New fishing safety campaign focuses on fatigue

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 53, July 2018

A new ‘fatigue’ online education campaign that builds on Maritime NZ’s ‘safe crews fish more’ message has just been launched.

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Exploring everything from the early warning signs of fatigue to writing and implementing a fatigue management plan, the new safety campaign is designed to help operators, skippers and crews of small to medium-sized vessels to keep on top of fatigue.

Just as with the ‘safe crews fish more’ campaign, the fatigue education campaign was announced at the Federation of Commercial Fishermen’s annual conference in May.

“Fatigue is a proven issue within the fishing Industry. While steps have been taken to improve our position, it’s clear that more needs to be done,” President of the Federation of Commercial Fishermen, Doug Saunders- Loder says.

“Continued education, understanding and an attitude change have to be the ultimate outcome and the only way this can happen is if we all band together. Fishermen are happy to engage on the matter and this education campaign is definitely a welcome step in the right direction.”

As well as insight into the dangers of fatigue, the campaign provides advice on how to reduce the risk of having a fatigue-related accident, and incorporates tips from skippers. It also includes a quiz to test readers’ ‘fatigue expertise’ and a self-assessment questionnaire to give operators an idea of how their operation would perform in an audit.

“Fatigue is one of the biggest factors in causing injuries on fishing vessels,” says Sharyn Forsyth, Maritime NZ’s General Manager Maritime Standards. “This campaign goes beyond raising awareness. It helps skippers and operators to develop a proper understanding of fatigue – and gives them real solutions to help them manage it.”

The campaign runs over three months, starting with the results of a fatigue survey that showed many fishermen don’t have a clear understanding of fatigue.

Sharyn says this campaign is the next phase in our on-going work to support the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. “We’re planning to run a series of online safety campaigns to help reduce the injuries and fatalities onboard fishing vessels. Fatigue is just the beginning.”

For a preview visit: /fatigue

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