Gilbert Le bouar, Christine Chauvin: An analysis of the risks in the Fre...

Start2006Gilbert Le bouar, Christine...

In many maritime countries, the work of sea fishermen is one of the most hazardous of occupations. The number of accidents is much greater than in other occupations on land or at sea, and the accidents themselves are often more serious. When considering the risks and hazards of fishing, one initially thinks of major risks like collisions or vessels running aground, as well as the work related injuries which are mainly caused by the fishing equipment (otter boards, ropes) and by the motions of the vessel. These accidents and, in a more general sense, the dangers met by fishermen at sea have already been studied. But little research has been undertaken on the problem of accidents of fishermen while the vessel is in port; and in France, these accidents account for about 30 % of all registered injuries for the sea fishing industry.

The presented report takes a look at this category of accidents, on the basis of data on 5074 accidents registered between 1996 and 2005.

An examination of statistics therefore points to certain types of risks and dangerous situations, but it also leaves a number of questions pending. One of these is the number of “unknown” causes. Falls, in particular, are usually linked to an outside factor which is not listed on the form the sailors must fill out. To compensate for the limitations of the epidemiological analysis, on-site observation seemed to be the best way of understanding the risks of the activities of fishermen in the port.

Keywords: Occupational accidents; Fisher; Docked vessel; Injury

University of South Brittany, GESTIC (Study Group on Health, Work, Information and Cognition)
Ergonomy and Safety Laboratory on Maritime Activities (LESAM),
Research Centre, Rue de Saint-Maudé, 56321 Lorient-F Cedex.
Phone number : 0033 (0)297 874 521
fax number : 0033 (0)297 874 500