The epicenter of one of the "most dangerous jobs in the world" exists right here in California. According to SF Gate, Santa Barbara is the hub of the commercial diving industry. The U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration shared a few of the hazards that commercial divers face every single day on the job.
“These workers are exposed to the same hazards anyone would if they spent extended periods of time underwater, such as drowning, respiratory and circulatory problems, and hypothermia. The number of dives, length of time spent underwater, lack of visibility, and the strenuous nature of the task increase the risk of this type of activity.”
Despite encountering "toxic waste, garbage and sewage, oil spills," and having to move heavy equipment in the dark during odd hours of the day, industry leaders do their best to provide safety for their divers. Former commercial diver Dan Vasey mentioned that life support is the industry's main focus.
“Diving can be one of the most dangerous things you can do. That’s why — in this program and others like it — our whole emphasis is on life support and doing things the right way.” Vasey also noted that one reason commercial divers choose to keep their jobs is because the pay is very good. Over the years, training and technology have improved to the extent that being a commercial diver is substantially less dangerous than it used to be.