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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

Fishing safety campaign uses children’s artwork to drive the message home
Encouraging signs of change across the province as safety takes greater priority in the fishing industry

Grade six students from across Nova Scotia are urging fishermen to wear their PFDs in the 2017 Fishing Safety calendar.

The calendar, now in its fourth year, is produced by the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council and the Fisheries Safety Association. A contest is held in the fall with the winning artwork being displayed in the calendar and used in safety campaigns.

WCB Nova Scotia, along with our partners at the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council and the Fisheries Safety Association, used the artwork to remind lobster fishermen to wear their PFDs in preparation for the season.

A radio spot and print ad featuring the children’s artwork took the message of "Who do you wear your PFD for?" to fishing communities from Eastern Passage to Digby and all points in between along the province’s southwest coastline. Short video clips featuring the artwork also ran in Tim Hortons store locations near those same fishing communities.

WCB Nova Scotia continued our partnership with five Tim Hortons stores in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Barrington Passage, where we provide cup cozies in the shape of PFDs to distribute to customers and encourage them to participate in draws for PFDs in the stores.

Attitudes in fishing continue to change as safety becomes a bigger priority. Although it’s one of the most dangerous industries in the province, fishing has seen encouraging progress over the past few years.

An example of how safety is having greater influence in the industry is the delay of Dumping Day this year because of high winds and rough seas. Dumping Day is when fishermen in southwest Nova Scotia head out at the crack of dawn to set their traps. The day is normally scheduled for the last Monday in November and is considered one of the most dangerous days of the entire season.

The continued man overboard drills that are held across the province also demonstrate the industry’s growing safety culture.  At these events, a local captain and his crew participate in safety drills that demonstrate PFDs in action, firefighting, and man overboard rescues. The drills are very well attended at the local wharfs where they are held.

Fishing Safety Now, a plan by and for Nova Scotia’s fishing industry, was launched in June of 2015. Among its recommendations are a continued focus on community-based, hands-on training exercises and awareness activities.

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