Augusta, Jörg

Augusta, Jörg

Address: Arbeitsgruppe Ergonomie und Waldarbeit, Landesanstalt für Wald-und, Forstwirtschaft, Jägerstrasse 1, D-99867 Gotha

Country: Germany

Phone: 49 3621 225 112

Fax: 49 3621 225 114 od. 225 22

Areas of interest: Ergonomics

Thursday, 27 October 2011 20:59

Case Study: Fishing Women

The Entangling Net: Alaska’s Commercial Fishing Women Tell Their Lives, by Leslie Leyland Fields (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996), is the story, based on the author’s own experience and interviews, of some of the women who worked as commercial fishers in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Alaska surrounding Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands. The following excerpts capture some of the flavour of these women’s experience, why they chose this line of work and what it entailed.

Theresa Peterson

The last black cod season started May 15. It was two gals and two guys. The skipper wanted a crew that could bait gear fast; that was what he was looking for. ... To start out, all we were trying to do is turn hooks. Its a numbers game. Ideally you run 18,000-20,000 hooks a day. And so we’d have four people baiting at all times and one person hauling gear. The people baiting would rotate coiling the gear. We went back to the traditional way of fishing. Most Kodiak boats will let the gear fall into a tub, kind of on its own, then you bring that tub back and bait it. On the old halibut schooners they hand coil everything so they’re able to offspin every hook. They try to make a really nice coil so when you take it back you can bait it twice as fast. The first couple of days we looked at the time it was taking to bait the messy skates (the long lines on which the hooks are attached). I refuse to bait another skate like that, so then we all started hand coiling our own. When you do that you’re able to move from your baiting station. We really worked long hours, often twenty-four hours, then we go into the next day and work through that night until about 2:00 A.M. and the next day another twenty hours. Then we’d lie  down for about three hours. Then we’d get back up and go another twenty-four hours and a couple of hours down. The first week we averaged ten hours of sleep all together—we figured it out. So we joked, twenty-four on, one off.

I had never fished that hard before. When it opened, we fished Saturday, all through Saturday, all through Sunday and half of Monday. So well over fifty-six hours with no sleep, working as hard, as fast as high paced as you can push yourself. Then we laid down for like three hours. You get up. You are so stiff! Then we brought in a trip, just over 40,000 pounds in four days, so we virtually had been up those entire four days. That was a good load. It was really motivational. I make a thousand dollars a day. ... It’s the shorter seasons, the shorter longline seasons, are what are driving the boats back to these schedules. ... with a three-week season, you’re almost forced to unless you can rotate a person down (let them sleep) (pp. 31-33).

Leslie Smith

But the reason I feel lucky is because we were out there, a woman running a boat with an all-women crew, and we were doing it. And we were doing it as well as anybody else in the fleet, so I never felt intimidated in thinking, “Oh, a woman can’t do this, can’t figure it out, or is not capable of it” because the first job I ever had was with women and we did fine. So I had that confidence factor from the beginning of my deckhand career... (p. 35).

When you’re on a boat, you don’t have a life, you don’t have any physical space, you don’t have any time to yourself. It’s all the boat, the fishing, for four months straight...(p. 36).

I have a little bit of protection on some of the winds but pretty much I’ll get all of it. ... There’s also a lot of tide here. You dump these anchors off; you’ve got fifteen or twenty anchors, some of them three hundred pounders, to try to hold one net in place. And every time you go out there the net’s twisted in some different shape and you have to drag these anchors around. And the weather is not very nice most of the time. You’re always fighting the wind. It’s a challenge, a physical challenge instead of a mental challenge... (p. 37).

Beating the docks (going from boat to boat seeking a job) was the worst thing. After I did it for a while I realized that probably there’s only 15 percent of the boats that you even have a possibility of being hired on because the rest of them will not hire women. Mostly because their wives won’t let them or there’s another woman on the boat already or they are just flat out sexist—they don’t want women. But between those three factors, the number of boats you could get hired on was so slim that it was discouraging. But you had to find out which boats those were. That means walking the docks...(p. 81).

Martha Sutro

I was thinking about the question you asked earlier. Why women are increasingly drawn to this. I don’t know. You wonder if there are increasing numbers of women coal mining or trucking. I don’t know if it has something to do with Alaska and the whole lure of being able to partake of something that formerly was withheld from you, or maybe its a breed of women who have been raised or somehow have been grown up to understand that certain barriers that supposedly were there are not legitimate. Even withstanding all the dangers, it’s an important experience and it’s very viable, very—I hate to use the word “fulfilling,” but it is very fulfilling. I loved, I loved getting a string of pots over perfectly and not having to ask anyone to help me with one of the doors once and getting all the massive wads of bait that you sort of swoop under the pot in the middle. ...There are elements to it you can’t find in any other type of experience. It’s almost like farming. It’s so elemental. It calls on such an elemental process. Since biblical times we’ve been talking about these kind of people. There’s this ethos surrounding it that’s very ancient. And to be able to go to that and draw on it. It gets into this whole mystical realm (p.44).

