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Marine Initiative

The Marine Initiative was developed to address the high number of serious injuries and work-related deaths in commercial fishing, and also expands into other marine industries. Commercial fishing continues to have one of the highest fatality rates, per capita, of the industries in B.C.

Our goals

The goal of the 2021–2023 Marine Industry Initiative is to reduce the number of work-related deaths in the fishing industry.

Our focus

The 2021–2023 Marine Initiative utilizes a risk-based, two-tiered inspectional approach for the identified marine classification units (primary and secondary sectors), with a provisional focus on other marine activities. The inspectional protocol will vary depending on whether the inspection occurs at-sea or dockside.

Focuses for inspection include:

  • PFD use, including maintenance, use, and training
  • Vessel stability
  • Emergency response plans
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Safe work procedures
  • Training and supervision, including master and crew orientations to specific vessels
  • Rigging
  • Alarms and emergency management

The scope of the inspection will vary depending on whether the inspection occurs at sea or dockside:

  • At-sea inspections are the priority when planning work activities. They provide maximum value as the crew is actively conducting marine or fishing operations, and officers are able to observe potentially high-risk activities not encountered during dockside inspections.
  • If weather or other logistical constraints impact an officer’s ability to inspect at sea, dockside inspections allow officers an opportunity to conduct an in-depth review of the employer’s safety management system, assess the effectiveness of key elements (such as worker training, and on-board documentation including safe work procedures and emergency response protocols), and provide feedback.
  • When vessel stability is identified as the hazard, the inspection will also check whether on-board documentation is readily accessible to crewmembers and that it describes vessel characteristics, including stability.

What you can do

Our Fishing & other marine pages provide resources and information on how to understand and address some of the health and safety issues to focus on in your industry.