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Reducing commercial fishing deck hazards with engineering solutions for winch design.
Lincoln JM; Lucas DL; McKibbin RW; Woodward CC; Bevan JE
J Saf Res 2008 Apr; 39(2):231-235
Introduction: the majority (67%) of hospitalized injuries among Alaska commercial fishermen are associated with deck machinery. This paper describes the "Prevention Through Design" process to mitigate one serious machinery entanglement hazard posed by a capstan deck winch. Methods: after observing that the capstan winch provides no entanglement protection and the hydraulic controls are usually out of reach of the entangled person, NIOSH personnel met with fishermen and winch manufacturers to discuss various design solutions to mitigate these hazards. Results: an emergency-stop ("e-stop") system was developed that incorporated a momentary contact button that when pushed, switches a safety-relay that de-energizes the solenoid of an electro-hydraulic valve stopping the rotating winch. The vessel owners that had the e-stop installed enthusiastically recommend it to other fishermen. NIOSH entered into a Proprietary Technology Licensing Agreement with a company to develop the system for commercial use. Conclusions: this is an example of a practical engineering control that effectively protects workers from a hazardous piece of equipment by preventing injuries due to entanglement. This solution could reduce these types of debilitating injuries and fatalities in this industry.
Work-analysis; Work-practices; Risk-factors; Fishing-industry; Dockworkers; Industrial-engineering; Safety-education; Safety-engineering; Safety-equipment; Safety-research; Machine-guarding
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: August 19, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division