Lisa Jakubowski

It’s very lonely being the only woman on a boat. I make a point of never getting involved with guys on a romantic level or anything. Friends. I’m always open to friends, but you always have to be careful that they don’t think it’s more. See, there are so many different levels of guys. I don’t want to be friends with the drunkards and cocaine addicts. But definitely the more respectable people I became friends with. And I have maintained male friendships and female friendships. There’s a lot of loneliness though. I found out that laugh therapy helps. I go out on the back deck and just laugh to myself and feel better (p. 61).

Leslie Leyland Fields

Each (woman) asked only for equal treatment and equal opportunity. This doesn’t come automatically in a job where you need the strength to land a swinging 130-pound crab pot, the endurance to withstand thirty-six straight hours of work without sleep, the moxie to run a 150-horsepowered seine skiff at full speed near reefs, and special hands-on skills like diesel engine repair and maintenance, net mending, operating hydraulics. These are the powers that win the day and the fish; these are the powers fishing women must prove to disbelieving men. And not least of all, there is active resistance from an unexpected quarter—other women, the wives of men who fish (p. 53).

This is part of what I know of being a skipper. ... You alone hold the lives of two, three or four people in your hands. Your boat payments and insurance costs run you in the tens of thousands every year—you must catch fish. You manage a potentially volatile mix of personalities and work habits. You must have extensive knowledge of navigation, weather patterns, fishing regulations; you must be able to operate and repair to some degree the array of high-tech electronics that are the brains of the boat. ... The list goes on.

Why does anyone willingly hoist and carry such a load? There is another side, of course. To state it positively, there is independence in skippering, a degree of autonomy seldom found in other professions. You alone control the life within your ark. You can decide where you are going to fish, when the boat goes, how fast it goes, how long and hard the crew will work, how long everyone sleeps, the weather conditions you will work in, the degrees of risk you will take, the kind of food you eat... (p. 75).

In 1992, forty-four vessels in Alaska sunk, eighty-seven people were rescued from sinking vessels, thirty-five died. In Spring 1988 forty-four died after ice fog moved in and consumed boats and crew. To put those numbers in perspective, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that the annual death rate for all U.S. Occupations is 7 per 100,000 workers. For commercial fishing in Alaska, the rate jumps to 200 per 100,000, making it the most deadly job in the country. For crab fishermen, whose season runs through the winter, the rate climbs to 660 per 100,000, or almost 100 times the national average (p. 98).

Debra Nielsen

I’m only five feet tall and I weigh one hundred pounds and so men have a protective instinct toward me. I’ve had to surmount that my whole life to actually get in and do anything. The only way I’ve been able to get past is by being quicker and knowing what I’m doing. It’s about leverage. ... You have to slow down. You have to use your head in a different way and your body in a different way. I think its important that people know how small I am because if I can do it, it means any woman can do it... (p. 86).

Christine Holmes

I really believe in the North Pacific Vessel Owner’s Association, they offer some really good courses, one of which is Medical Emergencies at Sea. I think anytime you take any kind of marine tech class you’re doing yourself a favor (p. 106).

Rebecque Raigoza

Developed such a sense of independence and strength. Things I thought I could never do I learned I would do out here. It’s just opened a whole new world for myself as a young woman. becoming a woman, I don’t know. There are so many possibilities now because I know I can do “a man’s job,” you know? There’s a lot of power that comes with that (p. 129).

Copyright 1997 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Used with the permission of the University of Illinois Press.

 

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People active outdoors, especially in agriculture and forestry, are exposed to health hazards from animals, plants, bacteria, viruses and so on to a greater degree than is the rest of the population.

Plants and Wood

Most common are allergic reactions to plants and wood products (wood, bark components, sawdust), especially pollen. Injuries can result from processing (e.g., from thorns, spines, bark) and from secondary infections, which cannot always be excluded and can lead to further complications. Appropriate protective clothing is therefore especially important.

A comprehensive description of the toxicity of plants and wood products and their components is not possible. Knowledge of a particular area can be acquired only through practical experience—not only from books. Possible safety measures must derive from knowledge of the specific area.

Large Mammals

Using horses, oxen, buffalo, elephants and so on as work animals can result in unforeseen dangerous situations, which may lead to injuries with serious consequences. Diseases transmittable from these animals to humans also pose an important danger.

