Work related injuries in small scale commercial fishing.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology of work related injury in a group of small scale, independent commercial fishers. DESIGN: Cross sectional survey (baseline instrument of a prospective cohort study). SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Commercial fishers in eastern North Carolina. RESULTS: A cohort of 219 commercial fishers was established and 215 subjects completed an injury questionnaire. The main types of fishing conducted by the cohort were finfishing (159/215) and crabbing (154/215). Of the 215 fishers, 83 reported that they had suffered an injury event in the previous 12 months, a retrospective recall incidence proportion of 38.6 per 100 workers (95% confidence interval 32.1 to 45.1). The 83 injury events resulted in 94 injuries; 47% were penetrating wounds and 24% were strains/sprains. Half of injuries were to the hand/wrist/digits and 13% were to the back. Of the penetrating wounds, 87% were to the hand/wrist/digits, 32% became infected, and 80% were caused by contact with finfish, shellfish, or other marine animal. Of the strains/sprains, 48% were to the back and 26% were to the shoulder. Seventy percent of strains/sprains were caused by moving heavy objects, mainly either while hauling in nets, pots, or lines or loading/unloading the boat. CONCLUSION: In this group of small scale, independent fishers, the most common reported injuries were penetrating wounds to the hand/wrist/digits from marine animals and strains/sprains to the back while moving heavy objects.
Marshall, SW; Kucera, K; Loomis, D; McDonald, MA; Lipscomb, HJ
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