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Safer workplaces in fish farming - strategies for mitigating occupational health and safety risks


Norwegian aquaculture employees are exposed to a high accident risk compared to other industries. Today's open-sea fish farm production requires workers present at the fish farm daily performing manual tasks to ensure fish welfare and maintain farm structures. There is thus a need for measures to reduce occupational health and safety (OHS) risks.

Materials and Methods
A researcher project financed by the Norwegian Research Council was conducted to explore safety and health risks in Norwegian fish farming. Data was collected through a survey with 447 respondents working at fish farms and on board service vessels. Fish farm technology design principles regarding OHS were mapped through interviews and a questionnaire among manufacturers.

Norwegian fish farmers experience high well-being and an overall good health. They report a sound safety climate. Illness is the major and acute injuries the next largest cause for work-related sick absence. Fish farmers report considerable muscle and skeletal complaints related to work and worry about long-term consequences. Pain in neck, shoulder and arms, and pain in the back and hands/wrists are most common.
There is a potential for developing design principles that equipment suppliers can use to build safety barriers into the products, and to improve ergonomics at the workplaces.

This project has provided novel knowledge about health and safety conditions for production site workers in the Norwegian aquaculture industry. The results are applied to reduce OHS risks by building safety barriers into work procedures, workplace designs and equipment.


Academic lecture


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 237790
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 254899




  • SINTEF Ocean / Fisheries and New Biomarine Industry
  • SINTEF Ocean / Aquaculture

Presented at

ICOH 2022 - 33rd International Congress on Occupational Health


Melbourne - Rome Global Digital Congress


06.02.2022 - 10.02.2022


International Commission on Occupational Health



View this publication at Cristin