Offshore InjuryBlog

Fisherman Up to 40 Times More Likely to be Killed at Work

Shows like the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," highlight the wonders and dangers that commercial fishermen experience every day. However, even though the show may contain certain scripted aspects, the dangers of commercial fishing accidents are quite real.

Facts About Commercial Fishing Accidents

According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), commercial sea fishing is the most dangerous sector in which to work. With a workforce of almost 5,000 people directly employed and registered in fleets with over 2,100 vessels, they measured the incidence of commercial fishing accidents. The HSA found that between 2008 and 2013, the fatality rate in commercial fishing was 92 for every 100,000 workers. When compared to average death rate in the general working population of 2.5 per 100,000, the results concluded that fishermen were up to 40 times more likely to be killed while at sea compared to the average worker.

An official noted that, "There's no doubt that fishing is a dangerous job and fishermen often work under very dangerous and extreme conditions where the smallest oversight can lead to disaster. Under these circumstances it's vital that skippers manage the risks and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their crew. "

Another disturbing fact found by the HSA happened during their survey to establish the levels of awareness amongst fishermen about the requirement to have a safety statement. Only 30% of fishermen inspected had a safety statement, and only one in five had completed a risk assessment.

Commercial Fishing Accidents in the United States

The numbers weren't much better when localized to just the United States. The Centers for Disease Control recently conducted their own study and found that:

  • There are approximately 115,000 harvesters in the United States using a variety of different fishing gear and vessels.
  • Between 2000 and 2010, 545 commercial fishermen died while fishing in the U.S.
  • More than half of all fatalities (279, 51%) occurred after a vessel disaster.
  • Another 170 (31%) fatalities occurred when a fisherman fell overboard.
  • Of all commercial fishing accidents that resulted in a deadly drowning, no one was wearing a portable flotation device.
  • Another 56 (10%) fatalities resulted from an injury onboard.
  • The remaining 40 (7%) fatalities occurred while diving or from onshore injuries.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a commercial fishing accident, contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options. You should have an experienced lawyer on your side to help file a claim and ensure maximum compensation.

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