Some Manhattan area residents find commercial fishing to be a lucrative career choice. As rewarding as it can be, there are dangers that many fishermen are aware of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “commercial fishing is one of the riskiest jobs in the country; the national fatality average is 29 times lower than the industry.”
Each year, thousands of fishing industry workers are injured while performing their jobs. It is not uncommon for them to end up with broken bones, lacerations, spinal cord trauma and brain injuries. Some injuries are preventable. However, there are many factors one must take into consideration to reduce the risk of trauma and death while working on a commercial fishing vessel. Listed below are a couple of them.
Many fishers work on longliners, purse seiners, trollers and other types of vessels. Due to the unpredictable nature of the sea and water, workers are always in danger of their watercrafts capsizing. Dangerous and high winds can suddenly appear causing extreme flooding, damage, injuries and fatalities.
Extreme weather conditions
Workers are likely to develop hypothermia and frostbite from working in cold and wet conditions. The risks are higher when fishermen are not allowed to take breaks, work long hours and do not wear appropriate gear to protect their bodies from the serious effects of prolonged exposure to cold and wet environments.
Commercial fishing employers must make certain provisions to work environments and policies to mitigate the risks of accidents and injuries. In the event of intentional and unintentional accidents, the Jones Act offers certain protections to injured commercial fishers and fishing vessel workers.