Commercial fishing accident prevention tips

Commercial fishing is widely accepted to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world today. Every year people are injured or worse whilst working in the commercial fishing industry. It is therefore vital for people working in the industry to take all the necessary precautions to reduce these risks. There are many aspects to consider with regards to personal safety whilst at work, ranging from fire fighting techniques to more simple safety wear requirements. The most basic form of accident prevention concerns personal protective equipment such as jackets, gloves and bib & brace overalls. Safety wear such as this is the minimum that is required if you want to stay safe on board a fishing vessel.

Weather, crew and stability

Three important aspects to consider in relation to accident prevention on board a fishing vessel concern the weather, the crew and the stability of the vessel. The weather is something that is beyond our control, but by identifying possible weather problems early we can take steps to avoid a lack of preparation for when that weather arrives. It is advisable to be aware of the weather forecast before setting out and if the weather is unsuitable and the vessel is not capable of sailing in the anticipated conditions we should consider postponing the departure until better weather arrives.

The crew should be fully trained in all aspects of maritime safety including fire-fighting techniques, survival techniques and safety equipment. It is advisable for crew members to have completed some form of formal training prior to sailing on the vessel. They should be informed about the safety procedures on board the vessel and understand where to locate important safety equipment. The crew should understand the importance of vessel stability specifically relating to loading the vessel and ice build-up. Many accidents occur at sea due to the vessel being improperly loaded or ice being allowed to build up during the course of the voyage.

Safety exams and safety wear

A safety exam should be carried out by the coastguard prior to launch. The captain of the vessel should walk through all the relevant safety issues and safety equipment with the crew, prior to launch. The coastguard is then able to carry out the safety exam and can work together with the captain and his crew to identify possible problems.

All crew should have access to the correct safety wear whilst on board the vessel. This includes fit for purpose jackets, gloves, suits, bib & brace overalls, boots and protective eye wear. Additionally they should have access to any other form of personal protective equipment that they may require during the course of the voyage.

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