Infections and Diseases Transmitted by Animals

These constitute the most significant biological hazard. Their nature and incidence varies strongly from region to region. A complete overview is therefore not possible. Table 1 contains a selection of infections common in forestry.

Table 1.  Selection of infections common in forestry.

 

Cause

    Transmission         

Locations

Effects

Prevention/therapy   

Amoebiasis

Entamoeba histolytica

Person-to-person, ingestion with food (water, fruits, vegetables); often asymptomatic carriers

Tropics and temperate zone

Frequent complications of the digestive tract

Personal hygiene; chemoprophylaxis and immunization not possible.

Therapy: chemotherapy

Dengue fever

Arboviruses

Aedes mosquito bite

Tropics, subtropics, Caribbean

Sickness results in immunity for one year or longer, not lethal

Control and elimination of carrier mosquitoes, mosquito nets.

Therapy: symptomatic

Early summer meningo-encephalitis

Flavivirus

Linked to the presence of the ixodes ricinus tick, vector-free transmission known in individual cases (e.g., milk)

Natural reservoirs confined to certain regions, endemic areas mostly known

Complications with later damages possible

Active and passive immunization possible.

Therapy: symptomatic

Erysipeloid

Erysipelotrix rhusiopathiae

Deep wounds among persons who handle fish or animal tissue

Ubiquitous, especially infects swine

Generally spontaneous cure after 2-3 weeks, bacteremia possible (septic arthritis, affected cardiac valve)

Protective clothing

Therapy: antibiotics

Filariasis

Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi

From animal to humans, but also from some types of mosquitoes

Tropics and subtropics

Highly varied

Personal hygiene, mosquito control.

Therapy: medication possible

Fox tapeworm

Echinococcus multilocularis

Wild animals, esp. foxes, less commonly also house pets (cats, dogs)

Knowledge of endemic areas necessary

Mostly affects liver

No consumption of raw wild fruits; dampen fur when handling dead foxes; gloves, mouth protection

Therapy: clinical treatment

Gaseous gangrene

Various clostridia

At the onset of infection, anaerobic milieu with low redox potential and necrotic tissue required (e.g., open crushed soft parts)

Ubiquitous, in soil, in intestines of humans and animals

Highly lethal, fatal without treatment (1-3 days)

No known specific antitoxin to date, gaseous gangrene serum controversial

Therapy: clinical treatment

Japanese B encephalitis

Arbovirus

From mosquitoes (Culex spp.); person-to-person; mammal-to-person

Endemic in China, India, Japan, Korea and neighbouring countries

Mortality to 30%; partial cure to 80%

Mosquito prevention, active immunization possible;

Therapy: symptomatic

Leptospirosis

Various leptospira

Urine of infected wild and house animals (mice, rats, field rabbits, foxes, dogs), skin injuries, mucous membrane

Endemic worldwide areas

From asymptomatic to multi-organ infestation

Appropriate protective clothing when around infected animals, immunization not possible

Therapy: penicillin, tetracycline

Lyme disease

Borrelia burgdorferi

Ixodes ricinus tick, other insects also suspected

Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, China

Numerous forms of sickness, complicating organ infection possible

Personal protective measures before tick infectation, immunization not possible

Therapy: antibiotics

Meningitis, meningo-encephalitis

Bacteria (meningo-, pneumo-staphylococci and others)

Mostly airborne infection

Meningococci, meningitis epidemic, otherwise ubiquitous

Less than 10% mortality with early diagnosis and specific treatment

Personal hygiene, isolate infected persons

Therapy: antibiotics

 

Viruses (Poliomyelitis, Coxsackie, Echo, Arbo, Herpes and Varicella viruses)

Mucous and airborne infection (airways, connective tissue, injured skin), mice are source of infection in high percentage of cases

Ubiquitous incidence

High mortality (70%) with herpes infection

Personal hygiene; mouse prevention

Therapy: symptomatic, among varicella effective specific treatment possible

 

Mushrooms

Mostly systemic infections

Ubiquitous incidence

Uncertain prognosis

Therapy: antibiotics (protracted treatment)

 

Mycobacteria (see tuberculosis)

 

 

 

 

 

Leptospira (see leptospirosis)

 

 

 

 

Malaria

Various plasmodia (tropica, vivax, ovale, falciparum, malariae)

mosquitoes (Anopheles species)

Subtropical and tropical regions

30% mortality with M. tropica

Chemoprophylaxis possible, not absolutely certain, mosquito nets, repellents, clothing

