Occupational injury deaths in Alaska's fishing industry, 1980 through 1988.
Schnitzer-PG; Landen-DD; Russell-JC
Am J Publ Health 1993 May; 83(5):685-688
Fatal occupational injuries occurring in the Alaska fishing industry were studied. Standard and presumptive death certificates of the State of Alaska and United States Coast Guard records of all deaths occurring in Alaskan waters were reviewed to identify all work related accidental deaths occurring in the Alaskan fishing industry from 1980 through 1988. The details of each fatal injury were analyzed where available. A total of 278 fishing related deaths occurred during the study period. The number of fatal injuries varied by year, no consistent increasing or decreasing trend being apparent. The most fatalities occurred in 1983 and the least in 1986, 48 and 17 deaths, respectively. The 5 year average annual fatality rate was 414.6 deaths per 100,000 fishermen. Most of the victims were Caucasian males who drowned while fishing. A total of 188 deaths resulted from loss of the vessel by foundering or capsizing. Seventy nine deaths were due to crewmembers falling or being swept overboard. Of the 278 deaths identified, 109 were identified from standard death certificates, 141 from presumptive death certificates, and 181 from Coast Guard records. The authors conclude that fishing is a dangerous industry in Alaska. Fishing related deaths will be seriously underestimated if only standard death certificates are used for analysis. Presumptive death certificates and Coast Guard records are useful complementary sources of information.
NIOSH-Author; Fishing-industry; Epidemiology; Mortality-data; Occupational-accidents; Accident-statistics; Marine-workers; Risk-analysis
Deborah D. Landen, MD, MPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, Analysis and Field Evaluations Branch, 944 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505
American Journal of Public Health