The West Coast Dungeness crab fleet is one of the highest risk commercial fishing fleets in the United States. While continued attention is clearly needed on reducing the risk of fatal injuries, non-fatal injuries have remained largely unaddressed. The patterns of non-fatal injuries in the Dungeness crab fleet have not been explored in previously published research. This research-to-practice project will measure the risk of non-fatal injuries in the West Coast Dungeness crab fleet, characterize the hazards, develop targeted injury prevention strategies and test injury prevention interventions in the field Injury data will include US Coast Guard (USCG) injury data supplemented with primary data collection of injury descriptions from the West Coast fleet, collected in nine regions spanning from Washington to central California. The injuries will be categorized with a Work Classification System we will develop specific for the Dungeness crab fleets using previous systems. Finally, targeted intervention development and testing will be done in cooperation with the fleet. We will engage the crab fishermen in injury prevention and include the fleet in all aspects of this project including having fishing community-based researchers participate in the project. Our multidisciplinary team includes marine fisheries extension staff from Oregon Sea Grant and public health researchers at Oregon State University, as well as federal partners at the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office (APO). With the success of this project, we will identify targeted injury prevention methods and injury epidemiological methods that can be applied to this and other fleets. This project addresses the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (AgFF) Strategic Goal 8: Reduce the number, rate, and severity of traumatic injuries involving hazards of commercial fishing. More specifically, this study aligns with Action Step 8.3.1, which is to identiy data sources to analyze and determine high risk operations leading to serious non-fatal injuries by fishery.
This research-to-practice project will measure the risk of non-fatal injuries in the West Coast Dungeness crab fleet, characterize the hazards, develop targeted injury prevention strategies, and test injury prevention interventions. Our multidisciplinary team will engage the crab fleet in injury prevention and include the fleet in all aspects of this project. We will identify targeted injury prevention interventions and injury epidemiology research methods that can be applied to this and other fleets.