The Shipowners Club informed that it experienced a high volume of crew injury claims on fishing vessels during 2016 and in order to assist in mitigating such claims, it focused on risk assessments for fishing operations.
According to claims recorded by the Club, three main areas of causation for crew injury on fishing vessels emerged:
- Handling fishing gear : These include crew injury claims that arose from a lack of supervision of the task, non-adherence with safety practices and the non-usage of personal protective gear.
- Slips/trips/falls : These include incidents caused by slippery decks, trips on scattered equipment in work areas and falls (on board or overboard) during fishing operations.
- General injuries : These include crew injury claims which occurred during mooring operations, bumping into equipment such as crane hooks and exposure to ammonia.
Based on analysis of these claims, the Club notes that many of the personal injury incidents would have been avoided if an appropriate risk assessment had been conducted to identify and neutralise the potential hazards.
In its latest risk assessment series, the Club recommends the following when fishers handle fishing gear:
- Standard operating procedures to be available for deploying, operating and retrieval of specific fishing gear such as cray pots, trawls, pots, nets, lines etc.
- Adequate crew to carry out the operation in a safe manner.
- Crew to be suitably familiarised and trained with the operation of the fishing gear and the operation to be properly supervised.
- Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to be worn by the crew including appropriate safety gloves to prevent getting injuries from the fish spines/teeth or getting bitten by the fish/crabs.
- Fishing gear to be periodically inspected, maintained repaired and/or replaced as required.
- Long hair to be tied back as appropriate.
- Moving parts of machinery to be guarded as appropriate.
- Ropes/lines to be handled properly to prevent burns.
- Winch and other moving machinery operators to be suitably experienced.
- Hooks and other parts of lifting equipment that can swing and cause injury to be kept restrained or lashed as appropriate.
Further details can be found herebelow: