08:01:09 am, by Edward Stuber CIH | 51 views | 0 comments
You remember the old saying – “I went to a prize fight and a hockey game broke out.” That saying has less meaning in today’s game of professional hockey. The winding down of the professional ice hockey season and into the playoffs is highlighted by a report has been released detailing the injury rate and cost of injuries in the NHL. The study covers the previous 3 seasons (2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012) of the NHL. If you ever watched a professional hockey game (much better in person than TV), you know what a violent game this is.
Up until recently, head hunting, goons, and prolonged fights were the norm ( some say encouraged) and expected during games. Recently the NHL has tried to implement rules to safeguard the players from many of the preventable injuries (with concussions being the most prevalent), but based upon the injury numbers, more needs to be done to safeguard the players. Not only will stricter rules make the workplace safer for the players, the owners will benefit from lost-time due to injury.
The study included over 1,300 NHL players who played at least 1 game during the 3 years studied. More than half of these players missed at least one game due to an on the job injury. These on the job injuries cost the NHL roughly $218 million a year. Concussions alone cost almost 43 million! All of this happened during the newly instituted enlightenment period in the NHL where the powers that be made an effort to reduce these injuries. Imagine what the numbers were in the past!
This shows that more player protection is needed. Larger fines, stricter rules, and other changes need to be implemented to make the hockey rink a safer sports environment. The complete study can be found in the January 2014 edition of Injury Prevention.
These rule changes have not hurt the game in terms of attendance and revenue, as some people feared - so there is no reason more protection cannot be implemented for the workers (players). I am all for providing a safe and healthy work place for all workers – including hockey players.
Categories: Ed Stuber