Risking life and limb is just part and parcel of being an Ice Road Trucker. As they head out onto the deadly frozen highways for a brand new series, we countdown some of the world's most dicey professions.
Conjuring images of flannel shirts, big beards and beer swilling joviality, you might be surprised to see this one on the list. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Ax Men, however, this will come as no surprise; falling trees, heavy machinery, chain saws, extreme weather conditions, high altitudes, steep slopes and long, tiring hours all add up to one risky profession.
2. Deep Sea Fisherman
Anyone who’s seen the film The Perfect Storm will have an appreciation as to why this one made the list. Running the gauntlet of stormy seas, freezing wet working conditions and dangerous machinery, sometimes during the cover of darkness, means fishermen have one of the most dangerous jobs around.
3. Landmine Remover
The dangers of this job are clearly evident in its title. In some formerly war-torn countries, landmines are still strewn across the landscape. Whilst it is normally the job of military personnel to clear these hazards, some governments have not made this a priority. Instead, local civilians who receive a small salary often do the work. Spare these people a thought next time you curse the broken coffee machine.
4. Sulphur Miner
With the constant threat of cave-ins and the potential to develop the black lung disease, mining in general is an incredibly dangerous job. However, there are some miners who go that step further and harvest sulphur from inside an active volcano. Earning just a few pounds a day, these workers trek to the centre of the Ljen Volcano on the island of Java in Indonesia. Along with the constant threat of eruption, the workers armed with just a rag to cover their mouths also risk gas-poisoning and severe burns.
5. Ice Road Trucker
Trucking itself would have made it onto the list considering the number of deaths on the road all around the world every year. When you change the surface of the road to thin ice, throw in sub-zero temperatures, polar bears, long hours, isolation and the risk of snow blindness, what you have is one heck of a deadly workplace.
6. Venom Milker
To make anti-venom, you need venom, so for around £20,000 per year you could take on the dangerous job of extracting that venom from snakes. The process entails massaging the venom glands of a snake, whilst pressing its fangs on a piece of latex stretched over a cup. Unsurprisingly, the snakes don’t enjoy being ‘milked’, therefore the risk of extracting the venom into your own bloodstream is incredibly high.
With celebrity friends, a Hollywood lifestyle and a working day consisting of adrenaline-fueled antics, you might consider this a glamorous profession. However, when the adrenaline-fueled antics often involve blowing yourself up, jumping off buildings and setting yourself on fire, you can see how improper planning or faulty equipment could easily lead to your demise.
8. Crocodile Physiologist
Not quite a physio in the terms that we might know it, a crocodile physiologist actively captures and brings these prehistoric creatures onshore for study purposes. After observations are complete, the physiologist will then release them back into the wild. Described as a job ‘not for the fainthearted’, wrestling with 72 razor-sharp teeth certainly makes for an interesting day in the office.