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"Injury can be costly due to lost work hours, medical expenses and possible lawsuits, so maintaining safe working conditions on fish farms has multiple benefits"

“be careful” while carrying feed bags around a farm or, better yet, one could use a truck or utility vehicle to transport the bags, but the best option for avoiding muscle strain during feeding is to fill a bin on a feeding truck and mechanically blow the feed from the bin through a pipe to dispense it into the ponds or raceways (an engineering intervention; Figure 1). A large trout farm in the US eliminates the truck and simply augers the feed from a stationary feed storage bin through a pipe that has discharge ports over each raceway receiving a pre-determined amount of feed programmed by computer (Figure 2). Other interventions designed to reduce muscle strains include keeping the fish tank loading dock at the same level as the fish hauling truck bed to avoid having to step up and down while carrying heavy loads; constructing fish hauling tanks to be waist-high so heavy loads of fish in a dip net do not have to be hoisted chest-high; using metal chutes at the hauling tank discharge ports to allow for quick and easy stocking of fish; using dip nets attached to pulleys for easy lifting and a track for sliding (done manually in Figure 3 and mechanically in Figure 4); and using cranes and forklifts for all general lifting activities on the farm (Figure 5). Water pumps (Figure 6) and fish pumps (Figure 7) save time and prevent muscle strain.

Figure 4: The overhead crane in this photograph can move heavy loads of minnows between tanks and onto live haul trucks.

Figure 5: Oxygenated fish-holding buckets are carried and elevated by forklifts to load baitfish on this Arkansas minnow farm’s live haul truck.

Fall prevention

Settings with water, and possibly ice, have the inherent hazard of potential slips, trips, and falls (which includes the obvious risk of drowning after a fall). Walking on trout raceway crosswalks or on the narrow raceway walls themselves involves risks especially if the crosswalks are broken, rusty or splayed and the raceway walls are crumbling or simply very narrow. Metal crosswalks in good condition with traction/ grip (‘grip-strut’) and widened raceway walls (wide concrete in Figure 8 and wide metal ‘grip-strut’ attachments in Figure 9) reduce falling risk. Wooden surfaces can be given more traction even when wet by veneering with rough, unfinished lumber or attaching chicken wire to the surface (commonly seen in the U.K.). Newly poured cement surfaces can be given a rough texture by a coarse broom before the cement dries completely (Figure 10); this helps to avoid the extremely slippery wet smooth cement that poses an extreme falling hazard. Slips

Figure 6: Water is pumped into tanks conveniently as the hauling truck drives underneath the water supply pipe. This alleviates the need for filling up tanks manually bucket-bybucket.

Fish Farming Technology | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 003

Mar | Apr 2015 - International Aquafeed magazine  
Mar | Apr 2015 - International Aquafeed magazine  

The March - April 2015 edition of International Aquafeed magazine