preventing falls overboard

Photo: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

New video focuses on preventing falls overboard in lobster-fishing industry

April 25, 2016

Montreal – In an effort to prevent falls overboard among lobster-boat crews, scientific research organization IRSST has released a video featuring Canadian fishermen and deckhands sharing “tricks of the trade” for staying safe.

According to IRSST, researchers worked with fishing crews to identify 40 strategies for preventing falls overboard. The video stresses the importance of using fall prevention techniques that work well for a crew’s specific boat.

General preventive measures discussed in the 25-minute presentation include ensuring the person who drops the traps is the same person who loads them, stopping and positioning the boat properly when snaring buoys, setting up the trap table to provide easy access to both the catch and bait, and installing non-slip material on tables.

IRSST notes that although falls overboard don’t happen often in the fishing industry, it is important to educate workers on preventing the potentially deadly hazard. “With our parents’ and grandparents’ generation, if you didn’t want to go to school, you’d be a fisherman,” one fisherman in the video says. “Today that’s changed a lot – it’s the opposite. If you want to fish, you go to school.”