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Fishers’ attributed causes of accidents and implications for prevention education Brandlmayr, Victoria Lee 1999

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FISHERS' A T T R I B U T E D CAUSES O F ACCIDENTS AND IMPLICATIONS F O R P R E V E N T I O N E D U C A T I O N by V I C T O R I A L E E B R A N D L M A Y R B . A . , The University of British Columbia, 1978 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R O F A R T S in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Educational Studies [Adult Education] We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A July 1999 © Victoria Lee Brandlmayr, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study, ^-farther- agree—that—petroisgforr-for extensive copying—oi—this—thesis—for scholarly—purposes—may—be—granted—by—the—head—ef—ray xLepartment—or.—lay—bis—or—hei—representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of £Q(MjTMh'tina f &UnJAO^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date /lUautf ?. /?? 9 DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T Commercial fishers are employed in one of the most dangerous jobs in Canada. Additionally, they tend both not to report work injuries and to deny and trivialize risks their job entails. This study focuses on fishers' subjective interpretation of their work environment. Its purposes were to examine fishers' attributed causes of accidents and to derive implications for prevention education. The researcher employed a qualitative methodology and interviewed 12 professional fishers who worked on the British Columbia coast. The interviews focused on fishers' descriptions of accidents and their attributed causes. Attribution theory was operationalized to provide a conceptual framework through which to analyze the 12 transcripts. The researcher transcribed the interviews, then highlighted and analyzed excerpts depicting the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. Three strategies were employed to examine the trustworthiness of the researcher's judgements regarding the transcripts and final interpretation of the data. The strategies were: use of a research partner (consistency), conducting a participant review (credibility), and comparison with another study (triangulation). The participants of this study attributed multiple causes to a given accident and their explanations were complex. The study found 22 categories of causes of accidents. The attributed causes from 9 of the 12 participants were distributed in all quadrants of attributions on the orienting framework (external/stable, external/unstable, internal/stable and internal/unstable). Five or more participants attributed the following as causes in their accidents: Economic Pressures, Luck or Fate, Weather Conditions Expected, ii Fatigue, and Stress. This study's results suggest that the techno-rational approach o f existing traditional training programs, that concentrate on causes located mainly in the external/stable quadrant, does not concur with fishers' attributed causes of accidents. The study indicates that prevention education program content should be broadened to address the full spectrum of fishers' attributed causes of accidents. Through the utilization of fishers' attributed causes of accidents, prevention education programs could assist fishers to focus on their perceptions of occupational hazards and risks, and address questions of past risk taking and future risk assessment. From these insights fishers can review what can be done to control or eliminate a particular risk. iii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Page A B S T R A C T ii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S iv LIST O F T A B L E S vii LIST O F FIGURES viii A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S ix C H A P T E R 1: A D A N G E R O U S O C C U P A T I O N 1 Approach 4 Theoretical Framework 4 Orienting Framework 6 Implications for Prevention Education 10 Purpose of the Study 11 Structure of the Thesis 11 C H A P T E R 2: T H E FISHERS: A N I M A G E O F THEIR W O R L D 12 Social and Contextual Issues 12 The People and Attitudes 12 Cultures 14 Customs and Power 15 Economics, Politics and the Decline in Fish Stock 16 Educational Practices 18 Overview of Educational Settings 18 Proposed Structured Training Programs 20 Two (Hands-On) American Training Approaches 21 Research 22 Concept of Safety 22 Research Traditions 24 Current Research Direction 29 Summary i ; 30 C H A P T E R 3: A T T R I B U T I O N T H E O R Y 32 Overview o f Attribution Theory 33 Fundamental Principles of Attribution Theory 33 Major Contributors to the Field 34 Biases in Attribution 37 Attribution Theory Within the Context of this Thesis 38 DeJoy's Analysis and Model of Attribution Theory in Workplace Safety 38 Conceptual Framework 40 iv Conclusions 44 C H A P T E R 4: M E T H O D O L O G Y 45 Suitability of Methodology 45 Issues 45 Strategy 47 Sampling Process 48 Issues 48 Strategy 49 Interview Process 50 Issues 50 Strategy 51 Reliability and Validity or Trustworthiness 52 Issues 52 Strategy 54 Treatment of the Data 56 Issues 56 Strategy 57 Structure of the Results 58 Summary 60 C H A P T E R 5: T H E P A R T I C I P A N T S A N D T H E I N T E R V I E W 61 Socib-Demographic Characteristics and Interview Highlights 61 Overview 61 Case Vignettes 62 Interview Process 73 Context 73 Interview Schedule 75 Summary 76 C H A P T E R 6: A N A L Y S I S O F T H E D A T A 77 Analyzing the Transcripts 77 Charting the Framework 79 Issues of Trustworthiness 83 Research Partner (Consistency) 83 Participant Review (Credibility) 87 Comparison with Binkley 's Study (Triangulation) 91 Summary 94 C H A P T E R 7: T H E F I S H E R S ' A T T R I B U T E D C A U S E S O F A C C I D E N T S " T H E I R W O R D S A N D E X P L A N A T I O N S " 95 "Top 10" Categories of Causes 95 Internal/Stable 96 External/Stable 102 Internal/Unstable 107 External/Unstable 110 Internal/Unstable 107 External/Unstable 110 Summary 112 C H A P T E R 8: IMPLICATIONS F O R P R E V E N T I O N E D U C A T I O N 114 A Complex Issue 115 Program in Place for British Columbia Fishers 118 Programs on the Drawing Board 119 The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program 119 Workers' Compensation Board Fishing Vessel Emergency Dri l ls 122 Prevention Education Issues 125 Conclusions 127 C H A P T E R 9: LIMITATIONS AND F U T U R E R E S E A R C H 128 Limitations 128 Retrospective Interviews 128 Self-serving Bias 129 Number of Participants 130 Future Research 130 Interviews Immediately Following an Accident 130 Different Cultural Backgrounds 131 Perspectives of Skippers and Crewmembers 132 Conclusions 133 R E F E R E N C E S 134 APPENDIX A: Information/Invitation Letter For Skippers and Crewmembers 141 APPENDIX B: Consent Form For Interviews With Skippers A n d Crewmembers 142 APPENDIX C: Interview Schedule 143 APPENDIX D: Overview of the Fishers' Attributed Causes, Including Examples of the Fishers' Phrases 146 vi LIST O F T A B L E S Page Table 1. A n Overview of the "Causes" Attributed to the Accidents as Indicated by Each o f the Participants 59 Table 2. Summary of the Ethnic Background and Additional Socio-cultural Details of the Participants 63 Table 3. Summary of the Boats, and Gear Type(s) Used and the Species of Fish(es) Caught by the Participants 64 Table 4. Attributed Causes of Fishing Accidents Reported by Twelve Fishers 117 vii LIST O F FIGURES Page Figure 1. The intersection of the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes of accidents and create the orienting framework 7 Figure 2. A n Attributional Model of the Safety-Management Process 39 Figure 3. "Categories of causes" nested within the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes of accidents 96 v i i i A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S Many people contributed to the successful completion of this thesis, and I am grateful to them all. Some contributed "technical" support and most contributed moral support. They include, but are not limited to: all the participants of this thesis, and numerous people in the fishing industry, my co-workers, Catharina Charron, David Clarabut, Karen Gallie, Wendy Hunt, Wi lma Kelder, Betty-Anne Lee, Candace Mayes, Janice Mayes, Alanna Nadeau, Mike Ross, and Robin Van Heck. Additionally, I would like to express my indebtedness to the following four people: Lya l l Acheson, my husband, for his computer skills, and his ingenuity in finding ways to allow me time to work, but mostly for his endless patience; Barb Howe, for her enduring companionship, and for "being in the same boat" as me; Colleen Sladen-Dew, for her encouragement, when I needed it most; and last, but not least, I thank, Patricia Brandlmayr, my mother, for her quiet understanding, and her practical and loving support. Dedicated to the memory of Salty. ix 1 C H A P T E R 1: A D A N G E R O U S O C C U P A T I O N Fishers view themselves as adventurers and hunters of the sea. One might characterize their approach and collective personality as individualistic, rugged, risk taking, pioneering, and fatalistic. Their job requires that they possess a temperament that makes them able to endure extensive physical labour intermixed with long periods of isolation and boredom. They are skilled in terms of their occupational requirements. Fishers must be eclectic in their skills that range from mechanics, electronics, and carpentry to weather forecasting and business economics decision making (Jacobson, Goblirsch, & Van Noy, 1990; National Research Council, 1991). A commercial fisher claims the unenviable position of being employed in the sixth most dangerous occupation in B . C . , in terms of being killed on the job. The position of sixth is out of a total of 72 industry subclasses. The other occupations that come before fishing are: logging, trucking, building construction, heavy manufacturing, and road building. This "ranking" indicates the total number of fatal claims accepted by the Workers' Compensation Board ( W C B ) of British Columbia over the period from 1988 to 1997 (Workers' Compensation Board of B . C . Annual Report, 1997). It does not take into account the number of people employed in each industry. In terms of showing the actual risk that a fisher faces, the position of sixth for fishers is deceptively low, because information on the number of full-time equivalents (FTE's) and the number of person years of employment are not available through the W C B of B . C . The information presented by Statistics Canada reviews fatality rates, rather than fatality counts. 2 Unfortunately, a study done for Statistics Canada (Marshall, 1996) has grouped the industries of fishing and trapping together, which confounds the analysis of strictly the fishing industry. Also , this is for the country of Canada, not only for the province of British Columbia. Even taking these issues into account, the information is sobering. It shows that fishing and trapping experience 113 deaths per 100,000, resulting in the most dangerous occupations in Canada (Marshall, 1996). Fishers contribute to the downgrading of the risk of their occupation through their tendency to not report work injuries. If they are out on a trip and sustain an injury, they are more likely to "bandage" themselves up, or suffer, and complete the trip than to stop fishing and come in for medical attention. A study of Danish fishers confirms the extensive gap between the injuries that occur and those that fishers report. O f 128 injuries sustained by fishers, only 18 were reported to the Maritime Authorities. Jensen (1996) concluded that a serious problem existed in the fishers' lack of reporting of nonfatal injuries to the authorities. The fishers' lack of reporting injuries ties into the way they look at the issue of risk in their profession. Fishers have established a pattern of denial and trivialization as part of their occupational subculture (Pollnac, Poggie, & VanDusen, 1995). They do this in order to relieve the psychological pressures upon them when forced to constantly face the reality of the dangers of their occupation. This propensity to deny risk and ignore non life threatening injuries confounds the statistical analyses of the overall work related injuries and results in a lack of documentation of the risk in the occupation. The following excerpt of a real life account (Jackson, 1995) from an experienced fisher exemplifies the difficulties fishers experienced in acknowledging risks. 3 While performing a task I 'd done thousands of times before, a bight of line caught a control valve and reversed the crab block....Suddenly ... without warning, I was hurled into the frigid, dark waters. [He was not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).] Efforts to recover me were frantic and uncoordinated. Precious seconds were slipping by.... M y desperation was giving way to a chilling sense of calm.... (p. 38). The fisher saw the sides of the steel vessel as huge barriers preventing him from getting back on board. When a line did eventually reach within his grasp, he barely had the strength to hold on and be brought aboard, but his work mates successfully pulled him from the icy waters and he was able to continue with his work. Following this experience he changed his habits and states he, "wore at all time the personal flotation device my wife had bought me before the season started - and which was under my bunk when I was hurled overboard" (p. 39). Another crewmember fell overboard from the same vessel, barely two weeks later. The sea conditions were very rough and he was not wearing a P F D , but the master and crew were able to successfully retrieve him. This was mainly because they had discussed and rehearsed an emergency plan (Jackson, 1995). The first incident resulted in additional planning in the event of a person overboard situation however, only the fisher who had experienced being overboard had changed his behaviour and wore his P F D . Those fishers who had not been overboard had not changed their behaviour. They still did not wear P F D ' s . From the research of Pollnac, Poggie, and VanDusen (1995), one might conclude that the occupational subcultural practice of denial or trivialization of the dangers had prevented a change in behaviour by those fishers who had not personally been overboard. How did the remainder of the crew justify the continued practice of not wearing their PFD ' s? Had these co-workers been able to convince themselves somehow that "this wouldn't happen to me"? 4 This incident gives a glimpse of a broader problem. Fishers can attribute the cause of an accident to fate, luck and such "factors" beyond their control. A fisher who believes the cause of an accident is beyond his or her control is likely to doubt the usefulness of learning about safety. Policy makers have traditionally ignored the human, behavioural and attitudinal factors even though American and Canadian analysis of fishing vessel accidents indicate that human factors directly or indirectly contribute to 70% to 90% of incidents (National Research Council , 1991, pp. 13-14). Many researchers are aware of the human factors such as experience, fatigue, fitness, economic issues, and the contribution of alcohol and drugs (Boshier, 1990, 1992; Gleason, 1983; Norrish & Cryer, 1990; Reil ly, 1985, 1987). However, researchers have not usually considered fishers' accident stories. Professional fishers have identified some of the human factors that contribute to safety problems as, inexperienced personnel, inattention, and fatigue (Jacobson et al., 1990). The fishers' unique voice points to the need for research that more closely examines their attributions of accidents. Approach Theoretical Framework Researchers in the fishing industry have functioned from an objective and quantifiable view of the world. This study challenges the traditional concept of the objective world and its "technical control" approach to knowledge by focusing on fishers' subjective interpretations of fishing safety. Instead of starting with information accumulated by "experts," and data taken from government files, this study starts with the fishers' own words. It attempts to legitimate the fishers' knowledge and utilize the 5 impact of accumulated practitioner experiences. "People are ... experts on their own conditions and should therefore be taken at least as seriously as the scholars observing them" (Bjarnason & Thorlindsson, 1993, p. 393). This study seeks to expose the experiential underpinnings of fishing safety knowledge that fishers hold and take for granted. It is an attempt to share the complex world of lived experience from the point of view of those who live it. A phenomenological tenet: we assume that others experience the world basically in the way we do, and that we can therefore understand one another in our dealing in and with the world. We take our subjectivity for granted, overlooking its constitutive character, presuming that we intersubjectively share the same reality (Holstein & Gubrium, 1994, p. 263). A study by Van Noy (1995) shows how two different groups of people do not view the same set of circumstances in the same manner. The results indicated that "fishermen assess the cause of injury events differently from Coast Guard investigators" (p. 27). The researcher states that it is unclear whether this is due to the fishers' occupational perspective or their manner of approaching the data. In either case, the comments regarding future research state that pursuing the fishers' analysis would have merit. In addition to having a different perspective than the Coast Guard investigators, the fishers were able to identify unsafe actions, and suggest actions that may have prevented the accident from occurring. Research by Thompson, Hilton, and Witt (1998), on the broader topic of work place safety, affirms the importance of perceptual data of the workers. The research acknowledges that the workers possess insight and sensitivity surrounding unreported 6 work place accidents. It concludes that this insight possibility makes the workers' perceptual data, "the preferred criteria for safety research" (p. 21). M y study seeks to illuminate the fishers' attributed causes of injury events and accidents. A t the centre of this analysis is the notion that some fishers attribute responsibility to external factors (e.g., government regulations); others blame internal factors (e.g., ability, stress). I also assume that explanations vary with respect to the dimension of stability. Some factors w i l l remain relatively stable (e.g., economic pressures, safety equipment on board) while other factors w i l l fluctuate and be unstable (e.g., fatigue, stress, luck). Orienting Framework I have analyzed the fishers' words, phrases, concepts, information, and ideas with the assistance of an orienting framework. The basic concept for this framework comes from the literature on Attribution Theory and is discussed further in Chapter 3. A t this point, I w i l l outline the configuration of the framework. The intersection of two lines creates the four quadrants that make up the framework (see Figure 1). The vertical line represents the dimension of stability. The dimension of stability can vary from permanent to temporary. A fisher might feel that the accident was attributed to a stable feature such as ability that is relatively enduring or an unstable one such as fatigue that varies over time. Stability is a continuum on the vertical line. 7 S T A B L E Internal/Stable I N T E R" N A L External/Stable E X T E R N A L Internal/Unstable External/U nstable U N S T A B L E ORIENTING F R A M E W O R K Figure 1. The intersection of the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes of accidents and create the orienting framework. The horizontal line represents the fishers' perspectives on whether they felt that the events leading up to the accident originated from an internal or external locus of causality. A n internal cause would be one where the fisher felt that the factors came from those within him or her self. The internal dimension can sometimes result in the fisher being able to make a change in his or her actions from that point forward. 8 A n external cause is one where the fisher felt that the situation was a result of factors that came from the environment or from outside of him or her self. External causes can also result in changes for future actions however, sometimes the external causes may be outside of the control of the individual. In the following true account the skipper can identify multiple sources to which he attributes the causes of the incident. This account comes from a National Fisherman article (Grissim, 1995) in which fishers relate their "Close Calls at Sea," and not from my interview transcripts. The point is to illustrate how every person attributes causes to an event, particularly a negative one. The skipper heard about an excellent catch occurring about 80 miles out. Although he knew the boat was light on fuel and that it also had a small leak from a piece of caulking having worked loose, the drive to make a big catch was too strong to resist. Just as the boat reached this "hot" fishing ground, the winds came up to 50 miles per hour and things kept getting worse. The bilge pump wasn't keeping up with the leak and in the heavy seas the skipper could see they wouldn't make it back to port before running out of fuel. He managed to contact the Coast Guard and they air dropped a 55 gallon drum of fuel. The boat and crew all made it back to port safely. After the experience the skipper stated, "We had no business making a big stretch like that with the bow leak already started. I let my greed override my better judgment" (Grissim, 1995, p. 49). His description, in which he emphasizes his greed, would place the greed in the upper left quadrant of internal and stable. One might argue that the wind coming up "unexpectedly" to 50 miles per hour was an external and unstable factor of weather conditions; however, the story didn't clarify whether the skipper knew of the 9 high winds to come and chose to ignore or challenge that situation. In any event, the skipper's own analysis of the causes that got him into a problem situation pointed to the leak, the lack of fuel, and largely his own greed. In the story presented above, the skipper states that he wouldn't head out again with a leak in his boat. This indicates that he recognizes this factor in the scenario as internally controllable (maintenance schedule). However, his closing comment is, "That experience made me believe that every seaman must have a guardian angel" (Grissim, 1995, p. 50). This comment points to a belief that there is some "greater being" that had a role in the outcome. This would fall into the external and unstable quadrant (luck or fate). Even from this short description, one can see that the fisher attributed a number of causes to this accident. I structured the interviews with the fishers in my study to dig beneath the initial comments, and the analysis to look for subtle clues. This was done in part because some researchers have shown that patterns of denial and trivialization are ingrained in the occupational subculture of fishers, and are part of their verbal comments (Pollnac et al., 1995). Also , the interviews involved real people relating accounts of their life experiences regarding fishing and accidents. Real life exists within a complex context. Instead of trying to compress these complex events into one category per accident, I accepted that the fishers would attribute multiple causes in their descriptions of the accidents. Accordingly, I encouraged, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed their concepts as fully as possible. 