Safety video targets one of world's most dangerous occupations

All fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive copy of new video in wake of sobering statistic – 36 workers have been killed since 2000

In an effort to improve safety in one of the world’s most dangerous occupations, fishing industry partners in Newfoundland and Labrador have launched a new safety video that will be distributed to all fish harvesters in the province.

Since 2000, the province has averaged more than 60 fishing vessel accidents per year and 36 workers have been killed.

Over the last few years, the province sponsored a number of fishing vessel safety workshops, said Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“At that time, fish harvesters identified the need for a multimedia video resource to increase awareness of vessel safety and stability issues in the province’s fishing industry,” said Jackman.

Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute at Memorial University in St. Johns, N.L. — which produced the video — said the province’s long marine history has meant it has become all too familiar with tragedies on the water.

Bill Broderick, inshore director for the Fish, Food and Allied Workers, said there has been a “vast improvement” in the safety culture of the fishing industry over the last decade, with better-equipped vessels and fish harvesters embracing training in “record numbers.”

“Most importantly, we are seeing a positive downward trend in fishing vessel incidents and fatalities in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Broderick. “By reaching thousands of fish harvesters with this safety video, we can raise safety awareness to a new level and keep the momentum moving in the right direction.”

The video was produced in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture; Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission; the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation and the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board. The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. Johns, N.L., produced the video in conjunction with Memorial University’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies.

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