Safety equipment trial report
The objective of the trial was to identify opportunities and set industry benchmarks for survivability of commercial fishers at sea and to introduce commercial fishers to advances in flotation and global monitoring technology.
Commercial fishing is known to be a dangerous occupation. History has proven that a large percentage of injuries and fatalities result from vessel capsize and persons falling or being dragged overboard. Some fishing vessel owners and operators view the dangers as an accepted part of commercial fishing operations and rely on traditional approaches to safety management. Lifejackets carried by most commercial fishers are bulky, packed away in storage areas, unsuitable for wearing while working, and considered too hot to wear in the hot and humid Queensland climate like that of Karumba.
The recent safety equipment trial conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) exposed commercial fishers to a new technology in lifesaving equipment and also personal safety and monitoring devices. The trial also aimed to dispel initial concerns by commercial fishers that wearing lifejackets, in the workplace at sea, would increase the risk of injury to crew through entrapment in machinery, trawl or fishing net gear.