The Icelandic Health Register received 134 reports of accidents at sea last year, a decrease of 37 percent from 2016, RÚV reports. The year 2017 was only the fourth in Iceland’s history where no fatalities occurred at sea. The other three were 2008, 2011, and 2014.
Snæfríður Einarsdóttir, Head of Health and Safety at seafood company HB Grandi, says a renewed fleet is one of the sources of the decrease. Many accidents occur in ships' holds, and the automated, unmanned systems in newer ships are safer for crew.
Jóhann Gunnar Sævarsson, Safety Manager at Samverji seafood company, confirms this, saying working conditions on board fishing vessels have improved significantly with the arrival of new ships. New rules make helmets mandatory, and crew can communicate directly through a transceiver. Jóhann says injuries most commonly result from stumbling, clamping, and cutting, but are usually minor.
Jóhann adds that safety is in the public debate much more than before. Employees receive more safety training, and more companies undergo risk assessment.