Safety is of paramount importance in fencing, two organizations have been dedicated to this aspect for over a hundred years. USA Fencing, and FIE (International Fencing Federation). This is perhaps why fencing is one of the safest sport your can play as child, youth or an adult, it has one of the highest safety records.
Based on the Olympic statistics fencing is safer than Soccer, Field hockey, Ice Hockey, Handball, Softball, Basketball, Athletics, Judo, Baseball, Volleyball, Archery, Tennis, Cycling, Badminton and Swimming. See Scientific American article here.
This is mainly due to the protective gear worn by the fencers that include head mask, underarm protector, chest guard, 350 Newton (or 800 Newton) strength jacket and fencing pants, optional box (for boys), full length socks, shoes, gloves and bell guard (on the blade).
This is also because the blade is blunt and flexible, and has a spring loaded flat tip, that gets triggered with just 3 lbs of pressure. The goal is to touch or flick the other fencer and get the computer to register a touch. Most touches are a light tap and extra energy is absorbed by the “flex” in the blade.
The results speak for themselves: No fatalities in the US since 1931. Safety rule, safer gear, and safety requirements are constantly being upgraded and improved. Every reported (major) injury has caused more safety equipment or requirements to be introduced to the sport. Also fencing injuries are the least intensive of most other contact sports, and are of the twisted ankle, or sprained muscle variety.
Safety goes well beyond the physical well being of of the fencers as well. Safe Sport is a policy instituted by the US Olympic Committee. For more information, Click Here.