Reporting of human accidents in the Norwegian Fishing Fleet has always been very difficult because there has been no tradition in making reports on all types of working accidents among fishermen, if the accident does not seem to be very serious or there is no economical incentive to report. Therefore reports are only written when the accidents are serious or if the fisherman is reported sick.
Reports about an accident are sent to the insurance company, but another report should also be sent to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD). Comparing of data from one former insurance company and NMD shows that the real numbers of injuries or serious accidents among Norwegian fishermen could be up to two times more than the numbers reported to NMD.
Special analyses of 1690 accidents from the so called PUS-database (NMD) for the period 1998 – 2002, show that the calculated risk was 23.6 accidents per 1000 man-years. This is quite a high risk level, and most of the accidents in the fishing fleet were rather serious. The calculated risks are highest for fishermen on board the deep sea fleet of trawlers (28.6 accidents per 1000 man-years) and also on the deep sea fleet of purse seiners (28.9 accidents per 1000 man-years).
Fatal accidents over a longer period of 51.5 years from 1955 to 2006 are also roughly analysed. These data from SINTEF´s own database show that the numbers of fatal accidents have been decreasing over this long period, except for the two periods 1980-84 and 1990-94 where we had some casualties with total losses of larger vessels with the loss of most of the crew, but also many others typical work accidents on smaller vessels.
The total numbers of registered Norwegian fishermen and also the numbers of man-years have been drastically reduced over the 51,5 years from 1955 to 2006. The risks of fatal accidents have been very steady over time at a high level, although there has been a marked risk reduction since 1990-94.
For the last 8.5-year period of January 1998–July 2006 the numbers of fatal accidents and calculated risks are analysed for three main fleet groups. The highest risk factor of 24.8 fatal accidents per 10.000 man years is found in the smaller fleet, length of vessel (Loa) <13 meters. This is 4.1 times higher than in the medium fleet (13<Loa<28 meters) and 11.3 times higher risk factor than in the deep sea fleet (Loa>28 meter).
Halvard L.Aasjord, PhD, Senior Scientist
SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture
7465 Trondheim, Norway
Tel.+47-917 23 365
This paper was presented at ErgoMare International Symposium held on 5-7 October 2006 in Lorient, France