10 Implications for Prevention Education It is important that the patterns of fishers' attributed causes of accidents be understood in order to make the most efficient use of funds and energy applied toward safety. Prevention education requires this understanding to give it a clear goal and direction. Fishers who attribute an accident or close call to luck or fate need a different approach to prevention education than those who recognize a series of events that precipitated the accident. Most importantly, there wi l l be no "buy i n " from the fishers themselves i f they attribute the "unfortunate situation" to something over which they have no control. The fishers require "reality inducing" techniques, in order to encourage them to take safety seriously, and to rouse them to participate in safety training (Pollnac et al., 1995). Safety education and training for fishers w i l l have more impact on the fishers' ultimate behaviour i f educators understand the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. To ignore the occupational sub-culture, is equivalent to pretending that the fishers' perceptions are nonexistent or at least unimportant. "Management concentrating solely on the technology of fishing or the technological aspects of boat size and effort is bound to be unsuccessful" (Bjarnason & Thorlindsson, 1993, p. 391). It is a mistake to think of fishers as an undifferentiated group. It is also a mistake to compress the causes of an accident down to one issue (e.g., a grounding). Regrettably, at present, agencies have based education programs on course content such as navigation, and the use of fire equipment, rather than taking into account the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. One outcome of my study is the clarification of the fishers' attributed causes of accidents through the analysis of fishers' descriptions of accidents. 11 Purpose of the Study The purposes of this research were to: 1. examine fishers' attributed causes of accidents, and 2. derive implications for prevention education. Structure of the Thesis Chapter 1 has presented an outline of the background, the approach, and the purposes of this study. Chapter 2 reviews literature on fishers and their industry, and closes with a review of safety research in professional fishing. Chapter 3 presents literature concerning Attribution Theory with a focus on causal attributions. Chapter 4 introduces the methodology used in the study, including the treatment of the transcripts and the initial conceptual analysis. Chapter 5 describes the participants, including the socio-demographic characteristics and the interview schedule and process. Chapter 6 outlines the theoretical interrogation of the transcripts. Chapter 7 analyzes the participant fishers' ten most frequently attributed causes of accidents and includes quotations from the transcripts. Chapter 8 discusses the implications of these findings for prevention education. Chapter 9 examines the limitations of the study and recommendations for future research concerning fishers and safety. 12 C H A P T E R 2: T H E F I S H E R S : A N I M A G E O F T H E I R W O R L D The purposes of this study were to examine fishers' attributed causes for accidents, and derive implications for prevention education. This chapter provides an overview of the contextual issues such as; the people and their attitudes, the cultures, customs, power, and economic concerns. I present the current most prominent "educational" practice of information dissemination, and the proposed structured training programs. Lastly, I review the research traditions and the current research direction. This study's focus is on commercial fishing in British Columbia; however, the literature comes from across Canada, the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. The reasons for B . C . being central in my interests are threefold; firstly, I live on the B . C . coast and am familiar with the people and the physical area; secondly, I am employed with the Workers' Compensation Board ( W C B ) of British Columbia and have a professional interest in workplace safety; and thirdly, I and numerous relatives are pleasure boaters, commercial fishers, or marine designers, all o f which adds to my ties to the marine world. Social and Contextual Issues The People and Attitudes Fishers take great pride in the independence afforded them through their occupation. Being a fisher allows a degree of freedom that few other jobs could offer. One enthusiastic fisher goes so far as to state that he spends some time every season wondering just how he got so lucky as to be getting paid for something he would do for 13 nothing. He further adds that "the Pacific Ocean is a cathedral and fishing is a religion" (Troll & Matsen, 1991 p. 34). This type of statement captures what is, for many, the "hook" of being a commercial fisher. But, i f the seduction of freedom is the "hook" of fishing, then the denial of danger is the "line and sinker." A s mentioned in Chapter 1, the research of Pollnac, Poggie, and VanDusen (1995) shows the tendency of fishers to trivialize or deny the dangers of commercial fishing. This practice allows fishers to reject information that verifies the dangers of their work and to discard the importance of safety equipment. This drives the fisher to enthusiastically spend money on new high tech fish-finding electronics, but avoid investing in safety equipment. The fish-finding gear represents the hope of catching more fish. Safety equipment represents facing dangers connected with fishing. This denial of danger attitude is confirmed by Binkley (1994). As part of a much larger study, Binkley presented 11 interviews which typify the experiences of different fishers. In their own voices, the fishers and their wives recounted their experiences including their working conditions and safety concepts. Binkley summarized that the fishers presented dramatic events as unremarkable and commonplace. She pointed out how this underscored the fishers' pride in coping with extraordinary situations. From the fishers' perspectives the dramatic events were simply all in a day's work. The fishers accepted the possibility of injury in order to meet immediate economic needs. They convince themselves they could deal with the dangerous working environment, and developed a "superman" image (p. 222). The Canadian and the American Coast Guards and the W C B express their awareness of fishers' traditionally fatalistic attitude toward the risks of their occupation 14 (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987; National Research Council , 1991; Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The profound effect of the fishers' approach toward safety issues is discussed at workshops on safety for fishers (Dzugan, 1991; Myers & Klatt, 1994). Despite this growing awareness, the attitude of fishers and their direct input plays an extremely minor part in research. This w i l l be addressed further under the research practices section of this chapter. Cultures The British Columbian fishing community contains a multicultural mixture of peoples.. Some of the most common cultural backgrounds of the B . C . fisher are: Native Indian, Japanese, Yugoslavian, Norwegian, British, and Vietnamese. This is one of the most diverse fishing communities internationally and the B . C . fisher may come from almost any background (Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The Secretariat for Regulation Review report mentioned the fishers' diverse cultural backgrounds; however, it does not offer suggestions on how this diversity might be considered in either educational programs or research. In contrast, Boshier (1990, 1992) presents this as an issue of major importance and suggests how the cultural backgrounds of the fishers should be taken into consideration. The majority of other authors that come from countries other than Canada take it for granted that cultural diversity is not an issue in their country (Driscoll, 1993; Gleason, 1983; Jensen, 1996; Norrish & Cryer, 1990; Rafnsson & Gunnarsdottir, 1992; Reil ly, 1985, 1987). In my study, cultural diversity has played a role mainly in purposefully selecting participants from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. I w i l l discuss this in greater depth in Chapter 4. 15 Customs and Power Fishing as an occupation has a lack of controlling factors normally found in other occupations (Gray, 1986; Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The industry term for the monetary relationship between the owner of the vessel, the skipper (often one and the same but not always), and the vessel's crew is "co-adventurers". This means they share in the operating cost of the vessel and also divide the catch from a particular trip to sea. One might conclude that this would mean that all involved were on an equal footing; however, this is not the case. Traditionally, the master of a fishing vessel has total authority, responsibility, and accountability, in fact, more so than would be given to or expected of a typical supervisor in general industry. This situation leads to an imbalance of power, especially while the vessel is at sea. Some of the literature on fishing industry safety attempts to acknowledge power as a factor. For example, the B . C . Occupational Health & Safety Regulation, which addresses the fishing industry, places the onus upon the skipper or master for the training of his or her crew. "Before the start of each fishing season, the master must ensure that each crewmember is instructed in the operational characteristics of the fishing vessel" (Part 24, Section 24.73, Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia, 1997b). Going several steps further, Boshier (1992) points out that power and dominance in marine safety issues are deeply rooted to the customs and cultures and thus create barriers to safety education. To clarify by example, i f a group of fishers do not socially accept the wearing of a personal floatation device (PFD) as part of their habits, then the simple regulation of this activity is unlikely to produce a change of actions. 16 Power runs deep in the interactions of the crew and skipper. In an analysis of social interaction aboard fishing vessels, Knutson (1991) describes an incident where a crewmember attempts to tell the skipper that the net is caught in the power block. The crewmember is trying to prevent the net from being torn apart and yells at the skipper, "Back 'er down!" However, the skipper responds with, "Don't you yell at me, goddamit!" (p. 79) and asserts his priority based on his power. This results in his ripping his own net, which he sees as preferable to taking an order from the crewmember. A n exchange of this type points out the political impact of communication aboard fishing vessels. Even though the crewmember was technically correct, he did not have the political authority to yell at the skipper. The issue of customs and power as they tie into communication on board fishing vessels represents a large area of concern. In Binkley's study (1994) she found crewmembers who claimed that the skipper got upset with them for pointing out unsafe practices, as well as skippers who asserted that crewmembers would not listen. Both depend on the other for their mutual safety but the bottom line on board is that the skipper has the ultimate say. Skippers may readily defend having the ultimate say by pointing out the level of their responsibility. Economics, Politics and the Decline in Fish Stock I do not intend to delve into an analysis of all the ramifications of the economic and political changes in the fishing industry. That in itself would be a completely different thesis. I present a brief outline of the significant economic and political pressures because it is part of the context in which fishers exist. 17 In the last decade, Canadians have witnessed devastating events in the east coast fisheries. This has included the destruction of fish stock and the havoc it has wrought on the lives of those in the fishing communities. The west coast has also experienced a decline in fish stock. Government reports have expressed concern about this decline and its effects on commercial fishing over the last decade (Carter, 1988; Hanna, 1993; Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The salmon fishery has experienced the greatest decline in stock and has been at the centre of the changes. Since 1995 a significant downturn in the tons of salmon caught has occurred. This, along with low prices has resulted in severe financial results for the fleet with future prospects through 2000 anticipated to be dismal (B.C. Job Protection Commission, 1998). In 1996 the federal government activated the Pacific Salmon Revitalization Strategy which became known as the "Mi f f l in Plan." Under this plan a fleet rationalization and reduction took place which decreased the salmon fleet from 4,367 licenses to 3,561 licenses and from 4,288 active vessels to 2,881 active vessels (B .C. Job Protection Commission, 1996, 1998; Pacific Salmon Revitalization Plan Review Panel, 1996). The 1998 B . C . Job Protection Commission report looked at the average number of salmon commercial fishing fleet jobs from 1991 to 1994 and compared that average with the number of jobs in 1997: there was a decrease of 3,865 jobs. The most significant decline in the fish stock has occurred in the salmon fishery. The other fisheries have not experienced a fish stock decline to the same degree. However, even with somewhat healthier fish stocks, most fisheries are still having difficulties maintaining a profit. In part, these difficulties are connected to the world 18 wide monetary deterioration combined with other pressures such as changes in tastes, in favour of red meat (B.C. Job Protection Commission, 1998). The decline in fish stock has lead to a reduced number of openings and decreased quotas (depending on the particular fishery). This in turn has led to additional pressures on fishers to take risks. The co-adventurer status in the industry contributes to the motivation to take risks, since everyone shares in the profit. The shorter fishing season also results in less time for on the job training with no lead-in season before serious fishing time starts. There is less motivation for skippers to "invest" time and energy in training. The National Research Council (1991) presented a vivid description from one lifetime professional skipper of a 84 foot longliner vessel. The skipper noted that he has seen a decline in the fishing season from over 100 days to less than 10 and that due to the short season he would only give some verbal directions to the new crew on where the safety equipment is stored. The shorter season has made it harder for skippers to retain their experienced crewmembers. These economic and political influences have placed additional pressures on the fishers. Educat ional Practices Overview of Educational Settings A n assortment of nonformal educational settings for boating safety programs exist in British Columbia. These are conducted by associations and agencies such as the Power and Sail Squadrons, the Coast Guard Auxil iary and sailing schools. However, currently a specific course designed for fishers does not exist in these nonformal settings (Boshier, 1990). 19 The Pacific Marine Training Campus, which is now part of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, offers certification programs for careers at sea. Most of the programs are for marine industries other than fishing, however, they do offer the Ministry of Transport "Fishing Master Certificate." The levels range from "I" through " I V , " with " I " being the most advanced, for the largest vessels and allowing for unrestricted voyages, and " I V " being for vessels of less than 100 gross tons. The focus of any of the four levels of these certificates is on general marine concerns such as chart work, collision regulations, and meteorology. Fishing vessel stability is not included in the Fishing Master IV program, which is for the small fishing vessel operators and would be applicable to the participants interviewed in my study. The vessel stability topic is presented only briefly in the Fishing Master III level. Therefore, although the title of these programs says Fishing Master Certificate, these programs are not specifically focused upon the issues faced by those employed as commercial fishers. These programs instead borrow their content from other marine related industries and were not specifically designed for the fishing industry. The Canadian Coast Guard has had the largest role to date in informal safety education for fishers. Their concept of "prevention education is focused on materials preparation and dissemination, giving out of information" (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987, p. 2). Their officers give public presentations and show videos. Any additional informal education comes through reading trade magazines, or flyers from safety equipment suppliers, or attending a boat show (Boshier, 1990). In total, this is a very incidental manner in which to obtain what is often crucial information. 20 For most of fishers, "education" occurs on the job, with literally anyone being hired off the docks, getting onto a vessel, and heading out to sea, "without knowing the bow from the stern or the port from the starboard" (Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993, p. 37). Even though numerous government agencies have a variety of roles in overseeing commercial fishing, there remain no specific requirements for crew certification on vessels of less than 100 gross tons. There are also no regulations requiring fishing vessel crew to complete a Marine Emergency Duties ( M E D ) training course. The records show that the high fatality rate in the fishing industry has not been reduced over the years (Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993; Workers' Compensation Board, 1997a). The literature agrees that this high fatality rate demands further attention and recommends accident prevention through education. Proposed Structured Training Programs Most of the literature makes general, sweeping recommendations regarding structured safety training programs for fishers (B.C. Job Protection Commission, 1998; Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987; Carter, 1988; Gray, 1986; National Research Council, 1991). The recommendations are often politically sensitive and involve several government levels and agencies, making the desired outcome difficult to achieve. These reports do not present a concrete method of how to adequately train fishers in effective safety practices. Some literature presents more focused concepts, including outlines for the curricula of safety programs for British Columbian fishers (Hanna, 1993; Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The curricula suggested still maintains an exclusively 21 technical orientation with no recognition of the social and contextual pressures such as custom and power. In both cases, the curricula emphasize subjects such as; vessel terminology, log entries, compass and chart navigation, fire prevention, produce handling, and record keeping for tallying the catch and taxes. Neither the Hanna report or the Secretariat for Regulation Review report address the issue of the development of the curricula or how to take these types of extensive, detailed, and technical curricula to the fishers themselves. Two (Hands-On) American Training Approaches In the United States, the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners' Association has created a Vessel Safety Manual (1997) which contains a comprehensive book of information for the skipper and crew of fishing vessels. Some of the topics are applicable to the specific everyday activities of fishers as they include vessel familiarity, working conditions, and stability. Most of the chapters contain basic maritime information on topics such as navigation and fire prevention. The manual presents all topics with fishing vessel examples and terminology. It does not address social and contextual pressures. It is contained in a three ring binder with thick pages and plasticized chapter tabs. The format of the manual is designed for use on board a boat. It also encourages the skipper and crew to make regular use of it, as it includes a chapter of checklists for day to day activities. It contains a crew signing list with each chapter. This indicates that the crewmember has read the chapter and discussed it with his or her skipper and has a basic understanding of that material. The North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners Association organized a training program based on the above described manual. The United States Coast Guard 22 subsequently collaborated on this training effort. The training program involves hands-on practice used to bring to life and dramatize the manual's information. The concept of the training is to provide as much hands-on training as possible, intermingled with lectures, simulated exercises, videos, and hand-outs (North Pacific Vessel Owners' Association, 1997). Another American association active in commercial fishing and marine training is the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association ( A M S E A ) . It publishes an extensive training schedule in its quarterly newsletter Marine Safety Update (1998) and offers safety and dril l courses for commercial fishers as well as safety classes for recreational boaters. This association focuses upon marine safety training and does not have a specific affiliation with a fishing group. However, because of the large commercial fishing fleet in Alaska and its economic impact on the communities, the fishing industry's specific concerns are prominent in the training programs. The newsletter has a grassroots tone and instructors come from within the communities where they teach. The training emphasizes "hand-on" opportunities to test out emergency equipment such as life rafts and immersion suits. Evaluations of the A M S E A training programs are favourable, both from the statistical analysis of lives saved (Perkins, 1995), and from the viewpoint of respect within the communities (Dzugan, 1991). Research Concept of Safety The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 2, states that Canadians have a fundamental right to a healthy and safe working environment. The Canadian Federal Government made changes to the Canadian Labour Code in 1986 that brought offshore workers under the same legislation that applied to onshore workers. These 1986 revisions meant fishers had Labour Code legislation that would result in improved working conditions and the right to refuse unsafe work. In establishing an Occupational Safety and Health program for the fishing industry, Gray (1986) outlined three basic requirements: "a trained and knowledgeable work force, safe plant (or vessel) and equipment, and understandable regulations with a means of enforcement" (p. 14). However, in the complex interaction of the working world experience has proven that obtaining "compliance" with regulations is not straightforward. Lack of compliance occurs even when workers are aware of the benefits that a particular action wi l l give them. In many instances the full reasons why fishers choose not to comply involves complex situational issues and more knowledge, training, or regulations wi l l not bring about a change. The American Coast Guard found regulations that required additional safety equipment for fishing vessels effected "no measurable changes in the aggregate numbers of fatalities and vessel casualties" (National Research Council , 1991, p. 15). I would like to present an example to illustrate this point. Personal flotation devices (PFD), commonly are not used. This resistance to wearing P F D ' s exists despite information that shows in excess of 90% of fisher deaths result from drowning (National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, 1994). For decades the only form of P F D available on the market was the standard Canadian Coast Guard approved "key hole" type. It is uncomfortable and awkward to wear. Many mariners, not only fishers, complain that it gets in the way of boating activities (Doherty, 1993). In addition, it carries a negative social connotation for the wearer. Fishers are physically active and require a high range of motion; hence, they have adopted the standard use of non-24 flotation, non-thermal rain gear. This situation would never be solved with the addition of regulations, stricter enforcement, or the distribution of more pamphlets proclaiming the benefits of wearing a P F D . The manufacturers of flotation gear have recognized the difficulties regarding the restricted range of motion and have developed improved thermal and flotation gear that is attractive, affordable and can be worn while working (Doherty, 1993). The Canadian Coast Guard has accepted some of this new flotation gear, but not all (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987). This type of innovation and corresponding changes by the manufacturers and the authorities are required for some safety issues. Some of the new gear now carries a positive image for the wearer. However, it still remains that not all fishers appropriately use this simple form of life saving gear, which raises the deceptively simple question of "why not"? Research Traditions Fishing industry research reports have traditionally analyzed data gathered by various government agencies. Because of this, I w i l l present a brief overview of the major agencies. