AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING
Partnerships between NIOSH and workers, management, academia, and other government and non-government organizations concerned with the AgFF safety and health workforce are essential in achieving successful outcomes. Input from partners and stakeholder groups, which have inherent knowledge and concern about the health and safety of workers in the sector, helps in setting research priorities. Partners also add expertise, specialized experience, or other resources to the research team, which benefits the research, analysis, interpretation, and communication of the results.
NIOSH is currently partnering with many organizations representing industry, labor, government, academia, and others to advance health and safety research in the AgFF Sector. These organizations may be research partners, users of NIOSH technology and scientific findings, peer reviewers, recipients of research grants and contracts, or sources of equipment, technology, or knowledge for advancing research in this sector.
The following is a list of some of our partners and what we are achieving together. (Links in this section are to non-CDC sites)
Agriculture Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA)
NIOSH has partnered with ASHCA in gathering health and safety professionals in agriculture to share information, research, and priorities. Collaboration between NIOSH and ASHCA led to the convening of the 2010 Agriculture Safety and Health Council of America and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Protecting Workers in Agriculture Conference on January 27 - 28, 2010 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Multiple members of the NORA AgFF Sector Council are ASHCA members.
Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA)
AMSEA provides effective hands-on marine safety courses to the commercial fishing industry in Alaska and in other regions of the United States. They are a NIOSH grantee and long-time partner of NIOSH. NIOSH continues to share information about statistics and interventions for hazards in the fishing fleet as serves as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors. NIOSH has also evaluated the impact of the training AMSEA provides on the chances of a fisherman surviving an emergency at sea. NIOSH provides quarterly newsletter articles to AMSEA and serves with them on many fishing safety committees. Most recently, NIOSH contracted with AMSEA to produce a Man Overboard Prevention DVD due out in March 2011.
American Seafoods is one of the largest seafood harvesters in the Bering Sea. NIOSH and American Seafoods are collaborating on developing a Hatch and Door Monitoring System engineered by NIOSH. The corporation has generously provided both boats and personnel during the sea-trials and evaluation processes. Multiple sensor technologies have been tried and evaluated using their catcher processor vessels, allowing refinements to be made to the Hatch and Door Monitoring System. Use of the monitoring system on boats can reduce deaths, injuries, and vessel loss due to progressive flooding.
Auburn University Industrial and Systems Engineering Department
Collaborations with NIOSH in forestry safety and health.
B&N Fisheries Company is a privately owned company headquartered in Seattle Washington. NIOSH is currently partnering with them to sea-test prototype slack tank monitors installed on the trawler F/V Epic Explorer. The traditional method of monitoring for slack levels has been the use of an array of float-switches stacked at various heights within the tank. As the tank fills or drains, the corresponding mechanical float-switch opens or closes an electrical connection indicating the content level. The problem addressed by NIOSH engineers, is that these mechanical float switches can become easily fouled and stick in either a closed or opened position. This fouling of moving parts becomes a safety issue when erroneous “full” or “empty” tank levels are reported when there is actually a slack-tank condition. The install of the NIOSH prototype system was finished in early January 2011. Testing and refinements of the monitor will continue to be made throughout the fishing season.
Deere & Company
NIOSH has partnered with Deere & Company in agriculture and forestry equipment safety issues. They also have a representative on two NORA working groups; AgFF Agriculture Safety and Forestry.
In June of 2007, NIOSH began the licensing process with Emerald Marine to market an emergency stop device for capstan winches. The marketed design is based on the research conducted by NIOSH with purse-seine vessel owners in Alaska and in Washington State. Purse-seine vessels typically have a powerful capstan winch mounted to their main decks. The hydraulic controls are also typically mounted at the bulkhead a few feet away from the winch. Fatalities and injuries have occurred when the winch operator inadvertently gets wrapped up in the purse line and the turning winch drum. When they are caught, they cannot reach the hydraulic controls to stop the winch. NIOSH engineers have designed, installed, sea-tested, and refined an emergency stop device that allows a wrapped-up victim a means to stop and lock the winch drum rotation.
Garland and Associates
NIOSH has been working with John Garland to gain insight in the current needs in forestry safety and health. Much of this input has been included in the current NORA AgFF Strategic Plan.
