NTSB hosts hearing on most dangerous industry

Significant progress has been made in improving commercial fishing safety over the past 20 years, but more work must be done before it no longer tops the list of the most dangerous occupations in America, according to National Transportation Safety Board member Robert L. Sumwalt III.

Attendees of an Oct. 13-14 public forum on fishing vessel safety discussed safety issues in the industry and attempted to identify strategies for preventing incidents and reducing the commercial fishing industry's high injury and fatality rate.

In 2009, the fishing industry again experienced the highest rate of fatal workplace injuries of any industry in the nation, Sumwalt said in his opening statement. Last year, one fisherman was killed for every 500 American workers engaged in commercial fishing, he said.

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