At a marina a fisherman was working alone on a shrimp trawl
fishing boat fitted with a gillnet drum. He was unwinding
the net from the drum onto the deck so that he could attach
extra weights to the net. When only a small portion of the
net was left on the drum, he inadvertently put the hand-operated
drum control lever into the forward position instead of
neutral. He lost his balance and got entangled in the net
as it started to wind quickly around the drum. Even after
he let go of the lever, the drum did not stop turning because
the lever was not a hold-to-run control and the foot pedal
hold-to-run had been secured in the ON position.
When the drum finally stopped, the fisherman had been pulled around it several times so that he was
completely encased in the net. Three other fishermen at the marina answered his cries for help.
He sustained multiple fractures.
Safe work practices:
- Make sure that all equipment
on board operates as intended.
Never circumvent safeguards.
- Ensure that hydraulic
gillnet drum controls
are hold-to-run. Never
possible, all hydraulic
controls should be
- Label powered
controls for their
- Keep decks, walkways,
and work areas free of
tripping and slipping hazards.
- Develop and implement working alone procedures.
Relevant sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation*
Working Alone or In Isolation
4.21 Procedures for checking well-being of worker
(1) The employer must develop and implement a written procedure for checking the well-being of a
worker assigned to work alone or in isolation.
Tools, Machinery and Equipment
12.11 Operating controls
(1) Powered equipment other than portable powered tools or mobile equipment must have
(a) starting and stopping controls located within easy reach of the operator,
(b) controls and switches clearly identified to indicate the functions they
serve, . . .
Fishing Operations: General Requirements
24.71 Owner and master responsibilities
(1) An owner of a fishing vessel must ensure that all machinery and equipment on board a fishing
vessel is capable of safely performing the functions for which it is used.
(2) If it is essential that equipment remain operational
during the maintenance process, the master must establish a procedure to prevent injury from contact
with moving or energized parts.
24.87 Equipment control devices
(2) Drum pedals and other types of hold-to-run controls must not be bypassed or otherwise
* The sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation listed in this
hazard alert do not imply a breach of the Regulation on
the part of any party that may have been involved in 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.