You probably know, as a fisherman, that there are some unique hazards in your line of work. Fish can be more dangerous than you’d think.
It’s your right as an injured worker to get the care you need, but like most people, you’d probably rather avoid injuries to begin with. Since you’re working with live animals, this is a good time to talk about some of the unusual risks of fishing them out of the ocean. Here are a few potential hazards and how to avoid them.
While many fish don’t have stingers, the few that do can cause serious pain and injury. Some people may even find that fish stings are life-threatening for them.
To avoid stings, recognize fish that may have stingers, like stingrays, weever fish or scorpion fish. Your employer should educate you on handling those fish, particularly if you’re in waters where you’re more likely to see them.
Fish bites and cuts
When most people think about fish, they don’t imagine teeth. However, you know that many fish do have at least small teeth, and they can be extremely sharp. If you’re unhooking a fish or handling them, watch out for their teeth. If you are bitten by a fish, wash the wound out thoroughly and cover it with a bandage. If it becomes infected, you need to see a doctor.
How can you avoid a bite? Ask your employer about the fish you’re most likely to come into contact with, and learn how to handle those specific breeds. Learning how to handle them will also help you avoid lacerations from fins that suddenly expand.
If you end up with a serious injury, remember that your employer should be able to help you get compensation. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act may cover you as you go through your recovery.