Fishermen are exposed to all kinds of hazards. When you are on the docks, onboard the ship or working at sea, you need to take steps to keep yourself safe. You know all about personal protective equipment and ways to keep yourself and others safe, but that may not always be enough.
Humans make mistakes, and the water can be unpredictable. Some common issues and hazards fishermen run into include:
- Falling through hatches
- Suffering overuse injuries to the back, shoulders and neck
- Getting caught in equipment or machinery, netting or other devices
- Falling due to broken or damaged equipment
- Anchor, crane or winch failures
You may not have realized it, but commercial fishing is actually one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that deaths in this industry occur at a rate 29 times higher than the national average.
Falling overboard, vessel disasters and the machinery on deck were found to be the greatest dangers to fishermen. The CDC reports that deck injuries cause around 12% of all fatal injuries in commercial fishing. Vessel disasters are the cause of around 50% of all fatalities among commercial fishermen. Falls into the water were responsible for 210 deaths between 2000 and 2014.
Maritime accidents can’t always be prevented, but if you are hurt while working on a vessel, you deserve support. You may be able to seek benefits that are in excess of those that you’d receive through traditional workers’ compensation. Our website has more information about maritime law so that you can learn more about your rights.