Why such a hard sell is still somewhat of a puzzle, and the matter came under discussion this past week during ComFish 2018 in Kodiak, Alaska.
The concept is simple: if a crewmember becomes entangled in the winch, pushing the E-stop locks the winch in place immediately. The crew can then return the control valve back to neutral and the button can be reset to free the individual from the winch.
While fatalities are rare, there have been a number of severe injuries, ranging from compound fractures and dislocations to amputations caused by individuals getting entangled in the winch.
Why then do so few purse seiners have winches with E-Stops on board?
Cost is a factor. The E-stop switch kit for a purse seine winch runs several thousand dollars for the product and installation.
One harvester at ComFish 2018, where researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health spoke about the safety benefits of the E-Stop, suggested that discount incentives from insurance companies for having them on board would help justify the expensive installation cost.
Veteran fishermen who were injured by winches give their rational on installing E-Stop and why they feel it’s important to have them onboard in a video titled “The Most Powerful Thing…Deck Safety Awareness for Purse Seiners.” The safety awareness video by the NIOSH Spokane Research Lab, is posted online at www.kolstrand.com/products/e-stop-emergency-stop-switch/ and can also be downloaded from NIOSH at https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/video/seining.html.
For additional information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh or call 800-356-4674.