Called Safe Out, Safe Home: A Safety Guide for New Fishing Crew, the new graphic-novel-style guide is designed to give them a quick introduction to the safety training and familiarisation they should receive on board – as well as to prompt skippers to provide this.
According to Alvin Forster, loss prevention executive at Sunderland Marine’s parent North Group, "Following a review of worldwide fishing vessel claims, it was apparent that many of the incidents were due to failures in safety management on board."
Safe Out, Safe Home is therefore designed to work on two levels. For new joiners, it aims to introduce the hazards on a fishing vessel and the safety questions they need to ask the skipper and other crew members. For skippers and ‘old hands’ it aims to serve as a reminder that new joiners need to receive proper safety training and familiarisation as soon as they come on board.
"Fishing boats are exciting and rewarding places to work, but newcomers should know that working at sea is very different to working on land," says Mr Forster.
"It is a constantly moving and changing place, where the unexpected often happens. It is also isolated, with only the crew members to keep each other safe, meaning that teamwork is essential. We hope this guide will help new joiners play their full part – as much for their own safety as for the safety of the rest of the crew – as well as prompting skippers to take responsibility for advising their crew on the risks and how they should prepare for them."
Starring new joiner Pike and old hands Shackleton and Bramble, the guide takes the reader through the basic familiarisation procedures that should take place on every fishing boat, including safety clothing and equipment and how to respond in an emergency. It also highlights the importance of staying safe when working in different parts of the boat – such as on deck, in machinery rooms and in the freezer holds.
"Our claims review found that most injuries were caused by slips, trips and falls, followed by being struck by or entangled with machinery or equipment. Other prominent types of accident ranged from exposure to dangerous atmospheres to incorrect manual lifting and severe burns from fire or explosion. The guide raises awareness of these risks and we hope to reach as many fishers as possible by not being specific to any particular fishing areas or vessel type," says Mr Forster.