Updated: May 14
Commercial fishing boat captain, Pat Glaab, installed an emergency stop (E-stop) button on the deck winch of his salmon seiner, F/V Norisle. In the course of a normal day's fishing, a deck hand got caught up in the line to the winch and Pat used the E-stop button to keep him from being pulled into the winch. The message from safety success stories don't get more explicit than this: E-stops on deck machinery prevent injuries and can save lives.
Watch the video for the full story. Pat, and crewman, Travis Anderson, discuss the incident and the impact of the E-stop installation on their fishing operations. Pat also reflects on his feelings about the E-stop installation after the fact. The short version is that they feel that the E-stop is an asset to their day-to-day operations and Pat is clearly concerned with preventing crew injuries.
"On-deck injuries account for 12% of the fatal injuries in commercial fishing and the largest number of hospitalized non-fatal injuries among fishermen in the United States," according to the commercial fishing website maintained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). Regardless of whether you trawl for shrimp, drag for scallops, or seine for salmon, if you work on deck, you are at risk for a life altering or even fatal injury from deck machinery. NIOSH has been conducting and supporting research for years on workable safety measures to prevent crew entanglements in fishing gear and machinery. Check out the solutions they have come up with for preventing injuries from winch entanglement and other commercial fishing hazards on their publications page.