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Selected Category: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

Making a Splash: Three Fishermen Saved by Personal Flotation Devices!

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Personal Protective Equipment

The crew of the salmon setnet skiff Paul Revere pose on the shore of Bristol Bay with the inflatable PFDS that saved their lives when their boat capsized.

On the night of June 26, 2010 the fishing vessel Paul Revere, a salmon setnet skiff, capsized while setting their gear in preparation for the start of fishing season. The skipper and her two crew members were thrown in the waters of Bristol Bay near South Naknek, AK. The crew spent two harrowing hours drifting with the current and trying to signal for help. Eventually they were able to rescue themselves by catching onto a setnet line and pulling themselves hand over hand toward shore. The skipper and her crew were wearing inflatable PFDs as part of their standard work gear.

They attribute their survival to the flotation and peace of mind provided by these devices. Their story shows how effective PFDs can be in preventing fatalities among commercial fishermen. We know the details of this story only because the PFDs used by the crew allowed them to survive much longer in the water than they would have without them. Without their PFDs, the fishermen most certainly would have succumbed to the effects of cold water immersion and drowned.

World Cancer Day – Cancer Detectives in the Workplace

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Manufacturing, Mining, Transportation

Today is World Cancer Day. Around the world, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and the number is expected to increase due to the growth and aging of the population, as well as reductions in childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries (ACS 2011). Cancer is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the second leading cause of death in developing countries.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death.

Preventing Deaths in Manure Storage Facilities Through Proper Ventilation

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Engineering Control

On farms, manure storage facilities are used to store animal waste, which can then be used for fertilizer. Farmers or farm workers may need to enter the facilities to repair or maintain equipment, such as pumps and intake hoses. These confined spaces are often oxygen-deficient atmospheres and can contain toxic and/or explosive gases that create a dangerous environment. Deaths most often occur when a person without necessary life support equipment enters an unventilated manure pit and is overcome by toxic gases or a lack of oxygen. Tragically, these incidents sometimes develop into multiple fatalities when other poorly trained and equipped farm personnel attempt to rescue the initial victim and become victims as well. The average annual number of deaths related to entering manure storage facilities more than doubled between 1975-1984 and 1995-2004, from 1.6 deaths per year to 3.5, respectively (Beaver and Field, 2007).

Ladder Safety: There’s an App for That

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Health care, Technology, Wholesale and Retail Trade

NIOSH recently released its first smart phone application (app) for mobile devices. This free app is aimed at improving extension ladder safety by providing real-time safety information delivered via the latest technology. Falls are a persistent source of injury in many occupations and in home use. Falls are the number one cause of construction-worker fatalities with falls from ladders a common yet preventable construction injury. Health services and the wholesale and retail industries experience the largest number of non-fatal fall-related injuries. Ladders are also used in home maintenance and repair and to access higher places at home.

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