Most New Yorkers go about their days without giving thought toward the dangers of some industries. Meanwhile, countless fishery workers take risks while on the job. Although fish is an essential food across the country — not to mention the fact that it provides employment for thousands — it is one of society’s more dangerous pursuits when considered commercially. The safety of this line of work is an aspect of this industry that many experts have warned about for decades. Is it really as dangerous as some might say?
According to Salon, the answer to this question is complex. One study from Salon’s report that ranged from 2000 to 2009 showed that areas on the East Coast allegedly pose more risks for fishery wokers than those on the West Coast. More specifically, groundfish created more dangers for employees in this part of the country. More recent data from 2010 to 2014 show that this trend does not appear to have an end in sight, either. And as some experts claim the industry is getting safer, a large number of workers experience injury and even death from various vessel disasters. Many of these accidents occur when boats are safely docked ashore.
As with many workplace injuries, the harsh truth is that a great number could have been prevented. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider commercial fishing to be one of the most dangerous types of work in the country; in fact, the industry has a fatality rate 29 times higher than the national average. According to the CDC, the following risks pose the most dangers to workers:
- Vessel accidents
- Machinery on deck
- Falls overboard
To best tackle this prominent issue, the CDC share the plans of The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to better train fishery workers, carry out monthly drills, take note of weather forecasts, create strict policies for workers on deck and maintain other crucial safety measures.