Commercial Fishing Safety

Commercial Fishing Safety

Occupational Safety and Health Laboratory


Current and Past Projects 

Commercial fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in the Pacific Northwest and is also important for our food source and economy. We conduct research to improve the safety, health and well-being of commercial fishermen.

Learn about some of our research, which includes:

Understanding Injury Risk

RISC logo

Risk Information System for Commercial Fishermen - the RISC Fishermen Project

Funded by: Pacific Northwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center (PNASH)

Building on our previous work, this current project uses existing datasets to estimate injury risk and risk factors in commercial fishing in the Pacific Northwest. We are developing a novel database to provide hazard assessments for commercial fishing stakeholders.

See: RISC – Risk Information System for Commercial Fishing

Injury Prevention



Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP)

Funded by: NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)

The Fisherman Led Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP) was an innovative project that includes commercial fishermen, researchers, extension agents, and coastal community members. Led by the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Oregon Sea Grant, FLIPP was a partnership that merges occupational safety research with Sea Grant experience in working directly with the commercial fishing industry.

Check out the FLIPP Resources for Commercial Fishermen this project developed.



Funded by: NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health), The OSU Marine Studies Initiative, The Eder Family Dungeness Crab Research Fund, and Oregon Sea Grant.

The Fishermen Led Injury Prevention Program (FLIPP) developed this first aid class that incorporate wilderness first aid and specific work tasks/situations found on commercial fishing vessels. We are now collaborating with partners in Alaska and New England to build capacity for this training.  Learn more about FFAST through this video produced by the Marine Studies Initiative:

Find the FFAST resources here.


Improving vessel equipment: evaluating fishermen-led safety design ideas

Funded by: NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)

This research will quantify the impact of crab pot handling on biomechanical risk and postural balance (fall risk) and evaluate the efficacy of a fishermen-led engineering control in reducing physical risk factors and associated injuries. Using these findings, we will provide scientific evidence on the effectiveness of the fishermen-led engineering control (i.e. banger bar) in reducing the physical risk factors and fall risks during handling crab pots during crab harvesting; thus improve commercial fishermen’s occupational health and safety.

See: Occupational Ergonomics and Biomechanics Research Laboratory Fishing Projects


Assessment of Sleep Deprivation and Associated Health and Cognitive Impacts in Commercial Fishermen

Funded by: NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)

This collaborative project with the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety will address the current gap in understanding regarding sleep debt and fishermens’ health and safety. It will focus on captains and crew members working in various commercial fishing fleets in the US. We will identify the most viable means for collecting reliable sleep and health assessment data in the commercial fishing environment and assess fishermens’ familiarity and use of the USCG, Crew Endurance Management System, which has been developed to assist commercial fishing crews with developing work schedules that reduce fatigue.

Research seminar


Injury Prevention for Commercial Fishermen: From Surveillance to Interventions