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Health and safety issues relating to Maine's fishing industry.
Hawkes-AP; Roy-J; Stacey-Scott-N; Joy-JE; Bogdan-G
J Agromed 1997 Aug; 4(3/4):223-229
A needs assessment was performed to determine the health and safety concerns of Maine's fishing community. Interviews were conducted with local clinicians, and government agency representative to obtain information. Hearing and skin cancer screenings were conducted, and focus groups of wives of fishers were held in different parts of the state. Reports from the United States Coast Guard indicted that during 1993 through 1994, 65 people were injured on commercial fishing vessels and eight people died. Decompression illness was the most frequently reported cause of nonfatal injury, 15 persons. Chronic injuries reported by clinicians included back pain, tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and dysbaric osteonecrosis. Clinicians and family members were also concerned about hand and arm infections from the bait and sun exposure. Family health issues and access to care were also addressed. Several recommendations were made including work with health care professionals to reduce barriers to access and to increase their knowledge about the fishing industry, obtain more data about the number and type of injuries occurring in this population by educating the clinicians about Maine's occupational reporting law, providing hearing and skin cancer screenings at industry gatherings, increasing knowledge in the fishing community about existing services and fostering collaboration between agencies providing those services, encouraging fishers to take responsibility for their own health, and disseminating existing heath and safety information, and involving the fishing community in the development and distribution of health and safety material.
NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Fishing-industry; Accident-prevention; Risk-factors; Safety-research; Occupational-health; Education; Occupational-safety-programs; Decompression-sickness; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Issue of Publication
Journal of Agromedicine
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division