Session 2D – What’s Working (and Not Working) in Fishing Safety? 

Monday, June 11, 10:45am–12:15pm, Arts and Administration Building, Room A1043

2D.1  Fishing Safety: what we know, what we are seeing, is it progressing? – Joseph Hincke and Glenn Budden, Transportation Safety Board of Canada (Presentation Slides).

Since the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its landmark 2012 study of fishing safety in Canada, a lot has changed, including:

  • new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations;
  • new, expanded and continued safety initiatives across the country;
  • the ongoing evolution of regional fishing-safety associations; and
  • increased provincial fishing safety oversight.

However, there continue to be fatal accidents nationwide involving fishing vessels, which the TSB continues to investigate.

The presentation will consist of a look at progress that has been made and behavioral changes among fishermen since the 2012 study across the fishing industry, as well as an examination of those safety issues that continue to be of concern. The presentation would also feature a statistical review of data gained since the TSB’s 2012 study.


2D.2  Prevention of accidents at work in Nordic fisheries – What has worked?Annbjørg á Høvdanum, The Faroese Hospital System; Jørgen Møller Christensen, and Helle Østergaard, University of Southern Denmark; Trine Thorvaldsen, Ingunn M. Holmen, and Signe Sønvisen, SINTEF Ocean; Kim O. Kaustell, Tiina E.A. Mattila, and Risto H. Rautiainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland; Hilmar Snorrason, Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre, Iceland; Kristin Tómasson, Administration for Occupational Health and Safety, Reykjavík, Iceland

In the Nordic countries, analysis show a decline or stagnation in accidents in fisheries. However, the knowledge about what works is limited. Furthermore, the fishermen’s own perceptions of regulation and prevention measures has not been studied. This presentation is based on a joint Nordic study. The aim of the study was to give an overview and describe which strategies have been applied in five Nordic countries for preventing accidents, and to get the fishermen’s views on what has worked and been of the highest importance in reducing and preventing occupational accidents. A survey was designed and conducted in Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Participants rated a list of safety measures on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 meant not very important/little or no effect and 10 meant very important/high effect. A total of 47 fishers rated safety equipment, safety culture, construction of the vessel, and work organisation on board the highest. These factors are closely related to the everyday work reality at sea. Fishers also suggested that training, education on-board, safety equipment, design of the vessel, layout of the deck as a workplace, organisation of the work and good work routines, attitudes, better safety culture and communication may improve safety in the future. Challenges related to fatigue were especially expressed by fishers in Iceland and Faroe Iceland. Better economy that permits the introduction of modern vessels was pointed out as a path to better safety in general. This study indicates that measures that correspond well with fishers perceptions of what works, are also more likely to be followed up on – and thus more likely to have an effect on safety. Therefore, involving fishers in the development of safety measures and valuing their experiences and opinions is an approach that is a recommended approach.


2D.3  It all starts with risk: Understanding risk and risk-taking behaviors – Eric Holliday, FISH Safety Foundation (Presentation slides).

There is an element of risk in all we do. We know that workplaces, especially those at sea, are dynamic and risks constantly change in shape, probabilities and exposure. And while the ILO Work in Fishing Convention actively promotes a risk-based approach to managing safety in the fishing industry, it’s clear from the evidence that the current safety measures alone aren’t managing risk effectively and delivering the required outcomes. So, how do we tackle the risk issue? This short presentation will look at the importance of risk management practice, and will further examine the internal and external factors that make this such a difficult process! And while the standard risk models, matrices, bow-ties, etc., are helpful, by themselves, they’re not really enough. We need to factor in people.People’s behaviour is often hard to understand – especially when analysed after an accident – so we will briefly explore the interface between human factors and risk management by examining perception, and the cognitive and behavioural processes behind risk-taking behaviour. It’s been said that fishermen (and women) are by nature risk-takers. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing – but by teaching people to correctly SEE and UNDERSTAND risk, we can develop competent risk-takers. And by doing this, we can promote sustained safety behaviour improvement, and also change attitudes towards safety in the industry. It’s about a new way of thinking. It all starts with RISK!


2D.4  Online Safety Training for Fishermen- Getting training “Out of the Lecture Box” and into the Cloud – R. Alan Davis, American Seafoods Company (Presentation slides).

How do we deliver Safety & Health knowledge to Commercial Fishermen? The tried and true gold standard is of course small groups of Fishers being trained in face to face, hands on training delivered by knowledgeable peers and experts.  However, from Artisanal Fishers to the 100+ Meter Factory Trawlers we all face the shortage of time and opportunity to deliver Safety & Health Knowledge that goes beyond the immediacy of life safety at sea.   Even large companies with big crews struggle to create the time and opportunity to provide quality small group training on topics such as: Respiratory Protection, Chemical Safety, Back & Lifting Safety, First Aid, Personal Protective Equipment, etc, etc.The topics needing to be covered are seemingly endless and several companies in the US have taken a “step out of the box” in their efforts to push Safety & Health training out of the crowded lecture rooms and galleys full of distractions… and into people’s HOMES by providing interactive online content that crew members can take in their off time between seasons.Can’t be done?  Think people are not computer literate enough? Over one billion people on the planet use Facebook… over 100,000,000 people worldwide use Instagram…. Safety & Health Professionals get training through webinars every day.  Why not believe that our Fishers can receive Safety & Health Training through computers, tablets, and other mobiles devices?Our company employs over 900 people from approximately 85 countries around the world and in 2017 we delivered over 17,000 separate courses to 1,100 individual crew members from all over the world.  This program has both broadened and deepened our crew’s knowledge while helping assure that we all have a common foundation in safety rules and best practices.  With a little effort, training can now be delivered virtually anywhere in the world, outside of the “Classroom box”.


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