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NIOSH update: college students may be risking their lives on fishing vessels: working in the Alaska fishing industry is one of the nation's most hazardous jobs.
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-111, 1994 Apr; :1-2
With an occupational fatality rate of 195 worker deaths per 100,000 workers in 3 years, the commercial fishing industry was one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation. Tragically, college newspaper ads offering summer employment in the Alaskan fishing industry may be luring inexperienced men and women without knowing the inherent dangers they face. According to research, the greatest risk of death was associated with working aboard unstable vessels and insufficient training in shipboard safety, especially regarding cold water survival techniques and use of lifesaving equipment. Factors that can increase a fisherman's chances of survival included: wearing a personal flotation device at all times while on deck, using safety lines and guard rails in addition to keeping decks clear and using nonskid material, training in the use of safety equipment including survival suits and emergency position indicating radio beacon, knowledge of where safety equipment is located and ensuring that it is in proper working condition, and ensuring vessel stability and proper maintenance.
Fishing-industry; Longshoremen; Safety-education; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-accidents; Industrial-hazards; Safety-equipment
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-111
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division