FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY
Figure 24: Trout are held securely on this vaccination table for injection. The corrugated surface prevents the fish from moving or slipping, reducing the chances of self-injection. Severe anaphylactic shock can occur when workers are injected with trout vaccines, especially if they had been accidentally injected previously. Consult a physician to see if carrying an EpiPen® would reduce workers’ risks. where the road has eroded (or at least keeping grass mowed so any washed-out areas can be seen and avoided more easily) can keep a vehicle from sliding or rolling off the road and into a pond. Additionally, the water in a pond can erode the levee causing a cavity into the levee in which the under-cut can give way from the weight of equipment on the levee. This erosion can be mitigated with aggregate at the interface between the levee and water. A safety precaution commonly practiced in the coal mining industry is to construct an earthen berm on the edge of the road to deflect the truck or tractor tires away from the drop-off (Figure 20). An additional safety intervention is to mount a metal screen on the tractor ROPS to block debris (rocks, logs, etc.) propelled toward the driver (Figure 21).
Chemical exposures, impalement, falling hauling tank lids, and self injection
In a somewhat miscellaneous listing of potential hazards in aquaculture, respiratory, eye and skin protection (Figure 22) should be worn when applying chemical treatments including fertilizers, disease therapeutants and herbicides. Protruding rebars used to enforce the strength of concrete should either be capped with plastic protectors or bent to a horizontal position to prevent impalement. Bruises and cuts can also occur from falling hauling tank lids; hands have been broken and fingers can be severed. This can be prevented by installing locking hinges (Figure 23) or even by using lightweight lids (e.g., sheet metal). When injecting trout with vaccines, corrugated fiberglass roofing material (Figure 24) can help to stabilize the trout to prevent them from making sudden movements that could lead to self-injection by the worker. Accidental injections of fish vaccines into people can cause a strong inflammatory response or even anaphylactic shock (if the person had a previous accidental injection of the vaccine). If previously injected with a fish vaccine, a person should consult a physician about keeping an EpiPen® injection kit handy in the event of another inadvertent vaccine injection. Moreover, automatic fish vaccination machines have
been produced in Norway and Denmark that eliminate manual vaccination of fish.
Dark working conditions and lack of communication
Much work on fish farms takes place at night, a time when visibility is compromised. Being visually restricted makes it more likely for farm workers to experience injury; sufficient lighting can help to reduce this risk. Aquaculture ponds often require aeration at night when respiration is at its peak and fish experience low oxygen stress. Working in a hurried fashion in an attempt to save as many hypoxic fish as possible while not being able to see very well can result in serious injury; a catfish farm manager in Alabama had electric cables powering pond aerators get tangled under his truck in the middle of the night – his attempts to free the wires resulted in his electrocution. Similarly, on a North Carolina trout farm in the middle of the night during the winter, the water intake to the trout raceways was frozen and clogged; a farm manager died during his attempt to clear the intake and restore the water supply. In both cases lighting was inadequate. Installing bright overhead lights on utility poles and on pickup trucks can provide increased visibility to make the nighttime tasks less risky. Having adequate communication during emergencies can help to avoid tragedy. Mobile telephone service in remote locations (typical of many fish farm settings) is often unreliable. Fish farmers in rural Alabama often rely on two-way radios to reach co-workers or family members during such emergencies. The objective of presenting this aquaculture occupational safety information is to make aquaculturists aware of potential hazards in the fish farm workplace and provide ideas on how to avoid or eliminate them. The text should be helpful in explaining these ideas, but the photos and captions may even be more helpful by triggering the thought process involving circumstances that are similar to those on the reader’s farm. For more detailed information and references, please contact email@example.com .
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