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Occup Med (Lond). 2003 Dec;53(8):512-7.

Health and safety implications of injury in professional rugby league football.

Author information

1
Department of Health and Social Care, Brunel University, Osterley Campus, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 5DU, UK. conor.gissane@brunel.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Professional sport is characterized by high injury rates but is also covered by health and safety legislation.

AIM:

To examine the incidence of injury in professional rugby league as defined by the Reporting of Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95).

METHODS:

All injuries received during playing and training to both first-team and 'academy' (<19 years old) players during two playing seasons at one professional club were recorded. The length of time a player was unable to take part in full training and playing was used as a measure of severity. Injuries were classified into minor injuries (0-3 days), over 3 day injuries or major injuries, in which the final two categories corresponded with RIDDOR 95.

RESULTS:

Thirty-two per cent (95% confidence interval=26-39%) of all injuries received satisfied the RIDDOR 95 criteria. The overall injury rate was 8.5 per 1000 h (7.2-9.9) for the first team and 4.1 per 1000 h (3.2-5.4) for the academy team. During match play the first-team injury rate was 157.7 per 1000 h (133.5-185.1) and 67.7 (51-81.1) for the academy team. Training injury rates were lower, at 0.5 per 1000 h (0.2-1.0) and 0.3 per 1000 h (0.1-0.8), respectively.

CONCLUSION:

The injury rate for professional rugby league is much higher than reported in other high-risk occupations such as mining and quarrying. The large differences in injury rates between first and academy teams have implications for young players likely to progress to first-team status.

PMID:
14673125
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqg103
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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