According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s no profession that’s most dangerous than those in the commercial fishing industry. Their data shows that those who hold this role have a fatality rate that is 29 times this country’s national average for workers. Since this profession is so dangerous, the CDC had taken it upon itself to identify when safety lapses are most apt to occur and how they can be prevented.
The CDC’s data shows that commercial fishermen are at their greatest risk of getting hurt or killed by machinery on deck, by becoming involved in vessel crashes or by falling overboard.
There are many steps that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) argues that vessel operators or owners can take to greatly reduce commercial fishermen deaths.
They argue that all Louisiana crew members should be required to complete marine safety training every five years. They also encourage vessel owners to perform monthly drills testing their aptitude to respond to fires, floods, man overboard and abandon ship incidents and to come up with a personal floatation device (PFD) policy for all crew members to follow.
NIOSH suggests that boat owners can greatly reduce the workers’ injuries and death rates by installing emergency stop (e-stop) notification systems on any hydraulic machinery on deck. They note that this could greatly reduce entanglement injuries.
They also suggest that vessel operators could also be more proactive in installing man overboard alarm notification systems on their boats. They argue that this, coupled with the installation of a retrieval device, could greatly reduce the risk of losing a crew member and potentially help them save their life.
Although commercial fishermen face a significant risk of injury or death, most of their accidents are completely preventable, especially since most are caused by improperly repaired, poorly maintained or inadequate equipment. If you’ve been injured while working as a commercial fisherman, then an attorney can provide you with the legal representation that you deserve to recover compensation in your case.