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The Possible Injury Related Dangers for Fishing Workers

April 11, 2020
June 21, 2023
Different kinds of fisherman cartoon

Getting out to the open sea surrounded by nature may seem calming and restorative to some. 

A weekend fishing trip with the whole family has its own safety risks—requiring the check of the vessel, onboard equipment, safety vests, and having adequate amounts of food and water. These are all necessary for a fun and safe weekend away. 

Professional fishing workers have to go through this safety checklist and so much more. Since professional fishing requires great hauls with much repetition and extended exposure, these professionals need to be intensely  aware of the risks involved to avoid injury. With the dangers  on the sea, professional fishermen need to be constantly monitoring the quality of their equipment, their surroundings, and their environment. Their location, changes in the water and nearby vessels must be taken into account. 

This article reviews a few important pieces of advice and issues that arise when dealing with the safety of professional fishermen. 

A Closer Look at Fishing Safety

Before discussing how to create a safer environment for fishermen,  we first need to be aware of the dangers of fishing and how to best avoid them. 

So, what are some health and safety hazards? 

Commercial fishing can involve various types of equipment. This equipment can pose  safety threats with machinery, hand tools, and powered hand tools. Even the simplest of equipment with sharp blades and edges can be a threat.  Varying levels of physical strain are involved, depending on what kinds of tools are available and  quantity of fish caught. 


Since this job is performed outside and often in open waters, the environment and weather also play a big part. Fishing during a storm, working in extremely hot or cold temperatures, staying long hours under ultraviolet radiation from the sun, exposure to salt water, and quick changes in weather are just some examples of hazards.

Fishing boat in misty water
Fishing during a storm increases your chance of injury


Working  on the open water can also bring the threat of drowning, cold-water shock,and slips and falls—especially when climbing.  Other dangers include capsizing and collision.

Fishing professionals can also run the risk of injuries from fish spine, bones, and even bacteria or diseases transmitted through insect bites. 


On the boat, you can also  run into safety issues.  Risks may include working at heights, with chemicals, loud noises, and even working independently in the open sea. If you are a  commercial fisherman, you may also suffer from problems related to musculoskeletal disorders —from lifting and handling heavy materials.  


Fishing Safety Tips

Whether you are a seasoned commercial fisherman, are just starting out in this profession or are an employer of commercial fishing workers, it’s important to be aware of not only the dangers—but what you can proactively do to help avoid injury in the workplace:


  1. Before heading out into open sea, test all equipment, systems, and rescue materials. 
  2. Tie down loose equipment, clean up spills, and never stand around loose rope or wire.
  3. Wear the proper equipment like gloves, mitts, or boots.
  4. Never stand underneath a heavy load or where overhead equipment is located.
  5. Manage cabins, living quarters, and kitchen to help avoid loose items,  keeping everything maintained and clean. 


Ice Fishing Safety

Ice fishing  t brings its own challenges. Before embarking on an ice fishing job, there are a few safety precautions to check off your list. As any professional ice fishing worker knows, you should:


  • Test ice thickness,checking for  thin ice areas. 
  • Avoid catastrophic accidents by keeping your speed in check. You should be easily able to stop within the distance the snowmobile’s headlights illuminate.  
  • Wear the proper ice fishing safety gear 

Invest in your Employees, Invest in Work-Fit

No matter the industry, work-Fit is a nationwide leader of applying sports medicine techniques in the workplace to prevent injuries. Work-Fit believes in treating the corporate and occupational worker from prevention to treatment to rehabilitation, to optimize health and keep workers on the job. 


By integrating our certified healthcare professionals with your team, we can deliver the same level of care afforded to a professional athlete that will keep your team members healthy and on the job.


Please contact Work-Fit to explore our available services for your company.


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