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Marine Initiative

The Marine Initiative is designed to reduce the serious injury and fatality rate in the fishing and other marine-related sectors through implementation of risk-reduction tactics directed toward high risk work activities. The strategy focuses prevention activities on identified areas of high risk in order to apply resources and effort where they will be most effective.


The goals of the 2018-2020 Marine Industry Initiative are to:  

  • Focus on the three main issues contributing to the high number of work-related deaths in the fishing industry: vessel stability; the effects of cold water immersion; and emergency preparedness
  • Address the use of personal flotation devices (PFDs, or lifejackets) in all marine sectors


The 2018-2020 Marine Industry Initiative uses a risk-based, two-tiered inspectional approach for the identified marine classification units (CUs), with a provisional focus on other marine activities.

Focuses for inspection include:

  • PFD use
  • Vessel stability
  • Emergency response plans
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Safe work procedures
  • Training and supervision

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.

Deliverables and timelines

Activities Details
Primary inspectional focus
Q1–Q4 2019
Focus inspections on five main fishing and marine areas:
  • Longline and trap fishing (702007)
  • Trawl fishing (702009)
  • Seine fishing—herring and salmon (702008)
  • Dive fishing and commercial diving (702005/764015)
  • Gillnet — salmon and herring (702006)
Secondary inspectional focus
Q1–Q4 2019
Focus inspections on other marine and fishing activities:
  • Troll — salmon and tuna (702006)
  • Fish Packing (702010)
  • Commercial Vessels (eco-tourism, whale watching, fish farm support, water taxi, landing barge, tug and barge) (Various CUs)
Awareness and education activities
  • Continue the PFD awareness campaign, including promoting and sharing the PFD awareness video
  • Develop best practices documents for high-risk fishing and marine sectors

Updates and results

As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources