fishing boat

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New OSHA fact sheet: Housekeeping, sanitation practices in commercial fishing

December 21, 2017

Washington — More than half of recordable injuries in commercial fishing are preventable with proper housekeeping and sanitary practices, OSHA states in a recently released fact sheet.

“To protect workers on commercial fishing vessels, employers must identify the hazards and take steps to address them,” the fact sheet states. “For example, improperly storing tools and fishing gear or allowing water or fish parts to accumulate from processing activities increase the risk for slips, trips and falls.”

Good housekeeping and sanitary practices provided in the fact sheet include:

  • Start with a comprehensive cleaning, removing all trash, unused materials or “accumulations of scrap.”
  • Use proper receptacles for trash and waste, and keep them from overflowing. Store chemicals, liquids or soiled rags in approved containers.
  • Bathrooms and other sanitation areas must be cleaned, serviced and stocked as needed.
  • Make housekeeping a continuing priority by ensuring workers keep their areas clean and well-maintained.

The fact sheet offers additional best practices for restrooms and sanitation; walking-working surfaces; entrance and exit routes; the evaluation of atmospheric conditions in confined/enclosed spaces; and the movement of cargo, ship’s stores or gear.