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Helping Gulf shrimpers adopt safety measures: importance of partnerships and research to practice.

Levin JL; Gilmore K; Carruth A; Wickman A; Shepherd S; Gallardo G; Nonnenmann M
J Agromedicine 2012 Jan; 17(1):15-21
Commercial fishing continues to be a dangerous line of work. There are many hazards and the work is complex, even on a small scale. Along the United States Gulf Coast, the make-up of the commercial fishing population is diverse, with many Vietnamese shrimpers. Cultural barriers can interfere with critical communication and with receptivity to necessary safety training. In the course of studying these factors, it became apparent that language was a significant barrier among Vietnamese shrimp fishermen learning sound signals and making Mayday calls, potentially contributing to adverse events. This article is a qualitative description of a pilot project in response to this observation and aimed at the development of a model simulating the bridge of a commercial fishing vessel (including horn blast and radio). The model is used to improve knowledge and skills of the fishermen by providing instruction in Vietnamese. As a Mayday call must be made in English, instructional aids are provided to assist fishermen in the exercise. This example of research to practice (r2p) demonstrates how research findings may enhance acquisition of safety knowledge and skills through development of these types of models as well sustainable instructional tools like the multi-lingual interactive CD described here. It further illustrates the importance of partnerships in the design and delivery of workplace safety training interventions. The model, instructional aids, and CD are timely as they coincide with new regulation which mandates certification of these competencies or skills.
Fishing-industry; Hazards; Workers; Work-environment; Sociological-factors; Safety-measures; Training; Humans; Men; Women; Accidents; Traumatic-injuries; Author Keywords: Fishing vessels; navigation; training; safety; shrimp; Vietnamese; Mayday; simulation; research; interactive CD
Jeffrey L. Levin, MD, MSPH, Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Health Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, 11937 U.S. Highway 271, Tyler, TX 75708-3154
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-007541; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U50-OH-007541; B09112012
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
University of Texas Health Center at Tyler
Page last reviewed: October 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division