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigates marine occurrences and complies statistics based on investigative findings as to the causes and contributing factors of marine incidents (Transportation Safety Board, 1985). However, they do not concern themselves with any training or education, nor do they inspect vessels. Another federal government agency, the Canadian Coast Guard, is involved in promoting boating safety education for the public, in addition to their search and rescue function. Transport Canada Ship Safety, yet another agency of the federal government, performs inspections on all fishing vessels greater than 15 tons. Vessels that are 15 tons or greater represent 25 the larger sized vessels in the British Columbia fishing fleet. Most fishing vessels in British Columbia are less than 15 tons, and for them inspections are not required. One can quickly see that the components that gather together the entire picture of the British Columbia fishing fleet are broken into a number of agencies. This contributes to a lack of co-ordinated information. The focus of the Transportation Safety Board and the other government agencies involved in the fishing industry has been from the technical, physical, and mechanical perspective. It is no surprise, then, to find that the accidents and fatalities are recorded by categorizing the technical, physical, or mechanical failure. The types of categories used include: grounding, foundering, flooding, fire, explosion, collision, material failure, capsizing, and disappearance. This tells us what occurred as the final event, but the true cause of the accident and the identification of the events leading up to the accident or fatality are not routinely recorded. Both the Canadian and American Coast Guards have recognized shortfalls in the categorization and documentation of the accidents (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987; National Research Council, 1991). For example, the Canadian Coast Guard report (1987) claims that a program to develop a more accurate recording and tracking system of the actual causes of accidents was underway (p. 65). Information from the Coast Guard as of December 1998, confirms that the development of the recommended improved tracking system has not taken place (personal communication). The Canadian Coast Guard also realizes that there is almost no co-ordination of statistics within their own agency or across the 15 government agencies in total that have various interests in the fishing industry (Canadian Coast Guard Working 26 Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987). A n additional problem exists because "the marine incidents database is better oriented to monitoring the use of Coast Guard resources than to the understanding of what causes incidents" (Boshier, 1990, p. 46). The Transportation Safety Board publishes marine occurrence and casualty statistics for successive years based on type of accident, type of vessel, vessels lost by gross tonnage, fatalities, and injuries. Through these statistics an attempt is made to determine whether accidents and incidents are increasing or decreasing within a particular category. However, on examination of the actual data bases and the method of collection some questions arise regarding their reliability. Through the use of T S B information, Boshier (1994) has examined the extent to which accidents involving death or injury are differentially associated with fishing vessel gear types. The T S B information coded 230 of the 342 fishing vessels into an "other" gear type category. Concerned with the inaccuracy of the coding, Boshier used licensing information to clarify the gear types of 185 of the 230 "other" classifications. This is an example of the possible lack of integrity of the data base and the care that must be taken in the acceptance of it at face value. The following presents an example of the T S B ' s data collecting focus. The T S B (1997) report on the sinking of the Hili-Kum mentions at the beginning of the report that the skipper was under financial pressures but decided to head out in spite of forecasted bad weather conditions. However, the T S B report addresses no further issues around the skipper's decision making. The report's recommendations centre on updating of life saving equipment and the addition of date deadlines to ensure owners and operators comply with the standards. The report makes no suggestions regarding addressing training of fishers in preventing the series of events that lead to the need to use the 27 lifesaving equipment. Recall that the T S B has no training mandate. Its data collecting focus results in recommendations concerned with technical and mechanical type of solutions. There is a noticeable lack of research directed toward informing prevention programs, particularly in the more traditional research. The research tradition has been to analyze accidents in a "post mortem" fashion through the use of government or other large agency records. The researchers traditionally do not obtain input from the fishers. Rafnsson and Gunnarsdottir (1992) investigated fatal accidents involving Icelandic seamen over the period from 1966 to 1986 through the use of the National Register and the Register of Deceased records. They concluded that the mortality rate for fishers was high (89.4 per 100,000 person years) and did not change significantly during the study period. A study with a similar focus, but regarding the Canadian Atlantic coast fishers as well as crews from the merchant fleet (Hasselback & Neutel, 1990), showed a mortality rate due to accidents at sea of 45.8 per 100,000 person years. Both the above studies expressed concern about the accuracy of existing data sources. In a report of the fatal and non-fatal work related injuries of New Zealand fishers, Norrish and Cryer (1990) analyzed injuries by parts of the body injured, and frequency of occurrence. They reviewed fatalities in relation to the location of the vessel when the accident occurred. The findings are as to be expected, with the higher mortality rates occurring in the rougher sea conditions, in the isolated locations, or at the critical path areas of river and harbour entrances. Concern is once again expressed over the inadequacies of the data sources to obtain the full picture describing the factors causing the injury or fatality. This study goes a step further and comments on the need for the 28 inclusion of additional factors in the data base in order to create an effective register, "important factors pertaining to the individual worker such as experience, fitness, fatigue, use of safety equipment, and the contribution of alcohol and drugs" (p. 731). The Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia Technical Report: Report on STD, LTD, and Fatal Claims in the Fishing Industry 1993-1995 (1998) approaches the analysis of fishing accidents through a review of claims records. (STD stands for short term disability and L T D for long term disability.) The claim file records are originally gathered for the purposes of deciding whether an injury wi l l be accepted by the W C B for payment of benefits. These records do not attempt to gather information about the underlying factors that lead up to the injury occurring. In the study, the claims records are divided into an analysis of categories such as frequency of type of accident, frequency of type of injury, common causes and contributing factors, and work activities such as the handling of the gear or the fish, or no identifiable activity. This study does an adequate job of breaking the accidents into various categories from a functional and statistical perspective. However, since the study uses information originally collected for other purposes, this analysis cannot include a review of events that lead up to the accidents. In the scant recommendations, the study acknowledges that the records do not present sufficient information of the factors leading up to the accidents. A study on the mortality of United Kingdom fishers from 1961 to 1980 from the data of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen showed a mean crude mortality rate for deaths from all causes at sea to be 2.16 per 1,000 at risk during this entire period (Reilly, 1985). The study concluded that there had been no improvement in the mortality rate of fishers from 1961 to 1980. The further conclusion was that fishers were at no 29 decreased risk of death from work related accidents after the establishment of the Committee of Inquiry into Trawler Safety in 1969 than before (Reilly, 1985). The study's author goes on to point out the challenge to government and industry that still exists in improving the work environment for fishers. This is not an exhaustive list of research studies but is representative of major fishing countries. This sampling highlights the tradition of looking at the problem by reviewing numbers of injuries and deaths and placing them into categories. A l l research reports reviewed in this section express varying concerns about the integrity of the data. Most studies call for more accurate record keeping but some go a step further and acknowledge and call for documentation and analysis of social and contextual factors. A s indicated through this literature review, researchers have analyzed some statistical data such as the number of fatalities per person years of work; however, the phenomenological issues such as the fishers' own perceptions toward occupational safety and health have not been addressed while the technical components have been highlighted. Some researchers are beginning to include the fishers' perspectives and what the literature often broadly labels as the "human factor." Current Research Direction Over the past 10 years some of the research about fishers has begun to explore the possibility that fishers themselves have a specific perspective to add to the literature. Binkley (1994) puts the fishers' voice in the front and centre of her work and documents their concerns around the issues of safety. She oversaw 14 interviewers, who surveyed 334 fishers from the Canadian east coast. In addition Binkley and three other interviewers explored more in-depth questions of 200 fishers and 25 wives. From this 30 larger study she selected 11 interviews as representative of the larger study. One of the reoccurring themes is that fishers would not always verify the dangers in their work. She notes that the fishers who were still fishing would present an apparent discrepancy. She had asked each of them i f they had ever had a serious accident and they would indicate "no". However, during the course of the interviews each mentioned at least one serious injury. When Binkley pointed out this discrepancy one fisher simply explained that he had always figured he would stop fishing after he had a serious accident but since he was still fishing he just concluded he really hadn't had a serious accident (p. 221). Somehow the fishers were able to conclude that although they had suffered a significant physical injury, the accident in which that injury occurred wasn't serious. Binkley 's documentation of the fishers' rationalization that their accident wasn't serious supports the research by Pollnac, Poggie, and VanDusen (1995). Fisher have a propensity to trivialize and deny the dangers of their occupation. V a n Noy (1995) claimed, "There is enough evidence presented in this research to show that the additional perspectives brought by professional fishermen to the review of casualties are important to any serious investigation of causal factors" (p 61). She further added, "Involving the fishermen in the review process also shows great promise in developing scales for types of unsafe actions for future injury causation research activities." In her conclusion she outlined the need for an integrated approach. Summary Fishers consist of a diverse group of people; however, they are consistent with respect to their love of independence and their individualist nature. With a few exceptions, most training involves "information dissemination". Frequently, the 31 foundations of a training program are rooted in general marine topics and do not pertain specifically to the fishers' needs. The "experts" from government agencies have developed the educational models without direct input from the fishers themselves. The subjective experience and knowledge of the fishers has not been called upon and incorporated into the process. Fishers exist in a world more complex than can be shown strictly through an analysis of government agency data bases. The majority of the "traditional approach" research in the fishing industry uses government data originally gathered for a different purpose. The data is analyzed in terms of technical, mechanical, and functional categories. Although this type of analysis is useful, it presents a picture that lacks the perspective of the fishers themselves. B y now, readers wi l l recognize that I have a point of view that ascribes significance to the fishers' experiences. Their input is needed to develop an effective safety education program. Therefore, Chapter 3 reviews attribution theory and its applicability to workplace safety. 32 C H A P T E R 3: ATTRIBUTION T H E O R Y Attribution theory was selected as a filter through which to organize the data gathered from fishers' descriptions of their accidents. It was decided upon because of its common sense approach to analyzing the causes of events and its use in other workplace safety research. Chapter 3 describes attribution theory with two main purposes in mind: first, to present an overview of attribution theory, and second, to review an attribution theory analysis and model. The amount of published literature on attribution research is extensive, as indicated by numerous authors and quantified by H . H . Kelley and Michela (1980). In their computer-assisted search, they found over 900 applicable references in the 10-year period of their retrospective study. This review is limited to an overview of attribution theory in three main areas: basic assumptions, major contributors, and biases in attribution. There is no single unified, and coherent "Attribution Theory." It instead consists of a compilation of smaller theories through which is woven the common thread of the cognitive-ascriptive process (Harvey, Weary, & Stanley, 1985; Zelen, 1991). Therefore, at the end of this chapter, I specify the "portions" of attribution theory that have been adopted and used for the development of the conceptual framework employed in the data analysis section of this thesis. 33 Overview of Attribution Theory Fundamental Principles of Attribution Theory First, what are attributions? Attributions are deductions that people make about the causes of incidents, and the behaviour of themselves and others. Attribution theory is governed by some fundamental principles. The following is an outline of three fundamental concepts found to be the most prominent and agreed upon in the literature. Heider (1958b), H . H . Kelley (1967), and others presupposed that individuals attempt to understand why events occur. People are accepted as being guided in their actions by their naive psychological beliefs (Weiner, 1990) and they possess a list of attributions that they apply to each attributional situation as it arises (Anderson, 1991). The most central principle is that people are active information processors who attempt to make meaning out of observed events. The next fundamental principle focuses upon factors that cause people to engage in attributional thinking. Certain circumstances are more likely than others to require that people attempt to make attributions (Hilton, Fein, & Mil ler , 1993; Weiner, 1986). People are most likely to focus on making an attribution when the event has a negative or a potentially negative outcome, or personal consequence (Shaver, 1985; Weiner, 1986) and when an unusual event catches the person's attention or another person behaves in an unexpected or undesirable way (Jones & Davis, 1965). The third fundamental principle asserts that people apply attributions in order to anticipate and control future events (Schruijer, 1990) and through these, people attempt to facilitate their feeling of control (Harvey et al., 1985). The attributions people make can influence their explanations for their experience and cause a change in their behaviour in 34 order to improve the outcome. Depending on the circumstances, people sometimes must make distorted attributions in order to maintain their self-image and to protect certain "central" beliefs. I w i l l review some of the "biases" in attributions later in this chapter. But first, I would like to take a brief look at four of the major contributors to the field of attribution theory. Major Contributors to the Field Heider. Numerous authors and researchers place Fritz Heider's work at the foundation of attribution theory (Hewstone, 1989; Shultz, Schleifer, 1983; Weary, Stanley, & Harvey, 1989; Weiner, 1990). Heider (1958a, 1958b) outlined "common-sense psychology" with his analysis of how people understood events and explained them in "common-sense" terms. His analysis included the process through which people attributed responsibility and how people located the cause of behaviour either within a person or outside a person. If the cause was attributed to factors within the person, Heider described this as, attributing the cause to personal factors. If the cause was found to be outside the person, Heider described this as attributing the cause to environmental factors. Heider gives a straight forward example of a person rowing a boat across a lake. He offers a sample of possible expressions that could be used to describe the process of the person rowing the boat and that, refer to factors that are significant to the action outcome. We say, "He is trying to row the boat across the lake.... He wants to row the boat across the lake.... It is difficult to row the boat across the lake." These varying descriptive statements have reference to personal factors on the one hand and to environmental factors on the other (Heider, 1958b, p. 82). 