Ship Breaking - The World's Most Dangerous Job

Larry Louie

2014 - Ongoing

Modern day ship making is a huge industry located in high tech state-of-the-art factories while modern day ship dismantling and recycling are occurring in the poorest countries in the world. The ship breaking or ship dismantling and recycling is a huge industry in Bangladesh. It accounts for at least 20% of Bangladesh's domestic needs for metal. Extraction of equipment, parts and material from these large ships is considered to be a sustainable way to recycle ships that are at the end of their life span. The big concern is that this process is being carried out in poorer countries that do not have strict environmental legislation or employee safety legislations. In fact, ship breaking is considered to be one of the worlds most dangerous industries for the environment and its workers. The work is highly labor intensive. Workers with very little training and very little safety equipment at very low wages are in working in environments where there are often toxic chemicals, asbestos and oil. Using only gas blow torches and sledgehammer and not much safety gear, they will dismantle a large ship in 8-12 months. 12 hours days with wages are as low as $5 US/day. The series above are scenes to highlight the dangerous work of these labourers in ship breaking and recycling yards in Bangladesh.

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