Agriculture, forestry and fishing Injury prevention

Commercial fish-handling injuries preventable, researchers claim

Corvallis, OR – The number of workers injured while handling fish on certain types of commercial fishing vessels could be reduced if appropriate interventions are developed, a new study concludes.

Researchers from NIOSH and the Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences analyzed 12 years of injury data related to freezer trawlers and freezer-longline vessels. They found that the handling of fish caused nearly half of all injuries aboard trawlers and about 25 percent of injuries on longliners.

On the trawlers, most injuries occurred in the factories and freezer holds; common injuries aboard longliners occurred on the deck working with fishing gear.

This was the first scientific assessments of these vessels, according to an April 15 OSU press release, and researchers found that despite these vessels’ reputation of being dangerous, injury rates were similar to or lower than other types of commercial fishing.

Lead researcher Devin Lucas suggested the study could be used to identify and reduce many of the common injuries found in the commercial fishing industry.

The study was published online March 1 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.