What is Safety Training for a Fishing Vessel?

Training your crew in the safety procedures on your vessel is no different to how you train them to retrieve and set a pot or trap, handle a lobster to maximise quality, prepare the trawl net for fishing or fillet a fish to maximise recovery.

Safety training requires you to work with your crew to help them:

  • to understand the fishing operations on your vessel,
  • to accept that there are hazards that are around them while working on the boat,
  • to acknowledge there is a range of risks in what they are doing at any time, and
  • to train (through demonstration and practice) in the way you want them to work in each situation aboard your vessel.

In most cases safety training is common sense and most vessel owners have been doing this training for many crew over many years.

What is important now is for you to take a little more time to formalise your training:

  • document what specific approach you have decided upon to manage a hazardous activity (eg. how will crew operate the pot winch)
  • document how you are going to train your crew to do that activity safely (demonstrate preferred operation, start with slow winch speed, stop and explain at critical moments to elaborate on important points, oversee practice)
  • document when you have trained them and get them to sign off they have done it (enter in vessel log and crew sign as well/provide crew a safety training book)

Formal pre-sea training is also available at Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) such as TAFE or an independent training or work health and safety business. For example:

  • Elements of Shipboard Safety
  • General Purpose Hand (Deckhand).

Some RTOs may provide vessel specific or group training in regional ports.

Online courses are also available: SeSafe.