Tag Archives: Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety

Wanted: Lobstermen willing to try out life vests

ORA pfdThe Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety is asking New England lobstermen to help design a life jacket they would actually wear every day. It could be a matter of life or death. Researchers will visit Maine docks this winter to recruit fishermen to try out different kinds of personal flotation devices, or PFDs, for a month to determine which designs work best for daily use aboard a lobster boat. The lobstermen will be paid to test the life vest, and can keep it for their own use once they are done. “This isn’t about making lobstermen wear anything, telling them what to do or regulating anything,” said principal investigator Julie Sorensen of the Northeast Center. “It’s about making PFDs comfortable enough that fishermen want to wear them.” Statistics suggest it will be a hard sell, but well worth it. Researchers at the Northeast Center hope their PFD design study, which is being conducted with Fishing Partnership Support Services of Massachusetts, will help manufacturers tailor flotation devices to the lobster industry and convince fishermen a vest can save their lives without making them miserable or poor. In two years, they will return to the docks with the most popular design for nine-month trials. Read the article here 08:07