35 Heider found the more that environmental factors are felt to contribute to the action outcome, the less the person is held responsible. Jones and Davis: Jones and Davis (1965) offered new perspectives for attribution theory by establishing the theory of correspondent inferences as a model of how people infer dispositions from behaviour. They adopted attributional principles from Heider and built upon them. Basically, the theory of correspondent inferences focuses upon factors that modify an observer's attribution of intent and disposition of the behaviour of another person. Jones and Davis asserted that the observer must attribute intention to the actor prior to the observer making a dispositional attribution. To determine intention, the observer must work backwards through the information from effects, to action, and finally to inferences about the actor's knowledge and ability (Hewstone, 1989). Kelley: H . H . Kelley (1967, 1973) also built upon Heider's foundational work and endeavoured to formalize the common-sense approaches people use to make causal attributions (Hewstone, 1989). He developed the covariation principle, which is based on the postulation that people attribute behaviour to factors present when the behaviour occurs and absent when it does not. The principle of covariation between potential causes and effects is the essential notion in Kel ley 's attributional approach (Weary et al., 1989). The following presents a brief description of the three factors that Kelley identified that people consider in making internal or external attributions. These are consistency, distinctiveness, and consensus. Consistency relates to whether a person's behaviour in a particular circumstance continues to be the same over a period of time. Distinctiveness describes whether the person's behaviour only occurs when that person is interacting with one specific other 36 individual (in other words, that person does not behave in that same manner when interacting with someone else). Consensus compares whether other people, when placed in the same circumstances, are inclined to respond in a similar fashion as did the first person. A s an example, Kel ley 's covariation model predicts that an observer would attribute an actor's behaviour as internal i f the behaviour was high in consistency, low in distinctiveness, and low in consensus (H. H . Kelley, 1967, 1973; H . H . Kelley & Michela, 1980) Weiner: Wiener (1986, 1990) contributed additional dimensions of causality to the internal and external locus principle of attribution theory. Wiener first added the dimension of causal stability. Stability describes the consistency of a cause over time (Wiener, 1990). The stable-unstable dimension dissects the internal-external dimension, thus producing four quadrants as shown in Figure 1. In an analysis of causes of success and failure, Wiener and his colleagues determined that the observer who was attempting to make the causal attribution often focused on the stability of the causes underlying the behaviour (Wiener et al., 1971). The other dimension that Weiner presented is controllability. Controllability exists on a continuum and indicates the extent to which a cause is manageable. Some examples of attributes with regard to their controllability are effort and aptitude. Effort is considered to be controllable by the individual, whereas aptitude is considered to be uncontrollable (Wiener, 1990). Attributions are complicated, as can be seen from the overview of attribution theory so far. The research has identified some substantial implications for how people attribute the behaviours of themselves and others; additionally, it has recognized that 37 people employ distortions or biases during the attributional process. The next section wi l l review some of the principle biases of attribution theory. Biases in Attribution Fundamental Attribution Error: People with dissimilar perspectives w i l l frequently present dissimilar attributions (Anderson, 1991). The world contains many different complexities. Fundamental attribution error involves the observer's tendency to emphasize the dispositional (internal) factors and downplay the situational (external) factors (Ross, 1997). Jones and Nisbett (1972) proposed actor-observer bias. Their concept asserts that actors are more likely to assign external attributions to their own behaviour, whereas observers are inclined to apply internal attributions to that same behaviour. A reason this occurs is because attributing another person's behaviour to their internal "make-up" is an effortless process (Trope & Lieberman, 1993). Often the observer can be totally unaware of the situational and historical issues. These biases forecast the actor and the observer w i l l likely have different perspectives on the causality of a negative situation such as an accident. Self-serving bias: Self-serving attribution bias becomes a factor when people examine their success or failure. Heider (1958b) pointed out that people like to be reviewed in a "good light" and seek to find an explanation that is personally acceptable. Self-serving bias involves people's tendency to attribute their successes to internal factors and to attribute their failures to external factors (Bradley, 1978). Stated another way, people w i l l freely acknowledge responsibility for successes and reject responsibility for failures. 38 Having reviewed the main concepts of attribution theory, how does attribution theory apply to peoples' examination of safety issues and specifically how does it apply to fishers' views about their own accidents? First, I wi l l take a look at DeJoy's (1985, 1994) analysis and model based on attribution theory, and how he applied it to safety in the workplace. Next, I w i l l outline my own focus on causal attributions, in particular, locus of causality and stability. Last, I w i l l begin to outline how these concepts apply within the context of this thesis. Attribution Theory Within the Context of this Thesis DeJoy's Analysis and Model of Attribution Theory in Workplace Safety DeJoy (1985, 1994) presents a convincing argument that individuals in workplace settings make use of attributions when managing workplace safety. A l l levels of personnel, from executives to the shop floor workers, attribute causes to safety issues, incidents and accidents. This occurs not only during formal accident investigations but also during everyday activities and interactions. DeJoy asserts that these attributed causes play a role in all practices incorporated into the company's overall safety plan. They also play a role in deciding what practices w i l l not be included either consciously or by unconscious omission. DeJoy states that attributions the personnel make regarding safety and accidents drive the decision making process more than the causes themselves. A n y situation with a negative impact causes people to engage in attributional thinking. A work related accident represents an event with a negative impact. DeJoy's model (1994) starts with the occurrence of a safety-related event (see Figure 2). This brings about causal thinking on the part of the worker, supervisor, management, and any safety committee members. 39 Safety-Related Event Decision-Maker's Characteristics Informational Analysis Covariation Data Schemata Outcome Severity Casual Attributions Locus of Causality Stability Controllability Organizational Policies and Constraints Reference: DeJoy 1994 Figure 2. A n Attributional Model of the Safety-Management Process Corrective Actions No Action Person-Directed Situation-Directed After the safety-related event, DeJoy's model moves to the informational analysis stage where the person initiates collecting and processing multiple causes of the accident. From the informational analysis the person moves into making causal attributions about the event. DeJoy points out that attribution research indicates the causal attributions w i l l normally fall into the three major dimensions. These dimensions are: locus of causality, stability, and controllability. The eventual outcome of this process becomes the corrective actions, or the decision to take no action. DeJoy's model also recognizes that the decision maker's characteristics and organizational policies and constraints have an effect on the informational analysis and the causal attributions. In the model these moderating factors, encircle the informational analysis and the causal attributions. This encirclement indicates the influence that the decision makers' characteristics and the organizational policies place on the analysis process. This in turn affects the final outcome of the corrective action. 40 In the traditional accident investigation process (Heinrich, 1931; Heinrich, Petersen, & Roos, 1980), the multiple causes of the accident are broken down into unsafe acts (internal) and unsafe conditions (external). Industry as well as safety focused organizations (such as the W C B of B . C . , and the B . C . Safety Council) continue to use this 60-year-old approach as the foundation to their to accident investigations and safety inspections. The concept of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions are still taught in safety training programs. Accident investigations and regular safety inspections are completed with the unsafe act/condition dichotomy being used as the foundational concept. This approach has so permeated the occupational health and safety world that many safety professionals would not recognize that this is the approach they use, but they do. This becomes an oversimplification of the world and the trap of this dichotomy becomes that of either "blame the worker" or "blame the environment." It is often less complicated and less expensive to blame the worker therefore, this is often the easiest route for organizations to take. A n advantage of incorporating attribution theory into accident analysis is the opportunity to look beyond the traditional dichotomy. The traditional approach remains present through the use of the internal and external dimension however, even in this dimension, attribution theory offers insights into errors and biases that the "traditional" safety management approach often overlooks. Conceptual Framework The locus of causality and the stability dimensions were utilized to create the conceptual framework. I then employed this framework for the initial analysis of the fishers' attributions of fishing accidents. The locus of causality and the stability 41 dimensions form the bases of Figure 1 as outlined in Chapter 1. Through the use of this framework I assembled the categories of causes of the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. The third dimension of controllability was not incorporated into the conceptual framework. This was done for clarity and because controllability is recognized to have difficulties (Weiner, 1985). Below is an overview of the three dimensions. Examples are included that assist in bridging these dimensions into workplace safety and professional fishing. Locus of Causality: The foundational causal distinction in attribution theory was made by Heider (1958b). He stated that the outcome of an action depends on two factors, those within the person (internal) and those within the environment (external). Internal attributions assign the origin of the behaviour to personal characteristics and inclinations, whereas external attributions assign the origin of the behaviour to environmental pressures and situational conditions. The locus of causality assists with focusing in on the source of the cause and indicates where to make changes to prevent future occurrences. This in turn assists with workplace safety analysis. In the situation of a fishing vessel going aground, there could be different scenarios involving two possible factors, one with an internal locus of causality and the other with an external locus of causality. A possible internal locus of causality factor in a fishing accident would be fatigue. Suppose a gillnetter fishing vessel had been active for the past five days in a combination of travelling and working the fishing grounds. The skipper works by himself and has had limited opportunities to sleep. A contributing factor to the vessel going aground may be the skipper's fatigue. 42 A n example of an external locus of causality factor would be the occurrence of a storm sized weather system (winds in excess of 47 knots) that added to the accident scenario. Different preventative measures would be required for the internal and external factors. In workplace safety analysis, as mentioned above, the downfall can be an oversimplification of the cause, leading to either blame the worker or blame the environment. Life usually has a multitude of factors but the point is that the locus of causality w i l l affect the remedies. Stability: Weiner (1985; Wiener et al., 1971) proposed a second causality dimension because for both internal and external causes, some fluctuate, while others remain consistent. This dimension is a continuum that ranges from variable to fixed. Weiner classified task difficulty as external and stable, and effort as internal and unstable. In the context of workplace safety, different attributions wi l l result in different approaches to future accident prevention. For example, i f a worker and supervisor conclude that an accident occurred mainly due to the task difficulty (external and stable) they wi l l take a different approach to future accident prevention than i f they conclude the accident was mainly caused by effort (internal and unstable). The first situation wi l l l ikely result in a rearrangement of the task to lower the difficulty level or possibly additional worker training. The second situation may result in some disciplinary action toward the individual who contributed insufficient effort. The stability of causes also indicates the likelihood of a repeat of the past again in the future (DeJoy, 1994). If a person attributes an accident to an inherently hazardous feature of the workplace, such as, in fishing, the expected movement of the vessel, then because of the stable attribution, a similar accident can be expected in the future. 43 However, i f the fisher attributes the accident to an unstable cause such as luck (or bad luck), then the anticipated outcome is that a similar accident could be avoided in the future. Controllability: Weiner (1985) subsequently added a third dimension, controllability. This dimension is also on a continuum and indicates the extent that a cause is manageable. The classic examples on the controllability continuum are effort and ability, with effort considered to be controllable and ability as uncontrollable. However, Weiner (1985) admits that the dimension of controllability "solved some issues while creating other difficulties" (p. 551). One of the difficulties in the controllability dimension is in deciding when an external cause is considered to be controllable (DeJoy, 1994). In the context of workplace safety, it depends how far back in the series of events one is prepared to look when determining controllability. A n additional issue is exactly whose perception of controllability is being considered. A n example of this in fishing is the weather. The weather itself is not controllable. However, a fisher may be fully aware of predicted bad weather and still make a conscious decision to proceed out into the bad weather and challenge it. On the other hand, the fisher may not have been aware of the pending bad weather and may perceive that he did not have any control over the storm bearing down on his vessel and the consequences. In the second situation, an official may perceive that the fisher still did have control - he simply did not avail himself of the opportunity to review the weather forecast before proceeding from port. 44 Conclusions The theory of attribution is applicable to the analysis of fishers' perceptions of accidents. This is because one of the foundational concepts of attribution theory is that the individual's (in this thesis, the fishers') ideas of causality are significant determinants of that individual's future behaviour. The individual must first assign a cause or causes to an outcome. Once the person has assigned a cause, he or she can now consider a prescription for future action. Wiener (1985) goes so far as to state, "one might argue that adaptation is not possible without causal analysis" (p. 549). For situations that involve accidents, adaptations very possibly equal survival, or at least avoidance of a similar negative scenario (accident). DeJoy has begun the work of bringing together the fields of attribution theory and safety management in the workplace. The focus of this study was to document the fishers' attributed causes of a safety related event such as an accident. Actions the fishers decide to take in response to a safety issue are more dependent on their attributed causes of accidents than on observer ascribed causes. Chapter 4 outlines the methodology of this study, including the issues and strategies relating to each of the following: the suitability of the methodology, the sampling process, the interview process, issues of reliability and validity or trustworthiness, and the treatment of the data. 45 C H A P T E R 4: M E T H O D O L O G Y The central focus of this study was to describe and analyze professional fishers' attributed causes of fishing accidents and, to review the implications for prevention education. This study was approached from a phenomenological perspective in order to provide an understanding of the fishers' view of their accidents. Due to the nature of the study, I chose a qualitative methodology. In order to understand the participants' attributed causes, I interviewed them. Participants consisted of 12 professional fishers who lived and worked on the British Columbia West Coast. This chapter presents the methodology used, its suitability, the sampling process, the interview process, reliability and validity or trustworthiness, and treatment of the data. I discuss issues relating to each of the above and outline my strategy to address or resolve them. Suitabili ty of Methodology Issues Fishing accidents occur within a complex, multilayered, social environment. The fishers live in, work in, shape, and are shaped by that environment. They provide a particularly intimate view of their world and its activities. Researchers have not commonly considered and documented the fishers' personal accounts of their accidents. This study focuses upon the fishers' own words and their accumulated experiences. These create the foundation of the fishers' attributed causes of fishing accidents. The fishers' imbedded beliefs of the attributed causes of fishing accidents influence their approach to accident prevention. In order to "steer an accurate course" for 46 prevention education, an awareness of the fishers' attributions of accidents was an appropriate starting position. The focus of this research was the fishers' subjective experience, and as such, was underpinned by phenomenology. M y decision to use a qualitative methodology was vital to support this epistemological stance. I brought to this study my own collection of conceptual baggage (Kirby & McKenna , 1989). I acknowledge that I did not enter into this study as an objective observer but as an individual who has a strong belief that there are better ways to prevent the suffering and social costs caused through occupational accidents. I am employed with the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia but my beliefs go beyond the bureaucratic rhetoric of the executive summary in the annual report. I have worked in positions that cope with the aftermath of occupational accidents and currently work as a health and safety educator, attempting to help prevent accidents before they occur. From my experiences, I felt that more attention should be given to understanding the workers' insights. I choose professional fishing because of personal interest. I grew up in a family involved in boat building and design specifically, and tied to many aspects of the marine world in general. In addition to boat building, I have relatives who are professional fishers. Also , I am a lifetime recreational boater. Most research and literature about fishing accidents has been accumulated without input from fishers. Since my employer was the W C B , I was aware the potential participant might perceive an unequal power relationship (i.e., fear being "written up" for safety violations, etc.). I carefully informed each potential participant of my employer and stated that this study was not on behalf of the W C B , nor did I have any input 47 regarding the writing of "orders." The participants in the study were not "put o f f by my employment. However, I was still aware I was not "one of them," employment relationship aside. I was an academic female who had never been a professional fisher. I believe the participants gave me leeway on this, in part, because of my family's long time involvement in the marine industry. Also the fishers appeared to appreciate the fact that I was prepared to invest time and energy in listening to their stories. In many cases, participants expressed frustration that they felt "no one" ever asked for their opinion or took time to listen to them directly. Therefore, in deciding upon a suitable research methodology, I realized it was essential the process recognize the importance of the participants' voice and in no way be, or be perceived, as disempowering or "othering." M y goal for this study was to gather data that contained fully-rounded descriptions of fishers' attributed causes of fishing accidents. These information-rich descriptions have the potential to point the direction for future research. They also reveal implications for prevention education as well as accident documentation. Accordingly, I concluded the methodology must generate a portrayal of the data, including the situations and the context. Strategy This research involved a naturalistic inquiry, in which the prime data source was interviews. Transcripts were coded, organized, and analyzed with the use of a conceptual framework. This was supported by specific strategies designed to assist in the "trustworthiness" of the study. 48 Sampling Process Issues The participants of this study consisted of 12 professional fishers who worked on the British Columbia coast. They either lived in the greater Vancouver area or came to the area regularly as part of their business activities. Only fishers who spoke and understood English were interviewed. Fishers who only spoke languages other than English would have significantly complicated the interview and analysis processes. Both the nature of the study and the methodology involved demanded that the participants be well informed and that they will ingly volunteered to participate. It was essential that the participants felt no obligation to participate. The nature of the study required that the participants wanted to have their voice heard and that this selection of participants were able to provide full description of their attributed causes of accidents. Also , the study was not focused upon the generalization of results (external validity). Rather, internal validity or credibility as proposed by Lincoln and Guba (1985) was of central importance. I paid careful attention to ensure that no ethical concerns would arise because of my employment relationship with the W C B . I informed potential participants of my employer's name, and specified that this study was not being conducted at the request of the W C B , nor were there any ramifications for the participant in his or her choice to (or not to) participate in this study. A l l participants had experienced either a personal occupational injury or been involved in a maritime emergency incident. I made the decision not to interview any individuals who had been survivors of an incident where other persons had lost their 49 lives. One of the benefits for the participants was their personal reflection and consideration of safety habits; however, I did not want to request participants to relive and examine extremely traumatic incidents that had involved the loss of friends or relatives. I am not a clinical psychologist or a therapist, and did not want to enter into situations that might require or be misinterpreted as trauma counselling. Strategy I employed a purposeful sampling strategy in my selection of the participants in this study. I searched for and found information-rich participants through the following means: (1) referral through various fishing and marine groups, such as the Pacific Gillnetters Association, the B . C . Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, the G u l f of Georgia Cannery Museum, and the United Fishermen's and Al l i ed Workers' Union; (2) prior contact with myself or my family through boat building or marine activities; (3) initial direct contact at fishing docks; (4) referral from other participants. I considered the individuals to be "professional" fishers i f they had worked on board a commercial fishing vessel and received remuneration for their work. At the outset of this study, I had set a minimum of 2 years of experience for crewmembers and 10 years of experience for skippers. The actual crewmember participants in the study had a minimum of 5 years of experience and the skippers had a minimum of 20 years of experience. Potential participants who did not meet these criteria, could not communicate readily in English, or were the survivor of an incident that involved the loss of another person's life were not included. I contacted potential participants either by letter first (Appendix A ) and then by telephone follow-up. I requested their participation in the study after I was satisfied that 50 each potential participant had understood my description of the study, and the reason why I was asking them to participate. I also explained my employment relationship with W C B (as indicated under Issues above), and specifically what would be his or her involvement as a participant. We then mutually decided upon an interview time and location convenient to the participant. During the process of obtaining participants, I was aware o f selecting future participants who would enrich the fullness of variety from which the participants came in terms of: ethnic origin, age, position of crew or skipper, gender, gear type, and size of boat. Once a varied selection of consenting participants were identified, I did not continue to seek additional participants. Interview Process Issues I. decided on an interview format for data collection because of the epistemological stance of this research being phenomenology. The goal of the research was to allow the participants an opportunity to review and explore their attributed causes of fishing accidents. This required that they describe their experiences and consider the events surrounding an occupational personal injury or marine accident. Each of their stories and explanations is unique. The interview format had to allow each participant to present his or her own story as well as encourage rapport between the participant and myself. A t the same time, the format had to supply sufficient direction to centre the responses on fishing accidents and surrounding events. The wording of the questions had to speak to the fishers' experiences and elicit thoughtful responses. The format had to make transparent the fact 51 that I was not a professional fisher but an individual with an interest in the occupational health and safety of fishers and with a life time connection to the marine world. The format had to address my concerns regarding any perceived power issues due to my employment relationship with the W C B and ensure that all participants had an opportunity to discuss and satisfy their concerns. The nature of the interview process required that the individual feel comfortable. It needed to take place in a surrounding where he or she could speak freely. Therefore, I allowed the participant to have his or her choice of interview setting, so as to encourage a relaxed atmosphere. The interviews took place at either the participant's home, their boat, or my home. The only setting that I discouraged was a restaurant or coffee shop, due to the significant amount of background noise and the impersonal surroundings with numerous strangers. It was important that I accurately record the participants' responses. This was particularly crucial because of the qualitative and inductive nature of this research. This research required I ensure the data used was in fact the participants' own words and phrases. It would not have been suitable to take notes and paraphrase or piece together my interpretation of their words as this would have opened the data to distortion. Strategy Before beginning the interview, I reviewed the consent form (Appendix B) with each participant. The consent form outlined in plain language the purpose of the study, the participant's right to discontinue at any time, the extent of involvement anticipated, and the maintenance of the participant's anonymity. I then obtained the participant's signature. 52 In the interview itself, I used a semi-structured interview schedule (Appendix C) . The interview schedule consisted of three sections: biographical and background questions, questions relating to the fisher's specific accident knowledge from real life examples, and questions that assisted in focusing the attribution of causes to the accident example. The semi-structured nature of the interview schedule allowed for flexibility and gave the participants options to fully explore their individual stories. It furnished the participants with a sense of direction over the process. A t the same time it assisted the interview process by supplying some guidelines. I developed the interview schedule following two pilot interviews and an extensive review of the literature. The interviews were audio tape recorded. I made the participants aware that they could stop the tape deck at any time and discuss issues off the record, or completely discontinue the interview. I also informed the participants that I would be transcribing the tapes and only my committee members and myself would have access to the data. A l l names, including the name of the boat, would be changed so participants would not be identifiable. Rel iabi l i ty and Val id i ty or Trustworthiness Issues Critics of qualitative research have often required qualitative research be judged by traditional positivist criteria used for quantitative research. I have applied constructs more suitable to the naturalistic phenomenological perspective of this research rather than constrain this research strictly to the conventional positivist paradigm (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The terminologies used by the traditional approach are: reliability and 53 validity. I have followed the approach of Lincoln and Guba (1985) and Marshall and Rossman (1989) and instead applied the concept of "truth value" or "'trustworthiness.'" The traditional notion of reliability functions from the premise that the world is static and unchanging and that therefore, logically, an inquiry could be replicated. This is problematic for naturalistic research. In the qualitative naturalist approach the assumption is that the world is continually changing, therefore replication is not a concept to which qualitative work aspires. Instead, the approach that I have taken is that of "trustworthiness" of the data and constructs (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 290). To what extent would separate researchers ascertain the same findings? Also , to what extent would another researcher agree with the application of the data in the same manner as the first researcher, i f presented with a set of previously defined constructs. These are issues of "consistency" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In this study, I coded the fishers' attributed causes of accidents and then placed each into its own category that consisted of one "attributed cause." I then situated each category in one of the four quadrants of attributions on the framework. The issue of consistency addresses the following question: I f I coded a fisher's idea in a transcript (e.g., lines 2-4 on page 3) and placed it in the category of Economic Pressure, and that category was situated in the external/stable quadrant of the framework, would another researcher concur? Instead of internal validity, I have chosen to apply Lincoln and Guba's alternative construct of "credibility" (1985, p. 296). Credibility is the extent to which the researcher has accurately identified and defined the subject. The intent of credibility is to clearly illustrate how the researcher performed the study in a manner that confirms this accuracy. Are the findings credible to the people who are the participants of the study? Do the 54 fishers' phrases, that I have taken as excerpts from the transcripts, accurately stand for their attributed causes of accidents? With regard to external validity, Lincoln and Guba propose the construct of "transferability." They place the responsibility of establishing the applicability of transferring the findings to a new context more so with the investigator who wishes to make that transfer than with the first researcher. Despite transferability being a weakness of qualitative research, the researcher can adopt strategies through which this can be improved. One such strategy involves employing "triangulation," in which the researcher brings together more than one data source and data collection strategy and focuses them on a single point and through this strives for cross-validation (Marshall & Rossman, 1989). The following section outlines the strategies that I used to address each of the above issues. Strategy I did not approach this study with the goal of it being replicable in the future. M y intent was that this research be exploratory and descriptive and that the fullness of the participants' attributed causes of accidents be understood within the social context. The design strategies included thorough record keeping and well organized data. Additional design strategies used included making explicit the following: my role as researcher, the participant sampling strategies, the social context (as outlined in Chapters 1 and 2), the interview (data collection) strategies, the treatment of the data, the application of the constructs to the data, and the analytical premises (the foundational theoretical framework as outlined in Chapter 3, and the analysis of the transcripts in Chapter 6). 55 Strategies that I employed in data collection to increase consistency included the following: the use of an audio tape recorder so that the participants' exact words were available for analysis, the use of verbatim accounts from the participants including quotations from the documents, the use of low-inference descriptors which involved precise and detailed descriptions of the fishers and their situational context. Also , to increase the trustworthiness and consistency in the development of the categories, the coding, and the placement of the data on the conceptual framework, I utilized the assistance of a research partner who critically questioned my analysis. In the case of the research partner, I provided her with three whole transcripts as wel l as the causes used in the data analysis and the decision criteria explaining why certain attributed causes were in each category. I requested that she read through the transcripts and highlight any phrases that she felt dealt with the fishers' attributed causes of an accident and then return to the highlighted transcript and note beside the highlighted section the category to which she felt that attribution belonged. I then compared these three transcripts with my coding of the transcripts. This same research partner also contributed to the analysis through her expert reflective and critical questioning of my concepts. The research partner contributed her perspective on an ongoing basis during the analysis process. Wi th regard to the credibility of the study, the strategies that I employed included a lengthy data collection period of one year from October 1996 to October 1997. Another strategy was my use of the fishers' language in the interviews and our adjoining discussions. I also conducted the in-depth interviews in surroundings that were part of their real life experiences (on board the boat) and/or were relaxed and private (the 56 participant's choice of his or her home or my home). I completed a review of my own "conceptual baggage" by writing out my potential biases around the topic of the study before beginning the study itself. A n d I maintained a reflexive journal and exposed the research process to questioning and re-evaluation. I also obtained a participant review by two of the study's fishers. They commented and gave feedback on my analysis and interpretation of the interviews. These strategies were intended to assist in increasing the agreement between myself and the participants on the description and analysis of the data and to help guard against making inaccurate inferences about the meaning of the transcripts. For triangulation, during my analysis of the data I took into consideration a comparison of Binkley 's (1994) study with my participants' perspectives. The reader w i l l recall from a summary of Binkley 's study in Chapter 2 that her study is a rare example of documented fishers' stories from the east coast of Canada. Also , when designing my research, I decided to interview multiple participants instead of focusing on the attributed causes of one fisher from a solitary life history approach. The use of a different source of data and multiple informants strengthened the data through corroboration. Treatment of the Data Issues I w i l l outline the strategies that I employed in the management of the data in this portion of the methodology chapter. The management of the quantities of data quickly becomes a major issue when using a qualitative inquiry approach with interviews as the data source. I set up a data management system in order to keep the physical data well organized so that I could efficiently find specific attributed causes presented by each 57 participant. This system also ensured the confidentiality of the data and assisted in the analysis process. Strategy I set up a research log that contained a list of the transcript computer file names, and a list o f the participants' demographic information. This research log listed the participants by a pseudonym. I held a master list that included the participants' real names in a secure location until the completion of this study. Only I had access to the master list, which I then destroyed at the conclusion of the study. Directly after each interview, I made notes in a field journal about highlights of the interview along with my thoughts and interpretations. I transcribed and printed the audiotapes after each interview. I transcribed the tapes myself. This offered two significant benefits: (1) the opportunity to immediately review and re-experience the interview, and (2) very accurate transcripts. During the transcription process, I kept a transcription and analysis journal. In this journal I made notes of ideas, themes, and inductive concepts that came to mind as I typed and re-listened to the participants' words. Next, I photocopied the transcript onto coloured paper. Each participant's transcript received a different colour of paper. On the coloured transcript, I read and highlighted the key phrases and concepts that contained the participant's insights into his or her attributed causes of the accident. These key phrases and concepts were then analyzed with regard to the themes that they contained. I wi l l review the emergence of the themes and categories of causes in Chapter 6 under the section titled Analyzing the Transcripts. I coded the participant's phrases that explained their attributed causes of accidents. After copying all the highlighting and coding onto an extra "keeping" copy, I 58 cut up the first coded transcript. The cut up and coded phrases were then adhered to a poster-sized reproduction of the Orienting Framework as shown in Figure 1. This framework was developed from attribution theory. I w i l l discuss the application of the categories of causes to the four quadrants of attributions in greater detail in Chapter 6 under the section titled Charting the Framework. During the coding, cutting, and pasting process, I added to my analysis journal as concepts and themes came to mind. A s I completed the steps outlined above, the analysis that was interwoven into these steps shaped the subsequent interviews. In this manner, I was able to work with the data and continuously shape my interpretations of the data, reaffirming some interpretations and discovering alternative explanations for others. Once I had completed the above steps for all transcripts I transferred and summarized the entries onto a condensed table format for ease of overall viewing (Table 1). I then returned to a fresh copy of each participant's coloured transcript and again highlighted the transcripts, primarily repeating the original highlighting, but this time with a "refined" eye, being aware of the data analysis completed to this point. I cut up these transcripts and placed together all the attributed causes that belonged to a single category. This compiled all 12 participants' attributed causes that spoke to a single category and allowed me to view each category as a collective group. Structure of the Results This study focused upon the perspective of the professional fisher regarding his or her attributed causes of accidents. Chapter 5 describes the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, the gear type, size and construction of the participants' boats. I also offer some insights into what it was like to interview the fishers. 60 Chapter 6 reveals how I analyzed the transcripts. I present a description of how the categories of causes emerged from the data, and the placement of the categories of causes onto the four quadrants of the framework. I used the framework to chart a picture of the data to assist in the overall visualization and interpretation of the data. I present the outcomes of the strategies used regarding the trustworthiness of the study. Chapter 7 presents a summary of the fishers' 10 most frequently discussed categories of causes. I include representative phrases from the fishers' interviews to assist the reader in understanding the context of the fishers' own thoughts and words. Chapter 8 examines the how the findings of this study have implications for prevention education and looks at approaches that might assist the fishers' in assessing the risks of their occupation. Chapter 9 reviews the limitations of this study and suggest future research. Summary This chapter presented the methodology used in this research. I discussed issues around the suitability of the methodology, the sampling process, the interview process, the validity and reliability (trustworthiness) of the data, and the treatment of the data. I also outlined the strategy used for each of these sections. Chapter 5 presents an overview of the 12 participants of this study, and their interviews. Chapter 6 describes the details of my analysis of the data. 61 C H A P T E R 5: T H E PARTICIPANTS AND T H E INTERVIEW The intent of this chapter is to acquaint the reader with the participants of this study. They were 12 professional fishers who lived in southern British Columbia and worked on any portion of the British Columbia coast. First, I present the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, as well as some individual interview highlights. Next, I review the interview process to provide the reader with a sense of the contextual factors that were part of my interviews with these professional fishers. Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Interview Highlights Overview The twelve participants were all professional fishers who either lived or were available to be interviewed in the Greater Vancouver area. Ten participants lived in the Greater Vancouver area. One lived on the west coast of Vancouver Island, but frequently came to work in North Vancouver. One lived on one of the G u l f Islands and came to Vancouver with the fish boat to unload and sell fish. There were 10 males and 2 females. The age range for the males was from 21 to 72 years. The ages of the two females were 32 and 55 years. The fishers' ethnic backgrounds were varied. Three of the participants were First Nations, and two were Japanese. The remaining seven participants comprised one individual from each of the following ethnic backgrounds: Yugoslavian, French Canadian, British/Newfoundlander, British, Nova Scotian, Vietnamese, and Norwegian. The years of fishing experience ranged from 5 to 43 years. The prior generations of professional fishing ranged from participants who had no prior relative in the fishing 62 industry to participants with virtually every prior and current relative playing some role in professional fishing. Seven of the participants stated that they worked in the position of skipper. Two stated that they worked in the position of crewmember. Three stated that they actively held the position of both skipper and crewmember, depending on the particular boat they were working on at a given time. The participants currently fished on boats from 30 to 77 feet long and with gear types that included seiners, gillnetters, trailers, longliners, and a trawler and a trapper. The construction material of the boats included steel, fibreglass, wood, and aluminium. The participants all possessed a good command of the English language. A l l had experienced some form of professional fishing accident(s) or had been witness to an accident(s). I specifically decided not to interview fishers who were survivors of an accident that had involved a fatality. Tables 2 and 3 present an overview of the details regarding the participants' ethnic background information and the details of the boats and gear-type information. Case Vignettes A l l names of the participants are pseudonyms. If the name of a participant's boat is mentioned at any time in this thesis, it is also a pseudonym, as the small community of fishers on the west coast of British Columbia can readily identify one another through their boats. Ken Thomas: Ken was a 45-year-old male, with an extensive family history of professional fishing, including prior generations back in his family's original country of origin, Yugoslavia. He skippered a 72-foot steel seiner as a partial owner in conjunction with one of the large West Coast packing companies. He had a crew of five when fishing salmon and six when fishing herring. Ken had personally experienced an injury that took 63 Table 2. Summary of the Ethnic Background and Additional Socio-cultural Details of the Participants. No. of Ethnic Skipper Yrs. Pseudonym Background or Crew Fishing Age Family Attachment to Fishing Sex Ken Thomas Yugoslavian Skipper 30 years 45 Extensive, many generations, including family in Yugoslavia Male Ed Quinn British/Nfld. Skipper 40 years 72 Over 100 years of family fishing on B.C. west coast. Not in Britain. Male Rod Quiggley British Skipper 43 years 56 Grandfather & father fishers since 1930's. Not in Britain. Male Peter Lightheart Nova Scotian Skipper 20 years 38 Uncle, brother fishers. Not father. Not others in past generations. Male Quinn Jackson First Nations Skipper 40 years 58 Extensive, all male relatives fishers for many generations. Male Barb Zenn First Nations Crew/Ski pper 38 years 55 Extensive, all male and some female relatives fishers for many generations. Female Paul Zenn First Nations Crew/Ski pper 23 years 37 Extensive, all male and some female relatives fishers for many generations. Male Hal Matsumoto Japanese Skipper 45 years 59 Father fisher, but not prior generations in Japan. Male Noreen White French Canadian Crew 5 years 32 No prior family history of fishing. Female Edmund Fumano Vietnamese Crew 6 years 21 Father