Fishing: Most Dangerous Occupation in the Nation

From 2003 to 2009, there were more than 330 fishermen who were injured on the job in the United States. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rates of work accidents in this industry tend to be more volatile because of the small number of workers in this industry.

As a matter of fact, these rates have been well above those of other workers in recent years. The fatal injury rate for fishers and related fishing workers was more than 203 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2009. This is a rate that’s more that 50 times higher than the all-worker injury and illness rate of less than 4 per 100,000.
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Workers in this industry are subjected to work conditions that are unlike any other. They work long, strenuous and seasonal hours. They also face some of the most dangerous work conditions out there. Many fishers are at sea for months at a time. Our Charlotte workers compensation attorneys understand that these workers are required to work in these dangerous conditions oftentimes with no sleep at all. They are constantly being tossed around boat decks and face the risk of being drug overboard by equipment. Weather doesn’t stop their work and they don’t have the luxury of working in an office building. Their work conditions change on a day-to-day basis.

The outside world has been able to get a sneak peek into what these workers actually have to go through, with the production of TV shows like Big Shrimpin’, Deadliest Catch, Swords, Hook Line and Sisters, and Toughest Tribes 3.

These workers have had the highest work-related fatality rate over any other occupation since 2005, yet we rarely hear about it. In 2009, there were more than 30,000 fishers and related workers employed in the United States.

Unfortunately, the information regarding illnesses and injuries is limited to the private sector. The nonfatal injuries and illness information that is collected, does not include those who are self-employed, but the fatal injury data does. This is relevant because more than half of those who work as fishers are considered to be self-employed.

In the U.S., there were more than 600 fishers and related workers who were injured badly enough that they had to take time off of work from 2003 to 2009.

Top Causes of Work Injuries from 2003 to 2009:

-Contact with equipment or objects accounted for about a third of all injuries.

-Overexertion accounted for more than 15 percent of all injuries.

-A third of these accidents were strains and sprains.

-Close to 40 percent involved the trunk as the body part affected.

-The rate for injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work was more than 72 per 10,000 full-time workers in 2009.

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a work accident, contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for legal advice regarding your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Work Injury Watch: Southeast Officials Pushing Fall Safety on the Work Site, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 20, 2012

North Carolina Warns of Lead Exposure in Workplace, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 12, 2012

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