Surveillance for nonfatal work-related injuries in the Alaska fishing industry.
Proceedings of the International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference, October 23-25, 2000, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Lincoln JM, Hudson DS, Conway GA, Pescatore R eds. Morgantown, WV: 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. 2003-102, 2002 Oct; :353-358
From review of the causes we find that many of the injuries occur in the crab fishery. The initial approach to the machinery injuries was to look at the CPL in depth. The CPL is a platform, approximately 7 ft. by 7 ft. square made of steel pipe. One side of the platform is permanently attached to the gunwale of the boat by hinges, the other side is free to raise and lower by hydraulic power. When a crab pot is ready to be placed in the water the hydraulic ram raises the free end of the CPL platform where the crab pot can slide into the sea. The free end rests on the deck except when it is raised to deploy a crab pot. An empty crab pot in the larger crab fisheries measures 7x7x3 feet and weighs approximately 700 pounds, empty. Many of the injuries, caused by the CPL, identified by the ATR were crushing injuries to the lower extremities and feel Possible injury prevention measures could be to weld two steel blocks (4x4x4 inches) on the bottom of the free end of the CPL where it rests on the deck. This would reduce the contact surface with the deck and minimizing the area where feet and toes could be crushed. Another measure to prevent injuries working around the CPL is to paint a yellow boundary around area the CPL covers on the deck. This would increase fisherman's awareness of areas to avoid when the CPL is in operation. Finally, on some vessels the controls to the hydraulics for the CPL are located far away from the CPL itself making it difficult for the operator to have a clear view of the work (the controls for the CPL are usually located with the controls for cranes, and power blocks). Locating the CPL controls closer to the CPL or with a good view of the working area could help decrease these injuries. Another possibility is to locate an emergency shut off switch near the CPL to be used if someone was caught under the CPL platform. The ATR has been very useful in identifying hazardous work practices and injury prevention measures in the commercial fishing industry. With information from the ATR, injury prevention programs focusing on machinery injuries in crab fisheries fishermen are underway.
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