fisher. Prior family history of fishing in Vietnam. Male Liam Osaka Japanese Skipper 28 years 36 Grandfather & father fishers on B.C. west coast. Not in Japan. Male Walt Pearson Norwegian Crew/Ski pper 5 years 24 Father, brother fishers in Canada. Grandfather some in Norway. Male off the tip of one of his fingers, and involved his being flown off the boat to the nearest hospital. He focused on economic pressure and pressure from the company he worked for as large factors that caused his mind to be distracted and allowed the incident to occur. He repeatedly spoke of the stress that he was under as the skipper of this large boat, in terms of his responsibility both to the company and to his crew. On the one hand, he commented that his need to be successful was for his own personal satisfaction, and on the other hand, he made several comments about the demands from the company to come back with a good catch and the posting of the top producers at the company Christmas 64 Table 3. Summary of the Boats, and Gear Type(s) Used and the Species of Fish(es) Caught by the Participants. Pseudonym Size of Boat Construction Material GearType(s) Species of Fish(es) Additional Notes Ken Thomas 72 feet Steel Seiner Salmon/Herring Ed Quinn 40 feet Fiberglass Gillnetter/Troller Salmon/Herring Rod Quiggley 38 feet Wood Gillnetter Salmon Peter Lightheart 50 feet Aluminium Dragger (Trawler) Various Originally fished on the east coast of Canada Quinn Jackson 37 feet Wood Trailer Salmon/Herring Barb Zenn 30 feet Wood Gillnetter Salmon/Herring Paul Zenn 52 feet Fiberglass Seiner Halibut/Salmon 30 feet Fiberglass Gillnetter Herring Hal Matsumoto 42 feet Wood Troller/Longliner Salmon/Halibut Has also fished: salmon & herring on a gillnetter and shrimp on a dragger Noreen White 77 feet Fiberglass Troller/Longliner Tuna Also fishes: black cod & halibut on a troller/longliner Edmund Fumano 38 feet Fiberglass Gillnetter/Troller Salmon/Herring Also fishes: shrimp on a trapper Liam Osaka 54 feet Wood Trailer Salmon/Tuna Walt Pearson 72 feet Steel Trapper Black Cod Fishes on various 37 feet Wood Gillnetter Salmon/Herring boats including a seiner party. He expressed the company pressures in terms of "the big threat... nice way to send your boys off to battle". Near the end of the interview Ken mentioned the idea of luck as being a part of the accident. Ken was articulate and friendly during our interview. He admitted to being a "hot head" with his crew but stated that he kept the same crewmembers for many years and they didn't have any long-term problems with his occasional blow ups. Ed Quinn: E d was a 72-year-old male who proudly informed me that his family had over 100 years of fishing on the west coast of British Columbia. His family had not been involved in fishing in their country of origin. His great-grandfather came from 65 Britain and settled in Newfoundland, where he worked as a fisher. His grandfather came out to British Columbia. A s a baby, E d was brought from the hospital to the family home in N e w Westminster in his father's fish boat. Ed first fished with his father when he was 13 years old. He learned all of his fishing knowledge on the job. Other male members of his family are active in professional fishing. E d owned and skippered a 40-foot fibreglass gillnetter/troller. He states that in his years of fishing he has had numerous close calls, but only one "real accident". His accident involved a grounding in the Fraser River, Steveston Harbour area. E d had a new sounder on board and was "fooling" with it. A freighter was going down the channel at the same time. The combination of events lead to the grounding, but from Ed's perspective he blamed his knowledge, by virtue of his over-confidence. He summarized the cause of the accident as, "Stupid. Just plain stupid". E d stated that maintenance and the overall organizational approach to fishing trips were extremely important aspects of avoiding accidents. He was articulate and friendly, and appeared to enjoy the opportunity to review some of his fishing history, especially regarding his family connections to fishing. Rod Quiggley: Rod was a 56-year-old male whose family originally came from Britain. Both his father and grandfather had fished on the British Columbia coast since the 1930's. The family had not fished back in Britain. Rod grew up on a floating home on the Fraser River. He started fishing in an open skiff with oars, rowing out and coming back in with the tide. In more recent years he skippered a 38-foot wooden gillnetter. He had sold his boat in 1995 through the Canadian Federal Government "buy back" program and felt strongly about the need for some fishers to step aside. Rod was very talkative and wanted to ensure that I obtained as much information as possible. He had many ideas 66 on the political situation in the fishing industry as well as general concepts regarding safety. I interviewed Rod twice because during the first interview I had the sense that he was constantly steering me away from obtaining a clear sense about an extremely dangerous overboard situation he had mentioned. I sent Rod a thank-you note, as I did to all my participants, and suggested in the note that I might want some additional clarification. Rod initiated the second contact with me and offered to give a second interview. A t the beginning of our second meeting, Rod volunteered that he had been avoiding telling me the full details of his overboard situation. In the weeks between our first and second interviews, he had brought himself to tell his wife about the incident and now he was totally comfortable with telling me the full details. In the end he described how the buttons on his jacket got wrapped up in the gillnet that was paying out the back of the boat. His foot also became entangled in the lead line and he was pulled overboard, being pulled down by the net. He was the only person on board. He feels there was some luck involved in the drum getting "hung-up," which tightened the cork line and allowed him to pull himself back up into the boat. His repeatedly mentioned issues of stress, economic pressures, and competition as being the major factors that lead to the overboard situation occurring. Rod realized that he could have lost his life in this event. Peter Lightheart: Peter was a 38-year-old male whose uncle and brother had done some professional fishing. His father and past generations o f relatives had not worked in the fishing industry. Peter grew up in Nova Scotia and originally fished on the east coast of Canada. He came to the West Coast in 1990 because he "could see the writing on the wal l " for East Coast fishing and because increasing government rules were causing him significant problems. Peter skippered an aluminium 50-foot dragger 67 (trawler) and had a crew of three in addition to himself. The two main differences that he saw between the east and west coasts were the fish species and the size of the fishing grounds. The West Coast fishing grounds are very small compared to the East Coast. From his perspective the advantage of the West Coast was being so much closer to land and having many good natural harbours to get to relatively quickly. In the two close-call incidents that Peter described, one on the east coast and one on the west coast, both involved weather as a major factor. On the east coast the weather was predicted to be bad but not as bad as it actually ended up, and on the west coast the storm had not been predicted. Peter felt that the weather predicting on the west coast was extremely unreliable. Peter was articulate and focused on staying on topic of safety and accidents. He was the only participant who had both east and west coast experience. Quinn Jackson: Quinn was a 58-year-old male with virtually all current and past male relatives involved in fishing. He came from a First Nations background. He lived and fished on the west coast of Vancouver Island with his tribe. He travelled to North Vancouver regularly for business. Quinn had been out on a fish boat since he was two years old and had worked originally as a crewmember. Currently he was the skipper, usually with two crewmembers (who were also family members). However, his 37-foot wooden troller sustained irreparable fire damage while at the dock, just three months prior to the interview. Quinn was well spoken and was obviously proud of his family's heritage and involvement in fishing through the generations. He repeatedly mentioned that he and his tribe (tribe is Quinn's choice of words) always travelled in groups of boats and that he saw this as a strong safety factor. In addition, members of his tribe all tried to carry similar equipment so that they could assist one another with emergency repairs. In 68 an incident that he experienced with an engine breakdown, both of these factors (tribespeople nearby, and with spare parts) made the incident basically non-threatening. He told of a number of other people's boating incidents where he found it incredible that the other people did not travel in boat groups of two or more. The sense of tribe was very strong. Quinn spoke the word "we," meaning his other tribespeople, as opposed to just those people on his boat. Barb Zenn: Barb was a 55-year-old female from a First Nations background. She grew up on the north bank of the Fraser River and was still l iving there within the territory of her tribe. A l l of her male relatives had been involved in fishing for as long back as she could remember. Some of her female relatives also participated in fishing, usually as she had, with their father or husband. Barb was now functioning in the positions of both skipper and crew, depending on the circumstances of the moment. The boat that Barb currently worked on was a 30-foot wooden gillnetter. I had originally contacted Barb to request her participation in my study and she had readily agreed. She indicated that Paul (her son) would also be a good participant, so I interviewed them both. They were the only participants in the study who were directly related It was clear to me that there was a very real sense of family ties, and a feeling of the affection between mother and son. The majority of fishing that Barb did was on the Fraser River, in the Pitt Meadows area. Barb mentioned that the fishers keep an eye on one another, and stay in contact by radio, and because they are fishing on the river, they are closer at hand (than those who fished on the ocean). One of her main concerns was the lack of navigational courtesy, especially on the part of some tugboat skippers, and the potentially serious hazard this imposes on the fishers. 69 Paul Zenn: Paul was a 37-year-old male, and Barb's first-born. Paul states he has been fishing ever since he was born. He gained extensive experience through his family. He currently fishes aboard his own 30-foot fibreglass gillnetter, and also runs a herring skiff on the river. He had fished for the two prior seasons as a crewmember in the position of skiff man aboard a 52-foot fibreglass seiner. Paul was still very disturbed about an incident that occurred on the seiner. He was running the skiff and another crewmember got his leg caught between the skiff and the seiner and sustained a crushing injury to his ankle. Paul blamed himself for the incident, but he repeatedly stated that all the other crewmembers, including the skipper, told him it wasn't his fault. After this incident Paul and the skipper changed a procedure to try to prevent a similar situation. In a separate incident, aboard his herring skiff on the Fraser River, Paul's crewmember got his arm tangled in the net and twisted around the beater bar. In response to this, Paul changed where he stands in the skiff so he can reach the controls faster. With both incidents, Paul indicated that the person who was injured had been careless. Hal Matsumoto: Hal was a 59-year-old male of Japanese decent. He came to Canada when he was 17 years old. His father was a fisher, and he passed away when Hal was 19 so Hal took over his father's boat and started to fish on his own. Hal 's family had not been fishers in the generations prior to his father. Hal was the skipper of a 42-foot wooden troller/longliner. Hal had two sons who had fished with him but he was encouraging them to obtain university degrees and they were both enrolled in university. In 45 years of fishing Hal had not sustained any significant personal injury. He described an incident where he struck the bow of his boat on a cl i ff rock. This occurred because he fell asleep at the wheel, and also because of a failure of the batteries so that the auto pilot 70 wasn't working properly. This incident caused Hal to reassess his current abilities, telling himself, "you not young anymore, you gotta be careful." He attributed the accident to his being overtired, and to trying to get more money for his catch by taking it to Vancouver instead of selling it in Prince Rupert. Despite the problem with the battery, he was adamant that his maintenance schedule was not a factor, as he stated he had been servicing the alternator every second year and was proud of the high standards he had for the maintenance of his boat. Noreen White: Noreen was a 32-year-old female of French Canadian descent. There were no fishers in her family before her. She had formal training in the hospitality business, and had only started to fish five years ago as a result of her relationship with the skipper. She worked in the position of crewmember and cook. The current boat that Noreen was fishing on was a 77-foot fibreglass troller/longliner. The boat had previously been working as a packer until recently purchased by this skipper. He had refitted it to fish for tuna, which included putting on a freezer unit. Noreen had returned from the first tuna trip. On board for the trip were the skipper, Noreen, and two other crewmembers. The boat was still at the fish buyer's dock, having just unloaded the catch. Noreen explained that they had experienced a horrendous storm and she was extremely glad to be back. They had encountered at least 80 to 100-knot winds and waves of 100 feet, perhaps 200 feet, so large it really didn't matter, they were in a "white out." She mentioned the weather warnings of " E l Nino ," and that she and another crewmember had expressed some concerns at the outset of the trip. She acknowledged but played down that their boat was one of the last, in a fleet of 42 independent boats, to remain out fishing. They remained on the fishing grounds despite the weather bearing down on them, because the 71 fishing was good and the crew knew that the skipper had made a big investment in the boat and gear. Noreen attributed the dangers of the situation to the weather and in her final analysis felt that they made it back alive because of the skipper's seamanship skills. She also, stated: "Guess when your number's up, your number's up, and ours wasn't up yet." Edmund Fumano: Edmund was a 21-year-old male, and the youngest participant in this study. He was the oldest child in a Vietnamese family and fished with his father. Sometimes his younger brother or his mother would fish with his father. In Vietnam his uncles were also fishers, as were some past generations in the family. His father's boat was a 38-foot fibreglass gillnetter/troller. Edmund was talkative. He described a couple of incidents and then gradually relaxed during the interview and recalled a significant incident. He rolled up his pant leg and showed me a deep scar that ran almost right around his leg and two to three inches wide. He had stood on the rope of the shrimping net and his foot got caught in the rope and started to pull him overboard. His father managed to put the engine in reverse and get him free. He attributes the accident to having just woken up and also from being tired from fishing for four days in a row. During the interview Edmond mentioned fatigue several times and was very wil l ing to blame himself as careless. Liam Osakza: L i am was a 36-year-old male of Japanese descent, however he was born in Bel la Bel la and grew up on the West Coast. His father was a fisher and L i a m joined his father when he was 10 or 11 years old. His grandfather was a packer. L i a m was the skipper of his 54-foot wooden trailer. L iam was articulate and clearly had done a lot of thinking about issues of safety, especially following the incident in which he lost 72 his previous boat. He had actually become somewhat of a safety "ambassador." He encouraged other skippers to upgrade their knowledge, and extended more responsibility to his own crewmembers in an effort to increase their skills. L iam described that the boat that he lost was 47-feet long and very narrow, and was known to be a "top heavy vessel" with stability problems. He had owned that boat for about 10 years, and it was his father's boat before L i a m took it over, so he was totally familiar with the boat. He wasn't totally familiar with the area where he was sitting at harbour. Although he knew the weather was bad, after a discussion with his wife and two crewmembers he decided to try to head out and fish. The wind came at them stronger than he had expected, and a combination of other factors such as the inherent instability of the design of the boat and some of the tanks being half full (increased free surface effect) caused the boat to go over, take on water, and sink. A l l four people on board were safely rescued. Following that incident, L iam took his Fishing Master III course and additional safety courses. Walt Pearson: Walt was a 24-year-old male. His family originated from Norway, where his grandfather had done a limited amount of fishing. His father and brother were both fishers on the B . C . West Coast. His uncle was also involved in the fishing industry as a ship builder. Walt fished on several boats as a crewmember, most often on a 72-foot steel trapper. He also was a skipper on his own 37-foot wooden gillnetter. Walt had many experiences and different incidents to share. He offered some insights as to the causes of the incidents, but frequently came to the conclusion that "it's just one of those things" and included luck as part of the equation. He told me of the body blows that he took as part of working in rough weather. They worked in the rough weather as they were tired of waiting for the weather to improve and had to get out there 73 and make some money. In a different incident, he witnessed a shackle hitting a crewmember in the head and felt this was basically a "freak" accident. He also saw another crew member get struck by a knot coming through a block and felt again it was a freak accident. Finally he described an accident where a log punched a hole in an older wooden live-aboard boat. The crew had difficulty getting the pump started but otherwise they knew what to do properly. Because they had other boats around them, they were never in any danger of loss of life. He would prefer not to work on that boat again because it was old and not well maintained. Interview Process The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze fishers' attributed causes of accidents. Fishers' attributions are part of a naturalistic social process and as such, exist as part of the larger contextual environment. Therefore, I would be remiss in my role as the researcher i f I did not give the reader a more complete understanding of the context within which these interviews were held, and within which the participants were functioning. In aid of this, I present a summary of my field notes as described through the context and the interview schedule. Context I interviewed the participants in the location that was most convenient for them, listed as follows:'four interviews at a participant's home, four interviews at a participant's association office (fishing or tribal association), two interviews at my home, and two at a participant's boat. Each of the locations had its benefits and its detractions. The home locations resulted in the least interruptions. They were not as rich in additional professional fishing information; however, they provided a relaxed setting. The 74 association offices offered insights into the background support given to the participant through the association. They also gave an understanding of the political issues the participants were trying to overcome. The boat locations afforded a naturalistic setting for the interviews. In one instance, the participant and I were the only people on board during the interview therefore we had no interruptions yet had the benefit of the participant being able to point to locations on the boat during his recounting of his accident. In the other case the participant was a crewmember and the skipper was on the dock area outside the boat. Although the skipper was actively engaged in other activities during the interview, I wondered i f the skipper's general presence caused the participant any hesitations. A s a result of an invitation extended through one of the associations, I attended a "special meeting" for association members. The meeting offered an opportunity for the fishers to talk with representatives of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans about the changes in the West Coast fisheries. This meeting provided a rich source of grassroots issues and feelings around the significant political changes in the fishing industry. One of the issues that loomed over the participants during the period of this study was the changes occurring in the political arena regarding the "fate" of the West Coast fishing industry. The government rules and regulations were in such a state of fluctuation that the participants viewed them as an unstable cause. The fishers presented a sense of upheaval, distrust, and anger around the political changes taking place in the fishing industry. This came through during the participants' interviews and some participants even attributed particular causes of the accidents to government rules and regulations. 75 A t the start of this study, several of my associates who were not familiar with the fishing industry asked questions and gave me warnings about trying to interview macho, foul mouthed, fishers. The negative stereotypes prevailed. Contrary to the warnings, I found each of my participants to be helpful, and encouraging. More so, they were extremely open in their discussions of their injury and accident events, and regarding their insights into their world of fishing. I believe the fact that I was female made it easier and less threatening for the participants to enter into a personal discussion. Had I been a male interviewer and researcher, I believe there would have been a higher level of concern about "letting down one's guard," and the need to keep up a front. Interview Schedule I developed the interview schedule for this study after completion of two pilot interviews. I did not include the pilot interviews as part of this study data. The questions I used in this study's interview schedule initially emerged out of the literature and were then revised following the initial two pilot interviews. The questions fell into three broad categories, socio/biographical background questions, specific "real life" accident examples, and the participants' attributed causes of the accident(s). During the interviews, I found the most effective approach was to move through the three broad topic areas and allow the participant to describe his or her experiences. If the participant was finding it difficult to recall details I would then prompt with additional questions. To get to some issues comfortably, such as drugs or alcohol, the list worked well , as then the questions were simply part of a standard list and did not sound judgmental. 