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.

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.

Marine inspections will occur both at sea and dockside. At-sea inspections are the priority and provide maximum value since officers are able to observe active work and engage with crews directly in the review of potentially high-risk activities.

Dockside inspections are conducted when weather or other logistical constraints impact an officer’s ability to inspect at sea. These inspections will include a more detailed review of an employer’s safety management system.

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

2022 inspectional approach

For 2022 inspections, prevention officers will take a risk-based approach to ensure that the most significant risks are effectively managed. This approach involves workers and employers identifying hazards, evaluating risks, and implementing the appropriate controls specific to the on-site activities. In addition, it focuses on employers ensuring these efforts are effectively communicated to workers and monitored through foundational occupational health and safety systems such as orientations, training, supervision, incident investigations, worksite inspections, and (where applicable) joint health and safety committees that are robust and well supported.

Inspections will focus on:

  • 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
  • When vessel stability is identified as the hazard, the inspection will also assess whether on-board documentation is readily accessible to crewmembers and that the documentation describes vessel characteristics, including stability and specific emergency response considerations that are relevant to the vessel.

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.