Commercial fishermen in California fish for all kinds of sea life, such as crab, squid, salmon and anchovies. Although this job brings a lot of rewards to its workers and customers, commercial fishing has a demanding and unpredictable nature, which often puts those who undertake it at risk. As waves crash against the boat and you battle harsh weather, the possibility of accidents remains ever-present.
However, by understanding and recognizing these hazards, you can better equip yourself to minimize risks and improve safety.
1. Injury from equipment handling
Commercial fishing necessitates the frequent use of heavy and often complex machinery. During such operations, accidents can easily occur. Mishaps during the hauling and setting of fishing gear are commonplace, where an entangled hand or fingers in winches or ropes can cause injuries. Additionally, the unexpected failure of a block or cable under pressure can result in damaging backlash.
2. Risks of slip and fall incidents
The wet and slippery deck of a fishing vessel presents a ripe opportunity for accidents. Trips over fishing gear or slips on the slick surface are all too common, leading to sprains, fractures or more severe injuries if you fall overboard. The risk of hypothermia or drowning is real if one were to fall into the freezing sea.
3. Perilous weather conditions
The weather exerts an immense influence on the safety of commercial fishing operations. In extreme conditions like storms, the tossing and turning of the vessel can result in injuries from unsecured equipment flying around. Exposure to frigid temperatures also increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
4. Accidents from fatigue
Long hours and the physically demanding nature of the work can lead to fatigue among fishermen, increasing the chance of accidents. Tiredness can cause a lapse in judgment or slower reaction times, potentially leading to severe accidents.
5. Collisions and sinkings
While not as frequent, accidents like vessel collisions or sinking can happen, and they often have grave consequences. These accidents can occur due to poor navigation, mechanical failure or severe weather conditions.
In the dangerous profession of commercial fishing, the risk of accidents is part and parcel of the job. However, with the right safety measures in place and a thorough understanding of common accidents, it is possible to protect yourself and your crew, ensuring that everyone returns home safely.