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Quantification of low-back and shoulder stress in commercial crab fishing operations.

Bloswick-DS; Husberg-BJ; Blumhagen-E
Proceedings of the Second International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference, September 22-24, 2003, Sitka, Alaska. Mode NA, Wopat P Conway GA, eds., Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2006 Apr; :283-294
Musculoskeletal injuries are prevalent in the commercial fishing industry. Alaska Fisherman's Fund data for 1994-1998 indicate that nearly half of all nonfatal deck injuries in the Alaska fishing industry were strains and sprains. Trapp 1994 notes that spinal sprains and strains were the most frequent injuries in most fisheries and presents Fisherman's Fund data from 1982-1984 indicating that spinal sprains and strains account for 25.3% of the injuries to fishers in the Dungeness crab fishing industry and 18.7% of the injuries to fishers in the king crab fishing industry. Data from the Alaska Trauma Registry ATR indicate that approximately 5% of nonfatal injuries involving at least 24 hours of hospitalization from 1991 through 1998 could be attributed to strains and sprains (Thomas, Lincoln et al. 2001). A possible reason for the difference between the Fisherman's Fund and the ATR data is that sprains and strains, even those requiring significant time off work, often do not result in hospitalization. It is also likely that many strains and sprains that would be reported by workers in a traditional shore-based factory are not reported by commercial fishers because of the tendency to not complain, distance to medical care, and shore-based compensation plans. Myers, Klatt, and Conway (1994) also suggest that strains and sprains, particularly related to the low back, are a leading cause of morbidity among fishers and that the application of ergonomic analysis is an important strategy to address this issue. One recommendation by Working Group IV (Prevention of Non; Fatal Work; Related Injuries) from the Second National Fishing Industry Safety and Health Workshop in 1997 is that ergonomic assessments should be performed to address nonfatal injuries among fishers (Klatt and Conway 2000). Fulmer and Buchholz (2000) emphasize that ergonomic training in the fishing industry should convey an understanding of the relationship between work performed and the risk of musculoskeletal injury. It has also been proposed that if deck crews were to condition themselves physically for their activities, there might be fewer related injuries (Jarris 2000).
Fishing-industry; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Morbidity-rates; Monitoring-systems; Musculoskeletal-system; Muscular-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Muscle-function; Muscle-stress; Muscles; Back-injuries; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Mode-NA; Wopat-P; Conway-GA
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
SIC Code
Source Name
Proceedings of the Second International Fishing Industry Safety and Health Conference, September 22-24, 2003, Sitka, Alaska
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division