Commercial fishermen work in
one of the most dangerous
occupations in the world. The
risks from commercial fishing
accidents and injuries are
numerous, from slippery
decks, falling overboard,
being struck by pot haulers,
and others. Hypothermia
remains a major threat, due to
the fact that commercial
fishing vessels operate in cold
sea temperatures. In the
United States, injured
deckhands and other crew
members should have legal
rights under the
Jones Act,
covering pain and suffering,
and other economic and
non-economic losses,
including maintenance and

The very nature of the risk of
commercial fishing accidents
and injuries makes it difficult
to create a less hazardous
workplace - the best that
safety experts can do is to
review every accident, look at
every injury, and evaluate what
could have been done to
prevent them.

A study conducted by the
Accident Investigation Board
Norway reviewed commercial
fishing accidents that took
place since 2010. It determined
that the greatest risk of falling
overboard is associated with
pot fishing. Here in the United
States, this is a broad category
of fishing activity that ranges
from New England lobster
boats to Bering Sea crab
boats. While the risk of
entanglement in gear is
disturbing, there are things
that could at least mitigate
some of the risk. These
include rescue ladders,
buoyancy aids, and
emergency stops. Read about
the study and its
recommendations at the
Accident Investigation Board

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