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Simple solutions for reduced fish farm hazards.

Myers ML; Cole HP
J Agromedicine 2009 Apr; 14(2):150-156
Aquaculture poses emerging challenges for agricultural safety and health. Fish farming has many of the same hazards as other types of farming, but it also poses additional hazards associated with water impoundments and night-time work. In a multidisciplinary approach, researchers from four universities are identifying occupational hazards in fish farming and identifying no-cost or low-cost "simple solutions" to reduce or eliminate them. Simple solutions are discovered through farm visits so as to understand the countermeasures that individual stakeholders have taken to protect their workforce, and these countermeasures are documented and photographed to inform other farmers of these solutions. Equipping tractors with rollover protective structures is a standard practice to protect operators from serious injury in the event of an overturn. Other solutions identified include eliminating the need to climb feed bins to open and close the hatch for feed delivery by using a pull-cable at ground level. This simple technology eliminates the exposure to falling from an elevation, a risk that accounts for at least one reported death of a worker on a fish farm. Another solution is to replace metal paddles on a hatchery trough with plastic paddles that if and when entangled in a worker's hair or clothing slip on the rotating drive shaft and thus reduce laceration and entanglement injuries. Another simple solution to prevent entanglements in large pond aerators, used to mechanically dissolve oxygen into the water, that are operated by farm tractor power take-off shafts is to use electrically powered aerators. Bubble-type aerators are safer than electrically powered paddle aerators because workers are shielded from moving parts. Many additional simple solutions have been identified for a range of tasks in this environment.
Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Demographic-characteristics; Education; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Farmers; Fishing-industry; Hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Personal-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Safety-climate; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Safety-research; Surveillance-programs; Work-analysis; Worker-health; Worker-motivation; Work-operations; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Author Keywords: Aquaculture; fish; fish farm; hazards; safety
Melvin L. Myers, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health with the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40504-9842
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Grant; Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007547; Grant-Number-R13-OH-009571
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
SIC Code
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division