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Commercial fishing vessel skipper dies after being pulled into a deck winch - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
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, FACE 95AK023, 1995 Sep; :1-4
On August 2, 1995, a 24-year-old, male commercial fishing vessel skipper (victim) died as a result of being pulled into a deck winch of a 56-foot purse seiner working the salmon fishery. The incident occurred while a load of salmon was being brought in and the seine net pursed prior to placing the load on the vessel's deck. A line ("purse line") from the net was placed through the winch head to close the bottom of the seine net. The vessel skipper stood on the starboard side of the vessel near the deck winch, while he coiled the purse line onto the deck as it came through the winch. The "pass line," which connects to the purse line and is used to bring the purse line onto the vessel, was disconnected from the boat end of the net. This line fell across the deck winch. The victim reached over and picked up this line to remove it and keep the line from becoming entangled in the winch. During this process his raingear was caught by the moving purse line and he was pulled through the winch head one revolution. As he came around the other side of the winch his head struck the deck. CPR was attempted, but was unsuccessful because the crewmen could not get a clear airway. Based on the findings of the epidemiologic investigation, to prevent similar occurrences employers should: 1. ensure that all winch operators do not work so close to winch-driven lines or rotating winch heads as to potentially entangle the worker or the worker's clothing. 2. ensure that all winch operators confine loose clothing, as far as is practicable, when working near a winch-driven line or rotating winch head. 3. ensure that winches have a foot pedal-operated "deadman's switch" that would deactivate the winch if the operator lost his balance and removed his foot from the switch, or assign an operator to attend the winch control at all times.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Fishing-industry; Equipment-operators; Machine-guarding; Safety-clothing
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-95AK023; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
NAICS-11; NAICS-1141
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division