76 Overall the interview schedule worked well and the main adjustments I made were in my diligence in keeping the focus of the interview on the participants' attributed causes of the accident(s). Summary Chapter 5 has presented an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, the basic information about their vessel and gear-type, case vignettes, and the interview process from my perspective. The intent in providing this contextual information was to assist the reader in seeing the larger picture with the hope that the reader w i l l have a sense of familiarity with the participants. Chapter 6 presents the analysis of the data. 77 C H A P T E R 6: A N A L Y S I S O F T H E D A T A The purpose of this chapter is to outline the steps taken in analyzing the data and to review the results of the trustworthiness strategies. First, I describe how the fishers' attributed causes of accidents formed the categories of cause. Next, I present a picture of how the categories of cause were placed onto the four quadrants of attributions of the conceptual framework. I used a conceptual framework as the foundation on which to portray the categories of cause from the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. The framework was created out of the main concepts from attribution theory. I reviewed the transcripts on an individual basis as each was completed. Finally, I outline the results of the trustworthiness strategies relating to consistency, credibility, and triangulation. Ana lyz ing the Transcripts After each transcript was transcribed, I analyzed it for significant themes. The initial themes emerged from my two pilot interviews and resulted in 19 categories of causes. The emergence of themes and the development of categories of causes occurred simultaneously through my review and examination of the data and inductive analysis. A s I continued to work with all the data, three additional categories of causes became visible. I have already described the administration and physical organization of the data (Chapter 4). In this section, I offer insights into my decision making processes regarding how the fishers' phrases that described attributed causes of accidents were placed into categories of causes. This was an inductive analysis process, and as such the best method 78 of offering insight into the process is to paint a picture through the use of examples. I present the three additional categories of causes that emerged out of the data as the examples. The fishers' perspective is of principal importance in this study. During my analysis of the data I constantly kept this in mind. I present these categories of causes because they show how the inductive analysis process required that I continually re-assess my assumptions toward the data and continue to place at the forefront the participants' descriptions of attributed causes of accidents. The three additional categories of causes that emerged as I worked with the data were: Competition, Weather Expected, and Carelessness. Regarding Competition, i f the participants of the study had been sports fishers I likely would have expected competition to be an important factor; however, initially for professional fishers, I had underestimated the importance of the competitive spirit. Competition was brought forward by five of the participants, some of whom were very passionate about their need to be the best amongst their peers and to catch the fish before the other guy got it. I realized that the Competition of the catch was a separate and different attributed cause than Economic Pressures. Regarding Weather Conditions Expected, I was originally working from my own concept as a pleasure boater that one does not challenge predicted bad weather. However, I subsequently realized from these interviews that an outright challenge of the weather was something fishers "took on." In some cases they challenged the bad weather after considerable contemplation. In other situations they challenged bad weather because of another person's decision. In six of the interviews fishers cited expected bad weather as a factor in their accidents. Regarding Carelessness, I initially had a difficult time acknowledging this as an "acceptable" cause. This was because "carelessness" is 79 not accepted as an adequate analysis within the corporate health and safety world. I had to remind myself that the focus of this study was the fishers' attributions, not mine, nor those of corporate health and safety. When two of the participants clearly attributed the accidents they were describing to Carelessness (their word), I conceded that this was their perception. I then also accepted including an earlier participant's attributed cause of "stupid" in the category of Carelessness. I continually reminded myself that this study was focused on the participants' attributed causes of accidents. Char t ing the Framework Interviews produce extensive volumes of data. These massive quantities can easily overwhelm the entire interpretive analysis process. M y goal was to establish a balance between the data overwhelming the process and the use of a rigidly systematic theoretical framework that could potentially strangle the interpretation of the data. The data needed to be managed effectively to bring order to the interpretive process. A t the same time I wanted to manage the data in a way that allowed for flexibility and avoided a mechanistic approach. I continually kept this balance in mind as I decided on the framework and on how to apply the constructs to the data. The purpose of this section is to outline the application of the constructs to the data. In the above section of Chapter 6 I described the emergence of the themes and categories of causes. In this portion of the analysis chapter I wi l l offer insights into my thoughts during the application of the constructs to the data. I wi l l do this by describing what influenced my assignment of the categories causes to a quadrant in the orienting framework and by presenting examples that help to reveal the process. 80 The conceptual framework is built upon the attribution theory dimensions of locus of causality and stability. The locus of causality dimension addresses the continuum of "two sets of conditions, namely, factors within the person and factors within the environment" (Heider, 1958b, p. 82). The stability dimension, added by Weiner (1985; Weiner et al., 1971), recognizes that for both the internal and external causes, some fluctuate and change, whereas others remain constant. In order to obtain a picture of the data from the viewpoint of these attribution theory dimensions, I assigned each of the causes to a quadrant on the orienting framework. The four quadrants consist of: internal/stable, external/stable, internal/unstable, and external/unstable. I assigned the causes to a quadrant on the orienting framework after the development of the initial 19 categories of causes. The additional three categories of causes were assigned to a quadrant as they emerged. I was not able to find any prior studies concerning the specific topic of professional fishers' analysis of accidents with the use of attribution theory as a theoretical framework. Therefore, I built upon the works of Weiner (1985; Weiner et al., 1972), and started by assigning categories of causes that most closely matched those that he had worked with in the past. For example, Weiner had assigned Luck to the external/unstable quadrant, and Abi l i ty to the internal/stable quadrant. I then incorporated the direction outlined by DeJoy (1994, 1985) in his application of attribution theory to managing safety in the workplace (as reviewed in Chapter 3). From there, I applied my understanding of a combination of (a) attribution theory and (b) the attributed causes the participants presented. 81 Some categories of causes were easily recognizable as belonging in a particular quadrant (e.g., Economic Pressure in external/stable). M y decision making is best displayed by example. Below is presented an example in each of the quadrants. Internal/Stable Quadrant of Attributions: Example, Competition The category of cause of Competition emerged out of the data as the participants spoke about their personal need (ego) to excel in catching fish. In some instances the need was to catch more than the next fisher for personal reward, sometimes it related to peer recognition as the "highliner," and sometimes the participant was driven to prevent the other guy from catching "my" fish. It was evident that Competition came from within the fishers. Participants who spoke about Competition made it clear that they had a competitive drive within themselves that stood apart from any Economic Pressures. The participants who spoke of Competition indicated that it was there consistently whenever they were fishing. Because of how the participants spoke of Competition as being internally driven and that it was constant whenever they were fishing, I placed this in the internal and stable quadrant. External/Stable Quadrant of Attributions: Example, Weather Conditions Expected Weather is a force external to the fishers. Originally, I had Weather Conditions only in the external and unstable quadrant as I was considering weather to be an Unexpected factor. The category of cause of "Weather Conditions Unexpected" still remained in the external and unstable quadrant; however, the data presented by the participants created an additional category of cause of Weather Conditions that were Expected. For this category the participants described weather conditions that they knew about and purposefully decided to challenge. Under these circumstances the weather was stable for the period of 82 the incident. Therefore, when the fisher had stated that weather was an attributed cause and he also had stated that he had known of the weather conditions, I placed that transcript excerpt of "expected" weather into the external and stable quadrant of the orienting framework. Internal/Unstable Quadrant of Attributions: Example, Stress Stress came out of the interviews with 5 of the 12 participants. They had indicated that Stress was a part of their accident. A l l 5 were skippers. They took their Stress as being their own personal issue where they internalized the pressures of being in charge of decision making and their ultimate responsibilities for success or failure of the trip. Although the responsibility of being the skipper was always there, the Stress changed with the circumstances they were experiencing. Stress therefore was placed in the internal and unstable quadrant. External/Unstable Quadrant of Attributions : Example, Government Rules and Regulations It is easy to see that Government Rules and Regulations were external to the fishers, but the reason I placed them into unstable was because that was the way fishers were viewing them. A t the time of the interviews, the changes taking place in the Government Rules and Regulations were so fast and all-consuming they saw them as unstable. Since the approach of this study was from a phenomenological perspective, the manner in which the fishers were viewing rules and regulations was of primary importance. I respected their perspective in my placement of that category of cause on the external and unstable quadrant of attributions. 83 Issues of Trustworthiness Strategies were used to assist in strengthening the trustworthiness of my analysis of the data relating to the participants' attributed causes of accidents. The overall strategies were presented in Chapter 4. Three strategies were employed to enhance the trustworthiness of the data. These were: use of a research partner (relating to consistency), conducting a participant review (relating to credibility), and comparing my results to Binkley 's (1994) study (relating to triangulation). I present the details of these strategies in the following section. Research Partner (Consistency) Throughout the analysis of the data in this study I was fortunate to have the input and critical review of a research partner. This partner was Captain Barb Howe' who holds an Ocean Navigator I certificate. This designation allows her to sail as a Home Trade master of a vessel of unlimited size, or as a first officer foreign-going. Howe has spent 25 years in the fishing industry. The last 10 years she owned and operated a 36-foot gillnetter on the British Columbia west coast. She instructed marine training programs for the Pacific Marine Training Institute for six years and recently completed the design of a hands-on training program on fishing vessel stability and delivered the program throughout British Columbia coastal communities. During the inductive analysis stages of this research, as outlined above, Howe critically assessed and commented on my decision making process. She played the role of "devil 's advocate" from the position of an individual who has extensive direct 'Captain Howe's name is used with her consent. 84 experience as a professional fisher and a formally educated mariner. Howe was familiar with the categories of causes, and their placement on the orienting framework, having critiqued the inductive decision making process. She was not a part of the interviews with the participants. I requested Howe to review three "typical" whole transcripts and to highlight phrases that she viewed as significant to each participant's attributed cause(s) of the accident being described. Prior to reviewing these three whole transcripts she was not familiar with the participants' accident accounts. She was also asked to assign a category of cause to the fishers' phrases, and was requested to indicate i f the data brought forward additional categories causes. I then compared her highlighted transcripts and her assignment of categories of causes to my transcripts. In all three whole transcripts, Howe's analysis of which phrases most significantly spoke to the fishers' attributed causes of the accident and mine were in high agreement. On some of the lengthy key phrases, Howe and I highlighted a slightly different portion of the concept to which the participant was speaking. However, both of us had focused upon the same concept from the participant's thoughts. Similarly, our decisions as to which category of cause applied to the key phrase highly agreed. Overall, my interpretation of the data fit with Howe's interpretation, which was important especially given that Howe was reviewing the data with the eye of her first-hand experience within professional fishing. There were some slight additional considerations that Howe brought to the analysis for each of the transcripts. In the following paragraphs I w i l l compare our analysis of each transcript, and indicate the extent of our agreement in specifying the categories of causes. I w i l l also discuss the variations in analysis and additional perspectives that Howe put forward. 85 The first whole transcript that Howe reviewed was Noreen White's. Noreen described an extreme storm incident that occurred while she was fishing for tuna in the mid-northern portion of the Pacific. Both Howe and I identified the following categories of causes as being part of Noreen's attributed causes of the accident: Abi l i ty , Knowledge, Competition, Economic Pressures, Integrity and Stability of the Vessel, Weather Conditions Expected, Fatigue, and Luck or Fate. Howe and I agreed with these categories of causes and the phrases that they came from. In addition, some of the phrases that Howe highlighted were Noreen's descriptions of the actions of the skipper. Howe included these in the categories of causes of (a) Approach to Planning Skipper, and (b) Stress. Noreen was a crewmember and therefore did not have control over the decision making process that resulted in the eventual outcome. I had focused my analysis more on.the phrases specifically from Noreen's viewpoint and actions; however, Howe made a valid observation in highlighting some phrases that described the skipper's actions. Noreen seemed to have avoided making comments that specifically stated her skipper had made any poor judgement calls or that he was "at fault" for the life-threatening situation. I had made a note of this in my journal. I suspected that Noreen, even when asked directly, would deny the skipper's actions were a factor in the incident. She had made a point of stating it was the skipper's steering ability that saved their lives. Nevertheless, I agree Howe was correct in including these as categories of causes; however, I am not sure i f Noreen would agree. The second transcript that Howe reviewed was Edmund Fumano's. Edmund described a situation where his foot became entangled in the net line and he was almost pulled overboard. Howe and I both identified the following categories of causes as being 86 part of Edmund's attributed causes of the incident: Knowledge, Competition, Economic Pressures, Approach to Planning Crew, Weather Conditions Expected, Boat Movement Expected, Fatigue, and Carelessness. Also , both Howe and I concurred that under the category of cause of Approach to Planning Crew, Edmund had made some changes to his work practices as a result of the accident. The changes he made were ones that would assist in reducing the chance of the same incident occurring in the future. Howe noted that Edmund had listed the safety equipment on board. She marked this more as an indication of a good safety practice than as a factor in causing the accident. The marking of safety equipment was the only difference in our two analyses; therefore, overall there was high agreement. The third transcript that Howe reviewed was L iam Osaka's. L iam described an incident that involved the sinking and total loss of his boat. There was no loss of life. Howe and I both identified the following categories of causes as being part of Liam's attributed causes of the incident: Knowledge, Approach to Planning Skipper, Economic Pressures, Integrity and Stability of the Vessel, Weather Conditions Expected, Stress, Weather Conditions Unexpected, and Luck or Fate. We also agreed that in the cause of Approach to Planning Skipper, the majority of the Liam's concepts dealt with changes that he made as a result of the accident. This included his realization that for safety, the crew required an understanding of the actions needed in the case of an emergency. Also , L i a m had taken his Fishing Master III course and additional safety courses following this accident. These were aspects that both Howe and I had noted during the analysis. Again, the agreement on the phrases highlighted and the causes to which they applied was very high. 87 In her review of the three transcripts, Howe did not indicate that there was a need to include any additional categories of causes. Participant Review (Credibility) I requested the assistance of two participants. They agreed to a second interview, this time to discuss and explore my interpretations of the data and to provide their feedback. Following my analysis of the transcripts, I interviewed Noreen White and L i a m Osaka again. The reason for this interview was to gain their insights and comments about their interview transcript and my choice of the key phrases regarding their attributed causes of accidents. I requested their feedback on my assignment of categories of causes for the key phrases. I asked them to express their level of agreement (or disagreement) about how they would compare my "breakdown" of their interview with how they would summarize their accident. In other words, when they reviewed their information in Table 1 showing the entries of the categories of causes from their accident account, would they agree this represented what they had expressed in their interview? I also requested their review of the entire Table 1, taking into consideration the 12 participants' data from the study as well as Figure 3 (the list of categories of causes in each quadrant of attribution, including the numbers). I requested their input on how they felt the overall information compared with their attributed causes of accidents in professional fishing. Both Noreen and L iam agreed that their respective transcripts were an accurate document of their interview. Overall they felt phrases I had highlighted were the important parts of their accounts of their accidents and that the categories of causes attached to them were appropriate. They both examined Table 1 and Figure 3 with great 88 interest and we discussed the organization of the table and figure so that they felt comfortable with the information. Below, I present some of their specific remarks and observations. Noreen agreed strongly that one of the major causes of her accident was the Economic Pressure that all on board felt, but even more for the skipper due to his large investment in the new boat and the freezer unit. She felt the phrase I had assigned to the category of cause of Competition was as much or more related to Economic Pressures. She felt this because she recalled feeling excited when they were having good fishing as this meant that they would likely all make some good money from the trip. She now felt no amount of money would have her returning to open ocean tuna fishing and, as of the date of the second interview she had not returned to fish tuna. She has continued to work on fisheries closer to the coast of British Columbia. In addition to Noreen attributing the incident to Economic Pressures, she also agreed another major factor was the Weather Conditions Expected. When I interviewed Noreen the first time, she had just returned to dock from the trip that involved the extreme storm incident. In this second meeting, she remarked she had now had a year to think about the incident. In retrospect she concluded that even though there were many warnings about the storm, she and the other crewmembers had gone along with the decisions of the skipper because they trusted his judgement. She now realized ignoring the signs about the pending storm was also a part of the Economic Pressures. She stated their overall lack of Knowledge of what they were really getting themselves into contributed to going along with the situation. She also felt the entire crew was Fatigued even as they left the dock to head out on the trip because of extensive work they had done 89 getting the freezer unit organized. The "pre-trip" Fatigue contributed to that experienced as part of the trip and during the storm. Even in this second interview she was not prepared to outrightly criticize the skipper. She has continued to remain in a personal relationship with the skipper; however, decided not to return to tuna fishing. She agreed with