Rachel Greene on Sat, 17 Aug 2002 05:21:49 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Seamen, Trawler Fisherman Have Most Dangerous Jobs

i've just been re-reading allan sekula's rad book 'fish story,' where he
argues for the continued importance of maritime spaces and histories in
our thinking about mobility, "data transfer," transportation,
intransigence for would be migrators, especially in light of the fact that
most people think cargo gets transferred by airplane (most goes by sea),
and that email and airmail bracket "the totality of the global movement."  
i recommend 'fish story' as an art project too -- as it traces the
fantasies of industry from early harborscapes, and includes his
documentation of contemporary maritime faces + spaces. it's funny, i never
see articles relating to shipping/fishing -- this is the first one in as
long as i can remember. -- rachel

Seamen, Trawler Fisherman Have Most Dangerous Jobs
Fri Aug 16, 3:19 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Even after 100 years of record-keeping,
fisherman and seamen still head the list as the most hazardous of all
occupations in the UK, a British researcher reports.

Trawler fisherman are more than 50 times and seafarers are more than 25
times more likely to die from a fatal accident at work compared with other
British workers, according to Dr. Stephen E. Roberts of the University of
Oxford, UK.

Roberts examined death rates across a host of occupations in the UK
between 1976 and 1995. His findings are published in the August 17th issue
of the journal The Lancet.

"Both occupations were much more hazardous than construction,
manufacturing and other industrial sectors," he writes.

According to the report, the bulk of deaths for trawler fishermen and
seamen are largely due to accidents at work, such as falling overboard and
drowning, asphyxiation by fumes, or illness. Other less common reasons for
on-the-job fatalities include suicide or homicide.

There were about 103 fatal accidents per 100,000 workers per year for
fisherman, and 52 per 100,000 per year for merchant seafarers. In
comparison, there were 10 fatal accidents per 100,000 per year in the
energy and water supply industries, and 8 deaths per 100,000 in
construction, the report indicates.

While working at sea is notoriously dangerous, largely due to the severe
weather conditions that can befall ship crews, the new report suggests
that steps can be taken to minimize the risks. For example, shutting down
fish-catching trawler nets during hazardous weather and sea conditions
could help prevent accidents.

"Although the number of work-related deaths has decreased in recent
decades, in relative terms the occupations of fishing and seafaring remain
as hazardous as before," Roberts writes.

"If mortality rates in these occupations are to decrease, unsafe working
practices, especially unnecessary operations in treacherous conditions,
should be reduced," he concludes.

SOURCE: The Lancet 2002;360:543-544.

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