NTSB issues safety recommendations to Coast Guard

On November 8, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published five new safety recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard regarding the commercial fishing industry.

"The commercial fishing industry continues to have the highest fatality rate of all occupations in the United States; the safety hazards of this industry are unacceptable," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "While numerous laws have been passed to protect fishing grounds and fish populations, regulations to improve the safety of commercial fisherman are long overdue."

The NTSB has been concerned with the fishing industry for years, finding that between 1992 and 2008, 158 of every 100,000 commercial fishing industry workers were killed, compared to 4 deaths per 100,000 workers in all occupations in the country.

Key issues the tougher standards address include improved flotation devices, more crew training, and strategies for keeping accidents and injuries to a minimum.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that commercial fishing has consistently ranked among the deadliest occupations since 1992, the first year in which the agency began publishing death rates by occupation.  

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