Proceedings of the International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2003-102
Few jobs are as dangerous as that of commercial fishing. Commercial fishermen work in harsh weather, often at great distances from emergency medical care or rescue services. They must often combat external risk factors- extreme temperatures, the constant movement of their vessels- while at the same time, they face the challenges of fatigue and physical stress.
Preparation, and use of proper equipment, can go a long way to help commercial fishermen withstand the rigors of their work. NIOSH research indicates that fishermen who wear Personal Floatation Devices are far more likely to survive vessel sinkings or capsizings. Vessels that maintain emergency equipment such as life rafts, electronic beacons, and immersion suits in good working order help to ensure the survival of their crew. While many of the safety measures that have been implemented in the past decade for commercial fishermen in the U.S. are due to requirements from the Commercial Fishing Vessel Industry Safety Act, other safety measures have been implemented as a result of innovation from commercial fishermen and vessel and equipment manufacturers throughout the U.S., and around the world.