Entanglements in fishing gear and deck machinery are namely a key cause of injuries in commercial fishing. The video above shows how Pat and his crew used an emergency stop (E-Stop) on their deck winch to prevent an injury to one of their deckhands while salmon seining in Alaska.

Being able to stop deck machinery quickly and easily can mean the difference between a near miss, a career-ending injury, or even death.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that all fishermen should:

  • Take a marine safety class at least once every 5 years
  • Find a comfortable PFD and wear it on deck at all times
  • Do monthly drills including abandon ship, flooding, fire, and man overboard
  • Heed weather forecasts and avoid fishing in severe sea conditions
  • Maintain watertight integrity by inspecting and monitoring the hull of the vessel, ensuring that watertight doors and hatches are sealed, and inspecting and testing high water alarms regularly
  • Utilize a man overboard alarm system
  • Test immersion suits for leaks if operating in cold water

NIOSH recommends that all vessel owners/operators should:

  • Create a PFD policy for the crew while working on deck
  • Conduct monthly drills including abandon ship, flooding, fire, and man overboard
  • Install a man overboard alarm system, and man overboard retrieval devices
  • Install emergency stop (e-stop) devices on hydraulic deck machinery to prevent entanglement injuries
  • Ensure all crew members have completed marine safety training in the past 5 years