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Hierarchical Aquacultural Hazard Controls for Inherently Safer Work
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011 1110597.
Authors: Melvin L Myers, Robert M Durborow
Keywords: aquaculture, hazards, controls, safety, design
In more than 50 onsite farm surveys in ten states, fish farmers identified occupational hazards, most of which the farming population knew well. Less well known were the innovative countermeasures that farmers created to control the hazards. The purpose of this study is to report on farmer innovations to reduce or eliminate occupational risk of injuries or illnesses on fish farms. The methodology used is to identify hazards and classify their controls as created by farmers by a hierarchy of controls. All models of hierarchical controls move from active controls, depending on human action, to passive controls, designed for protection independent of human action. A complex hierarchy from industrial hygiene involves six levels of control, while a simple approach evolved through litigations involves three levels—warning of to guarding against to eliminating the hazard. The first is an active control while the latter two are passive controls. The implications of this study are two-fold: (1) informing the general fish farming community of the inherently safer controls, and (2) demonstrating the application of the hierarchy of controls as a design tool for inherently safer technologies.