2013-03-01 12:00 - Messages

Fatal and nonfatal injuries involving fishing vessel winches - southern shrimp fleet, United States, 2000-2011

 Workers in the commercial fishing industry have the highest occupational fatality rate in the United States, nearly 35 times higher in 2011 than the rate for all U.S. workers. During 2000-2009, a total of 504 fishermen were killed in the U.S. fishing industry, most commonly by drowning as a result of vessels sinking (51%) and falls overboard (30%). Another 10% of fatalities (51 deaths) were caused by injuries sustained onboard vessels, such as entanglement in machinery. This type of fatality occurred most often in the Gulf of Mexico. To analyze fatal and nonfatal injuries involving deck winches in the Southern shrimp fleet during 2000-2011, CDC obtained data from its Commercial Fishing Incident Database and the U.S. Coast Guard. Injury patterns were examined, and risk ratios (RRs) were calculated to compare the probability of fatal outcomes from incidents involving different winch mechanisms and operating situations. During 2000-2011, eight fatal and 27 work-related injuries involving deck winches occurred in the Southern shrimp fleet, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic coast from Florida to North Carolina.* Injuries involving the winch drum had a higher risk for fatal outcomes compared with injuries involving the winch cathead. Fatal outcomes also were associated with being alone on the vessel and being alone on deck. Interventions to prevent deck winch injuries might include guarding of winch drums and catheads, avoiding working alone on deck, not wearing baggy clothing, and improvements to cable winding guides. Training of deckhands in first aid and emergency procedures might reduce the severity of injuries when entanglements occur

Source : MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2013; 62(9): 157-160.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6209a1.htm?s_cid=mm6209a1_w

Injuries in the commercial fishing fleet of Norway 2000–2011

 A working fishing vessel at sea is an elaborate collection of interacting accident potentials, barely controlled. Even the deck underfoot betrays the unwary, as can every other aspect of the normal daily grind onboard, as fishers ply their trade in weather foul and fair. All elements of the vessel at sea conspire in making this the most dangerous and difficult of all professional callings, an inexplicable calling where life and limb are continually at risk.
This article is based on an examination of reported occupational injuries from the Norwegian fishing fleet from 2000 to 2011. The aim is the determination of important characteristics and traits in the statistics, which may be used to focus and further preventative measures to be applied within this fleet. The results indicate that the current intervention programs and improvement measures have to date made a significant impact on injury levels within the fleet. This study has borne witness to a reduction in injury numbers and incident rates year on year for the past 12 years. It identifies the trawler fleet as the seat of the highest incident rates of injury occurrence, while the small coastal fleet had the lowest reported numbers of injuries. Under-reporting of minor injuries is revealed as a problem in the current reporting system of fisher injuries while the manner, location and body regions of reported injuries are also investigated. These findings lead to a discussion on the future requirements for the Norwegian fleet for further injury reduction and improved reporting practices.

Source : McGuinness, E., Aasjord, H.L., Utne, I.B., Holmen, I.M. Injuries in the commercial fishing fleet of Norway 2000–2011, Safety Science, Vol. 57, August 2013, p. 82-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.008,

Farm safety report released by Safe Work Australia

The Work-related injuries and fatalities on Australian farms report released by Safe Work Australia today has found one in six workers killed in Australia were working on a farm. The report monitored statistics over an eight year period until 30 June 2011. While only 3 percent of workers are employed in the agriculture sector, on average 44 farm workers are killed each year and another 17 400 suffer a work-related injury.
Other key findings from the report include:
• Vehicles accounted for nearly three quarters of work-related fatalities on farms.
o In the eight years of the study 93 workers died while using a tractor. Half of these workers were aged 65 years and over one-third of the deaths involved a rollover.
o Aircraft incidents while undertaking tasks such as mustering or crop dusting claimed the lives of 48 workers.
o Quad bikes were involved in 27 fatalities of which 20 were due to a rollover.
• Almost one-third of work-related fatalities on Australian farms involved workers aged 65 years or over. This is nearly three times the proportion the age group represents of all worker fatalities in Australian workplaces.
• Young farm workers had more hospitalisations for a motorbike or horse-related incident while older workers had more hospitalisations from contact with machinery.
• Only half of Australian agriculture workers are covered by workers' compensation as 46 percent are self-employed. The report showed that nearly one in four workers' compensation claims were due to working with animals, one in five were from working with mobile plant and transport including motorbikes and nearly one in five were from working with non-powered tools and equipment.

Source : http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/publications/pages/work-related-injuries-fatalities-australian-farms

Work-related fatal injury among young persons in Australia, July 2000–June 2007

Every year, young people are killed as a result of their work and the work of others in Australia. The loss of a young life is disproportionately high in potential years of life lost and lost productivity. The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed description of the industry and mechanism-specific fatal incidents involving young workers aged 15–24-years in Australia, and compare them with all workers. We retrospectively reviewed coronial records extracted from the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) for all work-related deaths in Australia from July 2000 to June 2007. A total of 232 young persons were fatally injured as a result of work-related activity in the seven year study period. Working for income, commuter and bystander deaths accounted for 148, 67 and 17 deaths respectively. The death rate for young workers was 1.24 per 100,000 employed person-years. This compared to an all age death rate of 2.22 per 100,000 employed person-years. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector had the highest industry-specific fatality rate for young workers. This was followed by the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry, and Mining. In each sector, young worker’s fatality rates were higher than the overall rate. The use of publicly available data did not allow for stratification by age group. However, these results update what is currently known about young worker deaths, using a low-cost, publicly available data source. In the absence of a rigorous surveillance and reporting system documenting young worker injury and fatality, these findings serve a quasi-surveillance role.

Source : J.P. Ehsani, B. McNeilly, J.E. Ibrahim, J. Ozanne-Smith. Safety Science, Vol. 57, August 2013, p. 14–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2013.01.012,

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