International Society for Agriculture Safety and Health (formerly NIFS)
NIOSH has partnered with NIFS in working with agriculture, forestry, and fishing safety and health. Both NIOSH and ISASH are working together to plan and hold the 2011 National Symposium on Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Health and Safety in Boise, Idaho during June 2011.
Jensen Maritime is a naval architect and marine engineering firm that has partnered with NIOSH to develop a variety of products for the commercial fishing industry to improve deck safety. These products include a booklet focusing on Crab Deck Safety, a brochure with information regarding Lockout Tagout procedures. View both documents. Most recently, NIOSH has partnered with Jensen Maritime to create a safety checklist for owner/operators of purse seine vessels to use to check their deck rigging and gear prior to the opening of the season. This is being developed at the request of the Cordova Fishermen’s United Association.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
In October 2010, NIOSH participated in the NTSB commercial fishing vessel safety forum by serving on three expert panels. The goals of the forum were (1) to identify safety issues in the industry from the perspective of both industry and government, and (2) to identify strategies for preventing accidents and reducing the commercial fishing industry's unacceptably high injury and fatality rate. Vessel standards, human performance issues and the regulatory environment were also discussed. NIOSH continues to work with the NTSB on identifying ways to improve safety in the commercial fishing industry. View information on the forum.
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
NMFS is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems. NIOSH was recently invited to partner with NMFS to provide guidance on analytical methods to evaluate safety in the fisheries management process. Recent work by NIOSH and the US Coast Guard has shown that the fishery management process can more explicitly address safety at sea by analyzing fatalities and calculating fatality rates for the fishery and understanding the overall trend in fatality rates. This information can be used in risk assessments to identify major hazards within a fishery.
Nick Voegtly Safety & Loss Control
Collaboration in forestry safety and health issues in the U.S. Nick is on our NORA Forestry Safety and Health Working Group.
North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners Association (NPFVOA)
NPFVOA provides hands-on marine safety training to commercial fishermen in the Pacific Northwest. NPFVOA continues to be a partner with NIOSH by translating our research findings to industry and by reviewing our proposed research projects. We provide quarterly newsletter articles to NPFVOA and serve with them on many fishing safety committees.
Trident Seafoods was founded in 1973 as a privately owned corporation. The corporation operates offshore fish processors and shore-side plants throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Their boats include multiple factory trawlers, processors, trawl catchers, crab catchers, freighters, and tenders. NIOSH has been collaborating with Trident Seafoods for many years. The company has provided generous access and use of their vessels for sea-testing prototype safety devices designed by NIOSH engineers including the Hatch/Door Monitoring system. They have also provided critiques of these interventions that have been valuable in refining the designs. Trident Seafoods has one representative on the NORA AgFF Sector Council.
United States Coast Guard (USCG)
NIOSH has been collaborating with the USCG since 1991 in reducing deaths and injuries in the commercial fishing industry. Collaboration originally started with USCG District 17 in Alaska and since the late 1990’s has included other USCG partners throughout the United States. NIOSH and the USCG have an MOU agreement to share data to identify causes of deaths in the commercial fishing industry. We have collaborated on many interventions to help prevent deaths. Most recent activities include a partnership with the D13 (Washington and Oregon) district on conducting a marine safety survey with Dungeness crab fishermen. NIOSH is also working with the USCG on Fishery Management projects to promote safety in all management decisions. The recent USCG Authorization Act was partially based on NIOSH congressional testimony regarding fishing safety.
United States Forest Service Southern Research Station's Biological/Engineering Systems and Technologies for Ecological Management Work Unit
Members of USDA Forest Service serve on the NORA AgFF Forestry Working Group. They have been giving input to the NORA Strategic Plan and are involved in research to meet some of the NORA forestry safety goals.
University of Utah Department of Mechanical Engineering
Collaborations with faculty and students in musculoskeletal injuries in commercial fishermen.
Workers Compensation Fund
NIOSH began working with the Workers Compensation fund through our NORA partnerships. We are currently working together to assess current data available to help with health and injury surveillance in agriculture and forestry in the U.S.
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