Denmark’s Maritime Authority, DMA, has introduced a requirement for written safety instructions about good safety procedures when setting and hauling nets.
In general, the safety level on board fishing vessels has improved over the last many years. However, serious accidents still occur. DMA has found that the majority of serious accidents occur in the fishing industry, especially when setting and hauling fishing gear. For example, a fisherman died in 2013 when he got stuck in the trawl while the net drum was operating.
When a risk assessment, APV, is made on board a trawler, the setting and launching of the fishing gear is a special risk since this is where serious accidents occur. In case of especially risky tasks, written safety instructions must be made.
In future surveys of trawlers, the Danish Maritime Authority will ask how the risk related to the setting and hauling of the fishing gear has been assessed. Except in very special cases, written safety instructions will be required.
Therefore, says the DMA, “It would be a good idea to make such safety instructions already now. The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Services would be pleased to help draw up the instructions.”
Safety instructions – why and how?
The goal as such is not that the instructions are available in writing. The important thing is that there are procedures on what to do and what not to do on board. In case of especially risky work tasks, written safety instructions help ensure that everybody follows the same procedure so that serious accidents are thereby reduced.
All crewmembers should:
• Be trained in the instructions and follow them.
• Stop colleagues if they do not follow the instructions or otherwise do not work safely.
• Contribute to good communication on board.
One element of the instructions could, for example, be that work is not done alone or without a possibility of communicating with the other crewmembers at winches and net drums. In this way, it is ensured that a colleague can always intervene if dangerous situations arise.
The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Services can provide in-depth safety information in Danish about the following:
The general setting and hauling of fishing gear (see especially pages 106-117, 122-126 and 161-163).