A salmon fisherman working alone on a gillnet fishing boat
accidentally fell into the water. His boat did not have
guardrails or a lifeline. The fisherman was not wearing
a personal flotation device or a lifejacket. The water had
about a 1- to 2-foot chop.
The fishing boat was discovered adrift with no one on board.
Later, the owner of another fishing boat found the fisherman
floating in the water.
- Ensure guardrails are installed in the deck area of
fishing boats to prevent falling overboard.
- Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket
if there is any risk of falling overboard. Someone working
alone must wear a lifejacket (not just a PFD) as it will
turn the worker face-up on entering the water and will
keep the worker in that position.
- Provide a ladder or other means of climbing back onto
the boat in case someone falls overboard.
Relevant sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation*
(1) A worker who is employed under conditions which involve
a risk of drowning must wear a personal flotation device
(PFD) or lifejacket with sufficient buoyancy to keep the
worker's head above water.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if other acceptable safety
measures are in place which will protect workers from the
risk of drowning, or the water is too shallow to allow the
lifejacket or PFD to function effectively. . . .
Compliance with standards
Buoyancy equipment must be labelled and otherwise meet
the requirements of
(a) CGSB Standard CAN/CGSB-65.7-M88, Lifejackets, Inherently
Buoyant Type with a minimum buoyancy of 93 N (21 lbs), .
(c) CGSB Standard 65-GP-14M, Lifejackets, Inherently Buoyant,
Standard Type with a minimum buoyancy of 125 N (28 lbs),
(d) British Safety Standard BS EN 396-1994, Lifejackets
and Personal Buoyancy Aids - Lifejacket 150 N, automatically inflatable units with a
minimum buoyancy of 150 N (34 lbs).
If a worker working alone is exposed to risk of drowning, the worker must wear
a lifejacket meeting the requirements of section 8.27(a), (c) or (d).
Fishing Operations: General Requirements
Protection from falling
(1) Crewmembers must be protected from falling overboard
by means of grabrails, siderails, handrails, guardrails
or personal fall protection equipment.
(2) Crewmembers working aloft or on deck during adverse
weather conditions must tie off to a lifeline to prevent falling.
* The sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
listed in this bulletin do not imply a breach of the Regulation
on the part of any party that may have been involved with
this incident. The purpose in listing specific sections
of the Regulation is to make readers aware of some of the
applicable sections of the Regulation.