OHS Canada Magazine

Nfld worker crushed aboard shrimp vessel

May 15, 2012

Health & Safety Workplace accident -- fatality

PORT AUX CHOIX, Nfld (Canadian OH&S News)

PORT AUX CHOIX, Nfld (Canadian OH&S News)

A worker has been fatally crushed while working aboard a shrimp boat off Newfoundland’s northwest coast.

On May 8 at about 4 pm, a several thousand-pound tub full of shrimp dropped from a hoist and onto the 57-year-old fisherman from Anchor Point, trapping and killing him. The worker had been cleaning underneath it at the time.

The ship, Krista Kaye, had set out to sea the night before at around 11 pm, with a crew of four, says Constable Scott Hynes of the Northern Peninsula district RCMP. The ship was about 20 kilometres from Port aux Choix, Newfoundland, and weather conditions were good at time of the incident, he adds.

No orders have been issued, says Hugh Donnan, director of communications for Service NL, but it is not clear when the ship, which is owned by the captain, will be released.


Donnan says Service NL will be looking at “what kind of safety practices are being followed, any issues or deficiencies, then determining what might be the next steps to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again for this vessel and for other vessels that are operating in a similar way.”

If it ends up being a problem unique to the Krista Kaye then it will be corrected, but if it is an issue that could be industry-wide, Service NL may issue an alert, Donnan says.

“When we look at these types of issues in the fishing industry, it’s made up of a lot of small vessel owners, so if we determine there might be a requirement to do more enhanced promotion safety in the industry, we might consider issuing an advisory about that,” he says. “More or less just reminding people of those types of safety [issues] and ensuring that they’re looking at the equipment; making sure it’s working correctly before engaging in a procedure.”

In February, a worker in Newfoundland was killed aboard a shrimp boat when he was fatally struck by a hydraulic door (COHSN, February 20, 2012). Factory foreman Aaron Cull, 25, was inspecting a cleaning job done by another crew member aboard the Katsheshuk II shrimp vessel when he was struck by the steel door.

Statistics from the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, show that fish harvesting accounted for 2.4 lost-time injuries per 100 employees in 2011, making it the sixth most dangerous industry, after manufacturing (4.0), fish processing (3.6), forestry (3.3), health care and social services (2.7) and construction (2.5).


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