors contribute to the risk of an accident or injury on the job. (see more here)
  • Agricultural workers— farmers, ranchers and other agricultural workers are exposed to many of the same risks that landscapers take on. They operate heavy machinery, work in the elements and may be injured by the livestock or farm animals that they work with. About 22 out of 100,000 agricultural workers are killed each year on the job. (see more here)
  • Truck drivers— while truck drivers can expose others to danger on the road if they do not operate safely, they too are at risk of injury. Many of their accidents occur at warehouses and loading docks while they are loading or unloading cargo. About 24 out of 100,000 truck drivers suffer fatal injuries every year in the United States. (see more here)
  • Iron and steel work— with a death rate of about 30 in 100,000 every year, iron and steel workers knowingly take on a great amount of risk on a daily basis. They perform backbreaking labor and must use heavy machinery and tools that can easily maim or kill when used improperly. (see more here)
  • Waste management workers— garbage and recycling collectors work grueling hours collecting our refuse and they must work in the elements around heavy machinery. This is why 39 out of 100,000 of the workers in this occupation are killed every year.
  • Roofers— constant exposure to the elements and working on uneven surfaces at unsafe heights place roofers at a much greater fall risk than other occupations. This is why about 40 in 100,000 roofers are killed on a yearly basis.
  • Airline workers— from pilots and stewardesses to the flight engineers on the ground, airline workers are highly likely to suffer injuries on the job. Due to the nature of this work, such injuries are also more likely to be fatal. About 40 out of 100,000 airline workers are killed in the United States every year. (see more here)
  • Fishermen— fishing is an extremely deadly occupation with a fatality rate of 55 in 100,000 workers every single year. The weather, machinery and location all play a part in the risks that workers take on in this field. Many workers are unable to receive emergency care quickly because their boats are out at sea and this can increase the risk of fatality. (see more here)
  • Logging— an alarming death rate of 132 out of 100,000 workers every year makes logging by far the most deadly occupation in the United States. Loggers are exposed to the elements and are required to use dangerous equipment while bringing down heavy trees and trimming them for transport. A slight mistake or lack of situational awareness can prove deadly. (see more here)

The Most Dangerous Sports in the World

While the above occupations place employees at great risk of injury and death, extreme sports are no better in terms of safety. Participants are susceptible to life-altering injuries and death and should be educated about these risks before they choose to compete. Here are the deadliest sports in the world.

  • Bull riding— riders need to remain mounted on the bull for as long as possible as it bucks and tries to kick them off. An angered bull can trample or gore a dismounted rider, putting riders at great risk of injury. They may suffer broken bones, injuries to the head and face or goring by the bull.
  • Rugby— a lack of sufficient protective gear makes this contact sport extremely dangerous. Players collide with each other to check, block and tackle as they attempt to move the ball down the field or prevent the other team from doing so. Repeated blows to the head have created a concern over CTE that parallels the publicity the NFL has received following the discovery that professional football players are likely to suffer from severe neurological decline after repeated injuries to the head.
  • Car racing— any sport that involves speeds in excess of 150 mph is automatically considered dangerous. The average speed for some races can be as high as 175 mph and at these speeds, the most minor miscalculation can result in an accident. There are many safety measures in place to protect drivers, but this has not been enough to prevent the occasional disaster. If a driver is in a wreck, he or she can suffer from head trauma, broken bones, injuries to the spine, massive blood loss or death.
  • Surfing— thrill seekers looking to catch twenty to one hundred foot tall waves for prize money risk being swallowed by the waves, colliding with rocks on the shore or even injuring themselves on their surf boards. Drowning is the greatest risk, but surfers may sustain other injuries such as broken bones and head trauma.
  • Street luge— riders operate sleds down paved roads at speeds which can easily exceed 100 mph in this extremely dangerous sport. Even though they wear helmets and protective leather suits, the risk of death is prevalent in this activity.
  • Base jumping— this sport involves jumping from great heights with the goal of landing on one tall object from an even taller one. Jumpers need to correctly time the deployment of their parachutes in order to land safely and there are many things that can go wrong during a jump. Needless to say, the outcome for many errors can prove tragic.
  • Boxing— 90% of boxers suffer brain damage over their careers and this is not surprising in the least considering that they are throwing punches at each other’s heads.
  • Climbing— climbers expose themselves to numerous risks. Extreme heat or cold, falls from great heights, broken bones, injuries to the ankles and feet, torn tendons and ligaments and death are all possible while climbing.
  • Motorcycle racing— car racing is dangerous enough, but motorcycle racers barrel down the track without any protection beyond the helmets on their heads and the suits on their backs. Minor accidents in this sport amount to broken bones and third-degree lacerations. It is far too easy for a cyclist to be maimed or killed.
  • Horse racing and obstacle courses— no amount of training and equipment can prepare a horse rider for the unexpected in competitive horse riding. Being thrown from a horse can be catastrophic, with injuries ranging from broken bones to paralysis to death.

Whether a person is exposed to danger on the job or while participating in a sport, it is important that every reasonable measure be taken to reduce the risk of injury or death. If you are injured and believe that more could have been done to reduce the severity, you may be able to speak with an attorney about your legal options. The same is true if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident and are looking to recover compensation for funeral expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today to learn more about your rights and options during a risk-free consultation with respect to a work-related injury.

For more information on risks related to specific vocations, look here.