A review of fatal accident incidence rate trends in fishing

Olaf C. Jensen, Gudrun Petursdottir, Ingunn Marie Holmen, Annbjørg Abrahamsen, Jennifer Lincoln

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Injury prevention in fishing is one of the most important occupational health challenges.
    Aim: The aim was to describe and compare internationally the trends of the fatal injury incidence rates
    and to discuss the impact of the implemented safety programs.
    Materials and methods: The review is based on journal articles and reports from the maritime authorities
    in Poland, United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, United States and Alaska and Canada. The original
    incidence rates were recalculated as per 1,000 person-years for international comparison of the trends.
    Results: The risk of fatal accidents in fishing in the northern countries has been reduced by around 50%
    to an average of about 1 per 1,000 person-years. Norway and Canada keep the lowest rates with around
    0.5 and 0.25 per 1,000 person-years. About half of the fatal injuries are related to vessel disasters and
    drowning. The safety programs seem to have good effects, but the risk is still about 25 to 50 times higher
    than for onshore workers.
    Conclusions: The overall fatal injury rates in the European and North American studies decreased by around
    50% most probably as result of the implemented safety programs. However the high risk in fishing
    compared to onshore workers calls for continued and intensified safety programs.
    (Int Marit Health 2013; 64, 2: 1–6)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-52
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Maritime Health Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • fishing
    • occupational
    • fatal
    • injury
    • epidemiology
    • incidence
    • fatigue


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