3 of the toughest jobs in the world

There are many well known jobs out there which are perceived to be tough like working on an off shore oil rig or working on gold mine in South America. This post looks at some of the lesser-known jobs which can easily be considered to be some of the toughest jobs in the world.

Ship breaking in Bangladesh

I’m sure you’ve wondered where all the clapped out tankers and cargo ships end up. These super-tankers generally last about a decade before it becomes uneconomical to maintain them. They then either get sunk and turn into artificial reefs or they end up in ship breaking yards in places like China, India and Bangladesh. The largest ship breaking yard being Chittagong in Bangladesh which has been operating since the 1970’s.

ship breaking bangladesh

Workers in this yard are faced with the immense job of breaking these huge vessels and extracting the scrap which comes in the form of steel scrap, cables, generators, and nuts and bolts. Over 250,000 workers break down 250 ships every year. Some ships can take up to 2 years to break down.  These workers are exposed to noxious gases which emanate from materials such as asbestos, and also are at risk of electrocution, falling debris and general explosions.

Ship breaking yard

Diamond Diving in South Africa

This arduous job involves diving down to depths of over 90 feet and vacuuming up large amounts of debris in the hope of scoring a diamond or two along the way. The major dangers in this job are sharks, pirates, rough seas, and equipment failure.

Diamond diving ship

Antenna maintenance

These are the guys who look after the transmission lines and antennas for the broadcasting industry.  Their job involves climbing to the very top of these structures which often reach heights of 1800ft. The misconception is that safety lines secure these workers, but the truth is the majority of these workers free climb instead. Free-climbing up the antennas is faster and generally more efficient, but of course this approach makes the possibility of death a realisation. The highest spate of deaths happened between 2006 and 2008 when AT&T were rolling out a large 3G expansion across the US, and a total of 11 sub-contractors died.