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Over 80% of the injuries in the fish processing industry are related to ergonomics. These types of injuries are predominant because of the extended shifts and the repetitive motion required for many tasks. The concept of ergonomics is to fit the job to the person. Here are some suggestions that may help you avoid injury.


Keep knives sharp at all times. Much less force is required with a sharp knife.

Avoid using a pincer grip whenever possible. Static muscle activity decreases blood flow to the extremities and causes muscles fatigue, which leaves muscles more susceptible to injury.

Use knives that are off set, so the wrist remains in a neutral position. Avoid gripping too tight. Tight grips reduce blood flow and increase muscle fatigue.

Adjust the height of your work area so you do not bend at the waist or raise your arms above the relaxed position to do your work. This can be accomplished by raising or lowering the platform on which you stand.

Rotate workers from one job to another regularly. This allows workers to use different muscle groups and at the same time gives fatigued muscles a chance to recuperate.


Lifting from below the knees is a common cause of back pain. Place pallets under material to raise the starting point of the lift.

Avoid lifting over shoulder height. If this is a regular task, find a way to store materials at a lower level.

Utilize mechanical means such as hoists, pallet jacks and fork lifts whenever possible.

Avoid twisting when you lift. If necessary, space totes or pallets farther apart so you have to move your whole body, not just your upper torso.

Shoveling ice or scooping fish should be done from both sides, so you do not strain one side of your body. Avoid twisting for these tasks too.