Leslie Hughes: The successful evolution of a voluntary vessel safety pro...

Start2006Leslie Hughes: The successf...

The North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association (NPFVOA) is a non-profit association dedicated to safety education and training for commercial fishermen and other mariners. Funding is provided primarily through member contributions and also through tuition fees and sales of materials. Members are primarily fishing vessel owners and fishing-related companies, from small salmon boats with single operators to large processing ships with crews of 150 or more. The Association also works together with insurance underwriters and brokers, maritime attorneys and fishing industry support businesses. It works closely with the United States Coast Guard, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and many state agencies.

There are three primary components of the NPFVOA Vessel Safety Program – a comprehensive safety manual, a series of safety and survival at sea videotapes, and a crew training program. The vessel safety manual includes 300 pages of text and illustrations covering subjects ranging from vessel familiarity for deckhands to stability for the owner and skipper. It is based on the experience of those who have fished the Bering Sea and the North Pacific. The manual calls for vessel owners and skippers to adopt safety practices specific to the vessel’s characteristics and service, the waters fished, the season fished and the experience of the crew. The safety and survival videotape series is designed to complement hands-on training classes. The crew training program uses hands-on practice to dramatize and enliven the information presented in the manual and on the videotapes. Courses are designed to be portable and conducted in numerous ports and states.

The NPFVOA also publishes a quarterly newsletter covering its safety program, other relevant safety information and reports of lessons learned from serious fishing vessel accidents.

Key Words: Hands-on safety training for commercial fishermen; industry safety initiatives; voluntary safety program

Executive Director.
North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association (NPFVOA) Vessel Safety Program,
1900 West Emerson Place, Suite 101, Seattle, WA 98119.
Tel.: (206) 285-3383
Fax: (206) 286-9332
E-mail : leslie@npfvoa.org
This paper was presented during the ErgoMare International Symposium held in Lorient, France, on 5-7 October 2006