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Fishermen are six times more likely to die at work

Fishermen are six times more likely to die at work
23rd August 2018

FISHERMEN are six times more likely to face a risk of death than the most dangerous jobs on land, according to new figures.

The figures published in the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Health and Safety Executive’s annual reports showed that the industry suffered a rate of 62 fatalities per 100,000 workers.

The figures are a significant difference following the second most dangerous occupation which revealed that the second most dangerous occupation, waste and recycling, had a rate of just 10.26 per 100,000 people.

The report also showed that five fishermen lost their lives in 2017 compared with nine lives lost in 2016 adding that it might be reasonable to assume that the safety record of commercially operated fishing vessels is improving.

However, the report noted that there have been concerns expressed that many of the injuries that fishing vessel crew

suffer go unreported despite the Marine Accident Investigation Branch recording around 1,232 accidents to UK vessels or in UK coastal waters in 2017/18.

Andy Alcock, secretary of the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association stressed that fisherman were safe workers who did not take risks.

He added that although the number of deaths were decreasing in the industry he stressed that there were always new rules and regulations brought in by the government which were brought in at a cost to the fisherman.

Alongside this, recent research by the Seafarers UK maritime welfare charity found that safety was regularly being sacrificed at ports.

A spokesman for the charity, said: “Training is perceived as a necessary evil. Less than 20 per cent of the survey respondents don’t wear a personal flotation device on a regular basis.

“Fishermen’s tolerance and even acceptance of the risk involved in their profession would be unlikely to be tolerated in any other industry.”

It comes as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair presented theWhite Paper ‘Sustainable fisheries for future generations’ – to Parliament earlier this month – which included a number of references to improving Fisherman safety.

The paper read: “We know…that fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations and that some of the unintended consequences of action can result in implications for fisherman’s safety.

“We therefore intend to consider safety throughout the policy development and implementation process for new management systems, practices and technology.