Therapy: medication

Onchocerciasis

Loiasis

Dracunculiasis

Dirofilariasis

Various filaria

Flies, water

West and Central Africa, India, Pakistan, Guinea, Middle East

Highly varied

Fly control, personal hygiene

Therapy: surgery, medication, or combined

Ornithosis

Clamydia psittaci

Birds, especially parrot varieties and doves

Worldwide

Fatal cases have been described

Eliminate pathogen reservoir, immunization not possible

Therapy: tetracycline

Papatasii fever

Flaviviruses

Mosquitoes (Phlebotomus papatasii)

Endemic and epidemic in Mediterranean countries, South and East Asia, East Africa, Central and South America

Mostly favourable, often long convalescence, sickness leaves far-reaching immunity

Insect control

Therapy: symptomatic

Rabies

Rhabdovirus

Bite from infected wild or house animals (saliva highly infectious), airborne infection described

Many countries of the world, widely varying frequency

Highly lethal

Active (including after exposure) and passive immunization possible

Therapy: clinical treatment

Recurrent fever

Borrelia-spirochetes

Ticks, head and body lice, rodents

America, Africa, Asia, Europe

Extensive fever; up to 5% mortality if untreated

Personal hygiene

Therapy: medication (e.g., tetracycline)

Tetanus

Clostridium tetani

Parenteral, deep unclean wounds, introduction of foreign bodies

Ubiquitous, especially common in tropical zones

Highly lethal

Active and passive immunization possible

Therapy: clinical treatment

Trichuriasis

Trichuris trichiura

Ingested from eggs that were incubated 2-3 weeks in the ground

Tropics, subtropics, seldom in the United States

Only serious infections display symptoms

Personal hygiene

Therapy: medication possible

Tsutsugamushi fever

Rickettsia

(R. orientalis)

Associated with mites (animal reservoir: rats, mice, marsupials); infection from working on plantations and in the bush; sleeping outdoors especially dangerous

Far East,

Pacific region, Australia

Serious course; mortality close to zero with timely treatment

Rodent and mite control, chemoprophylaxis controversial

Therapy: timely antibiotics

Tuberculosis

Various myco-bacteria (e.g., M. bovis, avium balnei)

Inhaling infected droplets, contaminated milk, contact with infected wild animals (e.g., mountain goats, deer, badgers, rabbits, fish), wounds, mucous membranes

Ubiquitous

Still high mortality, depending on organ infected

Active immunization possible, chemoprophylaxis disputed

Therapy: clinical treatment, isolation, medication

Tularemia

Francisella tularensis

Digestive tract wounds, contaminated water, rodents, contact with wild rabbits, ticks, arthropods, birds; germs can also enter through uninjured skin

Ubiquitous

Varied forms of sickness; first sickness leads to immunity; mortality with treatment 0%, without treatment appr. 6%

Caution around wild animals in endemic areas, disinfect water

Therapy: antibiotics

Yellow fever

Viruses

Bite from forest mosquitoes, which are infected from wild primates

Central Africa, South and Central America

Up to 10% mortality

Active immunization

 

Poisonous Snakes

Poisonous snakebites are always medical emergencies. They require correct diagnosis and immediate treatment. Identifying the snake is of decisive importance. Due to the wide range of varieties and territorial particularities, the knowledge necessary for this can be acquired only locally, and for this reason cannot be described in general. Blocking veins and local incisions (only by experienced people) are not undisputed as a first-aid measure. A prompt dose of a specific antidote is necessary. Attention must also be paid to the possibility of a life-threatening allergic general reaction to the antidote. Injured persons should be transported lying down. Do not administer alcohol or morphine.

Spiders

Few poisons have been researched to date. An attempt should absolutely be made to identify the spider (of which knowledge can be acquired only locally). Actually, there are no valid general first-aid measures (possibly administer available antiserums). In addition, what was said about poisonous snakes applies analogously.

Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Ants

Insect poisons have very different effects, depending on the locale. Removing the stinger from the skin (and being careful not to introduce more poison during handling) and local cooling are recommended first-aid measures. The most-feared complication is a life-threatening general allergic reaction, which can be provoked by an insect sting. People allergic to insect poisons should, therefore, carry adrenalin and an injectable antihistamine with them.

Scorpions

After injury, a dose of antidote should absolutely be given. Local knowledge of first aid is necessary.

 

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Contents

Preface
Part I. The Body
Part II. Health Care
Part III. Management & Policy
Part IV. Tools and Approaches
Part V. Psychosocial and Organizational Factors
Part VI. General Hazards
Part VII. The Environment
Part VIII. Accidents and Safety Management
Part IX. Chemicals
Part X. Industries Based on Biological Resources
Part XI. Industries Based on Natural Resources
Part XII. Chemical Industries
Part XIII. Manufacturing Industries
Part XIV. Textile and Apparel Industries
Part XV. Transport Industries
Part XVI. Construction
Part XVII. Services and Trade
Part XVIII. Guides