Safety Surveillance for PNW Commercial Fishing: Risk Information System for Commercial (RISC) Fishing

Commercial fishing remains among the most dangerous occupations in the United States. This project seeks to broaden injury surveillance in this industry by developing a surveillance resource, allowing for tailored hazard assessments, and sustaining crucial regional partners for commercial fishing safety. 

The overall goal of this project is to develop a safety surveillance system for commercial fishing that can be used to evaluate and inform safety initiatives to prevent injuries in this dangerous industry. To achieve this, we have brought together the expertise of NIOSH Western States Division, Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station (MERTS), Oregon Trauma Registry, United States Coast Guard, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, as well as the OSU Colleges of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, and Public Health and Human Sciences. 

This surveillance system will compile details on personal and vessel casualties and disasters and will be used by researchers and industry leaders to conduct hazard assessments for specific fisheries, vessels or community needs. The compilation of relevant surveillance data comes at an important time during commercial fishing safety and will be beneficial to developing evidence-based intervention strategies. This system can be scaled and tailored to other regions, providing a consistent yet fishery specific approach to hazard identification, risk mediation, and intervention evaluation.

This study includes three specific aims: 

Aim 1. Create a practical, scalable commercial fishery surveillance system for the Pacific Northwest. 

Aim 2. Assess the utility and accuracy of commercial fishing surveillance data.

Aim 3. Develop an evidence-based hazard assessment with commercial fishery safety stakeholders.


Principal Investigator: Laurel Kincl, PhD, MS
Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health
Oregon State University

NIOSH 2016-2021


Partners and Advisories
NIOSH Western States Division
Oregon Trauma Registry
U.S. Coast Guard
Alaska Marine Safety Education Association
Marine and Environmental Research and Training Station

See Oregon State University’s fishing research site.

Laurel, K. Injury Prevention for Commercial Fishermen: From Surveillance to Interventions. 2017 Video Presentation. Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences. 

Feasibility 9: Non-fatal Injuries among Commercial Fishing Workers in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon