PFDs That Work: Overview


November 2012
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2013-131
image of first page of NIOSH Publication Number 2013-131

Falling overboard is the second leading cause of death among commercial fishermen nationwide. Of the 182 fishermen who died from falls overboard between 2000 and 2011 NONE of them were wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Researchers from the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office conducted an evaluation with commercial fishermen from 4 gear groups to rate the comfort and acceptability of six modern personal flotation devices (PFDs). About 200 fishermen were asked to evaluate a PFD for one month while working on deck so that wearable PFDs could be identified. This document is a supplement to the gear-specific fact sheets we have also published and has guidance for selecting a PFD that will work for you.


Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014