including Integrity and Stability of the Vessel as another issue and mention that so far the skipper had not taken that same boat out to the open ocean. She still considered herself to be lucky to have made it home alive and believes Luck played a role in their survival. Noreen stated she felt the categories of causes and how they were applied compared favourably to how she viewed the incident. Next, I w i l l describe L iam Osaka's specific comments. Following this I w i l l present both Noreen's and Liam's input regarding the data from all the participants' interviews. L iam agreed the major factor in the sinking of his boat involved the Integrity and Stability of the Vessel. He commented from his review of his transcript he had frequently talked about the issue of the vessel's stability. In addition to the Integrity and Stability of the Vessel, L iam felt the other major attributed cause was the Weather Conditions Expected; however, he reaffirmed there was an aspect of local knowledge about the weather that he had not expected (Weather Conditions Unexpected). He agreed the pressure his crew had placed on him to go out and try to fish created Stress for him and the pressure resulted from Economic Pressures on the crew. He was somewhat surprised from his reading of his transcript just how much he talked about changes he had made to his basic Approach to Planning regarding safety on board his boat. However, he agreed all of the changes he had talked about were true. These involved his taking safety courses as well as his encouraging his crew to learn more about the operation of the boat and their 90 duties in case of an emergency. In retrospect, he reinforced, the accident involved a combination of factors and he affirmed that the attributed causes I had pulled from his interview transcript were in keeping with his opinion. He felt participating in the first interview and in the follow-up interview had offered him a "formal" setting through which he had further analyzed the accident, his attributed causes, and his subsequent responses to the accident. Noreen and L iam expressed general agreement with the information from all participants as contained in Tables 1 and Figure 3. They agreed Economic Pressures would logically be the most prominent underlying cause of the accidents (10 out of 12). They each were somewhat surprised the participants had mentioned Luck or Fate as frequently as indicated (8 out of 12). We discussed this and I explained that Luck or Fate was mentioned in an incidental manner. Taking this into consideration, they both agreed talk of Luck or Fate did happen on a regular basis, and the occurrence of a potentially life-threatening situation or a physical injury would likely increase its use. The other cause they took note of, this time for its under-representation, was Alcohol and Drugs. They both wondered aloud i f Alcohol and Drugs must be was a factor in more accidents was indicated (1 out of 12). Their reaction was not surprising, and I had felt the same in my review of the lack of entries in this category of cause. I indicated to Noreen and L iam that even the fisher who mentioned Alcohol as a attributed cause was not speaking about his own accident but another person's. They both reaffirmed that in their own accident, Alcohol and Drugs had not been a factor. They did know other fishers' situations where Alcohol and Drugs was a problem. We agreed this 91 was likely an area each individual was not comfortable speaking about in relation to themselves. Overall Noreen's and Liam's responses to the information presented in Tables 1 and Figure 3 was to affirm that it appeared to be a reasonable accounting both of their individual interviews and of the interviews from all participants according to their knowledge of accidents and safety issues as professional fishers. Comparison with Binkley 's (19941 Study (Triangulation) Binkley 's (1994) study involved interviews of fishers who were a part of the deep-sea fishery of Nova Scotia, and to a lesser degree their wives. Initially Binkley oversaw the work of 14 interviewers who surveyed 334 fishers. From this group, Binkley and 2 additional interviewers explored more detailed interviews with 100 of the fishers. In the year following, Binkley, one of the original interviewers, and a new interviewer interviewed 100 fishers that were new to the study, as well as 25 wives of fishers. From the above research, Binkley and her research team obtained over 200 interviews that they felt confident contained in-depth accounts of a wide range of experiences of deep-sea fishers and their wives. From this body of research, Binkley presents the stories of 11 interviewees that offer a representative picture of the larger study. Binkley noted that she placed the fishers' voices into the social and historical context. She also noted that the interview information varied because it consisted of what each individual wanted to tell the interviewer; however, the stories dealt mainly with personal experiences, as well as with details about the fishers' working conditions and safety in their workplace. Binkley analyzed the information under the major causes of: family life, working conditions on board vessels, attitudes to accidents and injuries, casualties, and safety concerns. 92 I recognize that contextual differences exist between the Nova Scotian deep-sea fishery and professional fishing on the British Columbia coast. The most significant differences are that the deep-sea fishery works further off shore than do the majority of B . C . fishers (only one participant in my study was working in a deep-sea offshore fishery). Also , the Nova Scotian deep-sea fishery uses very large vessels and employs greater numbers in the crew and the in management structure, as compared to those of the B . C . West Coast. I am aware of these differences. Binkley 's study, however, does focus on the subjective experience of fishers. It is this aspect of her study that makes a comparison of the two studies appropriate. Binkley 's study allowed the interviewees to talk broadly about any aspect of deep-sea fishing. It did not specifically focus upon the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. Overall, however, similar themes emerged. From a review of the 11 stories, the themes strongly mentioned include: money and economics, weather conditions that were expected and accepted as part of the job, stress, fatigue, and working conditions that often spoke to issues of overall approach to planning for the management, the captain and the crew. Additionally, the interviews that spoke specifically regarding accidents or casualties mentioned luck or fate. In Binkley 's analysis, her two headings that were most closely related to my study were: attitude to injuries and accidents, and safety concerns. Regarding attitude to injuries and accidents, Binkley summarized fishers tended to trivialize their injuries and accidents. Further, she noted fishers readily acknowledged a trade-off existed between issues of personal safety and economic benefits. Binkley states, "Most fishermen w i l l accept the possibility of injury and accident in order to meet their immediate economic 93 needs"(p. 221). This is confirmed in my study, with 10 of the 12 participants attributing Economic Pressures as a cause in their accident. Also under the heading of attitudes to injuries and accidents Binkley put forward the issue of the "superman" (p. 222) image. Binkley summarized fishers have simply accepted the extraordinary as everyday. This included accepting heavy weather as just another everyday part of the dangerous working environment. Other topics Binkley included are stress and fatigue. In general terms, the fishers spoke of "breaking up" as a result of the pressures. The captains and mates specifically focused in on the responsibilities of running the vessel and working with crew who have insufficient experience (p. 26). The crew spoke to the issue of not obtaining six straight hours of sleep, but instead having only two or three hours of sleep at a time (p. 129). The participants of my study repeatedly attributed the causes of their accidents to Economic Pressures, Weather Conditions Expected, Stress, and Fatigue, which are in keeping with Binkley 's findings. Under the heading of safety concerns, Binkley again presented the most predominant topic as that of economics. In the Nova Scotian deep-sea fishery, more levels of management exist than with most of the British Columbia fleet. Additional levels of management can further distance the decision making and result in safety being viewed as strictly a business-through-economic-incentives approach. However, the bottom line for Binkley 's interviewees remained that the economic pressures were a major factor in the overall analysis of the safety concerns. Binkley also mentioned fatigue as a safety concern, because of the time pressures to catch and then immediately process the perishable resource of the fish. 94 Overall, many of the topics listed by the interviewees of Binkley 's study, and the context in which they were applied, were also major focuses of my participants' attributed causes of accidents. Summary Chapter 6 has provided a description of the analysis of the transcripts, a picture of each of the quadrants of attributions in the framework, and an overview of the results of the trustworthiness strategies. The purposes of this study were to examine fishers' attributed causes of accidents and to derive implications for prevention education. It was not to specifically analyze attribution theory or to interrogate DeJoy's model. Attribution theory and DeJoy's model functioned as foundational concepts that assisted in the creation the orienting framework. Chapter 7 presents an overview of the fishers' most frequently discussed categories of causes of accidents along with typical key phrases from the transcripts. Chapter 8 reviews the implications for prevention education. Chapter 9 offers limitations of the study and recommendations for future research for fishers and safety. 95 C H A P T E R 7: T H E F I S H E R S ' A T T R I B U T E D C A U S E S O F A C C I D E N T S " T H E I R W O R D S A N D E X P L A N A T I O N S " Chapter 7 presents a brief explanation of the fishers' 10 most frequently discussed attributed causes of accidents. It includes typical key phrases directly from the participants' transcripts. This is being presented to give the reader a better feel for the fishers' own thoughts and words. The manner in which the fishers attribute causality to accidents affects the fishers' "openness" to prevention education. "Top 10" Categories of Causes Below is an outline of the fishers' most frequently discussed attributed causes of accidents grouped into the categories of causes. They are positioned on the four quadrants of the orienting framework. Under each category, I offer typical key phrases from the fishers that represent the attributed cause. The "top ten" categories of causes in the four quadrants of attributions are: 1. Internal/Stable: Knowledge, Competition, Approach to Planning (Skipper); 2. External/Stable: Economic Pressures, Approach to Planning (Crew), Weather Expected; 3. Internal/Unstable: Fatigue, Stress; 4. External/Unstable: Government Rules and Regulations, Luck or Fate. A l l o f the causes are listed on Figure 3. The number in the brackets indicated the number of participants that attributed each cause as a factor in the accident they described. 96 STABLE Abil i ty (2)* Knowledge (6) Approach to Planning Skipper (3) Maintenance Schedule Skipper (1) Competition (4) I N T E R" N A L Internal / Stable Economic Pressures (10) Approach to Planning Crew (4) Maintenance Schedule Crew (1) Navigation Equipment (1) Safety Equipment (3) Integrity and Stability of Vessel (2) Weather Conditions Expected (6) Boat Movement Expected (4) External / Stable E X T E R N A L Fatigue (5) Alcohol or Drugs (1) Boredom (1) Stress (5) Anxiety or Depression (1) Carelessness (3) Internal / Unstable Gov' t Rules or Regulations (4) Weather Conditions Unexpected (2) Luck or Fate (8) External / Unstable UNSTABLE Figure 3. "Categories of causes" nested within the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. [ T h e numbers in brackets, represent the number of participants who attributed each cause as a factor in their accident.] Internal/Stable Knowledge: Knowledge was cited in situations where the fisher wasn't aware of a specific piece of information that had a significant effect on the outcome. Six of the 12 participants attributed a lack of Knowledge as one of the causes that contributed to the 97 accident they were describing. Within the larger category of Knowledge, 2 of the fishers described situations that related to a combination of the weather and a new fishing ground, 2 described issues that related to the use of equipment, and 2 described events that related to an inexperienced crewmember standing in the wrong location. Noreen White and L iam Osaka each presented an account of a storm combined with fishing at a new location. Noreen: "I don't think that we really realized just what was still to come ... and new fishing grounds, out in the open ocean, whereas over the last 25 years or so Ed [the skipper] has always fished around the B . C . coast, mostly around the Queen Charlottes. I know I heard him say that the storm seemed to move in even faster than he was used to, and of course there was just no place to get to quickly to get any shelter." L iam: "That was the first time that I have ever anchored in there or travelled into that anchorage.... But think you know everything you just gamble a little bit. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do with that boat." (Liam's emphasis) Two of the fishers described problems with operating equipment as contributing to their accidents. Quinn Jackson experienced difficulties with a pump and E d Quinn had a new and unfamiliar sounder on board that distracted his attention sufficiently to precipitate a grounding. Quinn: "I didn't realize that it was actually pumping in, and as we were preparing to lower the life boat, I thought of it and I went back into the engine room and by this time there was a foot and a half of water above the floor. I thought of it and I shut the main valve off and then it didn't take long to pump the boat out." Ed : "I didn't realize that there was this pause involved with it (the sounder), I am still trying to figure out why I can't get a picture on the sounder.... I was fooling with it when I shouldn't have been ... the sounder is good for backup but I had enough knowledge to do it without it, but you got this stuff and that's what it is there for, to give you some help...the only thing I didn't do was play with that sounder before I left the dock." 98 The last two descriptions concerned incidents where young and relatively inexperienced crew placed themselves in "the bight." In Edmund Fumano's accident, he was almost pulled overboard after his foot was entangled in the line of the net. He stated, "Now, I definitely make sure that I look around my feet and where I am standing before releasing the net into the water." For Paul Zenn, he was the driver of the skiff and another crewmember got his leg caught between the skiff and the large boat, resulting in a crushing injury to the leg. Paul: "He wasn't suppose to be standing in that place, it wasn't a safe place to be ... he was instructed not to stand there before, because, I was telling the other guys I felt that this was my fault and one of the guys told me, you know, we warned him not to stand there." Paul concluded that even though the inexperienced crewmember had been told not to stand in the place where he could get crushed between the skiff and the large boat, he clearly didn't understand the dangers. Competition: Competition and Economic Pressures are closely linked to one another. However, Competition expressed the more personal side of trying to catch the fish. It represented the fishers' own internal challenge. The initiating force was to beat out a fisher on the next boat, or it was a sense of pride. Four of the 12 participants indicated some form of competitive spirit was part of the attributed cause of their accident. For Noreen White, it was a matter of being caught up with the energy of bringing, a lot of fish on board, "but we were having such good fishing and it really was quite exciting so we really didn't want to stop at that point." They continued to fish as most of the other boats headed for cover and an enormous storm closed in around them. 99 Edmund Fumano concluded that one of the reasons that he had been hurrying so much, which contributed to his accident, was because of the Competition from other boats, "The fact is, that out there it is very competitive. Y o u need to be quick at everything you do...." Rod Quiggley spoke about rivalry from other fishers. He felt time pressures during a herring run on the Fraser River and significant Competition from surrounding boats. Rod: "I had to get to the other side of the set because there was a person setting from the other side of the river too ... you know the idea of corking, where other boats, other nets get in front. Other people actually put their net right on top of yours ... competition on the fishing grounds.... There was just no way that I was going to have somebody else put their net in the water where I knew the opportunity was there to catch that extra fish....I mean what are you going to say, I ' l l just step back here and let somebody else do it? I mean, no. I would have done it at any cost...." For Ken Thomas, Competition constituted a challenge to remain one of the top producers in the company fleet. Ken: "I am a professional fisherman so for me the cheque at the end of the term is awful nice, but it becomes sport after a while and you become better at it i f it is more of a game. It is a game for me to see how much you can catch.... It's a challenge, right for yourself, or be best in the fleet, or be better than half in the fleet..." For all these fishers the Competition of catching fish, beating out other fishers, and staying at the top of the company list contributed to the events that lead to an accident. Approach to Planning (Skipper): Another attributed cause fishers used to explain accidents centred around their Approach to Planning. Skippers and crewmembers had different roles in terms of whether the Approach to Planning was an internal or an 100 external dimension. For skippers, this was internal, because they were in the position to make decisions and put them into action i f they chose. For crewmembers, this was external. Because of this, in the model, there are two locations for Approach to Planning - one for the Skippers, under internal, and one for the Crew, under external. In this section I w i l l outline the attributed causes of skippers. Skippers cited Approach to Planning as a factor in their accidents in 3 of the 12 interviews. The reason that I have included this with the "top 10" causes is because they also indicated in 5 of the 12 interviews that their Approach to Planning was an important feature in their overall safety methods. Skippers stated these explanations of safety methods in a very purposeful manner. Because of this I felt they were worthy of recognition even though this represents a slight departure in focus. In one instance the skipper decided to change a procedure because of an accident. Approach to Planning is deemed to be in the stable dimension because it is part of the overall judgement process of the fisher. For the skipper to attribute one of the causes of their accident to their Approach to Planning required that he review the accident from the "big picture" perspective during his retrospective analysis. In the following two situations, the first one resulted in a grounding, and the second in a man overboard. E d Quinn: "I hadn't turned the radar on yet and I looked up the river and up the channel there was a big car ship coming down, a freighter...what I should have done ... was once I got across the channel, take the boat out of gear and just drift t i l l I had the sounder going, i f I had wanted it that bad.... I should have played with that sounder before I left the dock." Rod Quiggley: "I had a rain coat on with large buttons and the web had got around the rain coat....there wasn't a flap...some of the rain coats now [have] a protective flap that covers up the buttons...this was an old coat and the buttons were exposed and the web got caught..." 101 The following excerpts are examples of the safety methods the skippers made a point of explaining. Peter Lightheart noted how he and his crew would use the time when they were stuck in a harbour due to a storm to go through the safety equipment, test it out, and make the necessary adjustments. Peter: "So now what we've done is we put screws above every bunk and took bunje straps and put the survival suit in the bag, the bag is open, and the crewman as soon as he sits up in the bunk, the suit is there...." Quinn Jackson emphasized a number of times that he and his tribe always travelled and fished as a group. A repeated theme for him was his amazement that other fishers (and pleasure boaters) would often be seen travelling alone. The social structure that Quinn lived in did not accept travelling alone on the ocean as a safe practice. In addition to travelling and fishing together, Quinn's tribe all had the same engines and equipment so that they could share replacement parts i f an emergency arose. Quinn: "...I never travel alone. I always travel with about six of my relatives. [He is meaning six other boats, not simply other people on his boat.] So we are in constant contact... the fishermen I know in terms of the group all of us have tried to ensure that we have spare hoses. A n d one thing that I've found in terms of all o f the group is the importance for us to all have the same motors and the same kind of equipment." For Paul Zenn, he was the skipper or a crewmember, depending on which boat he was working. In this example he was the skipper, and following an incident where one of his crew had his arm entangled in the net and wrapped around the beater bar, he made a change to his operating procedures. Paul: " A n d now my herring skiff, I run it from the bow where all the controls are. A n d most of the time we are four men on a skiff now, so there is somebody right beside you that can reach [the controls]." 102 Approach to Planning has a broad selection of circumstances attached to it. It also offers examples where the fisher was thinking about and planning for safety methods in advance. External/Stable Economic Pressures: The most frequently attributed cause of accidents related to Economic Pressures. Ten out of 12 of the participants included Economic Pressures as one cause of their accident. This should be no surprise given that commercial fishing is performed with the intent of making money. In the past decade, fishers have experienced increased Economic Pressures due to decreases in fish stock and changes in the Government Rules and Regulations, as touched upon in Chapter 2. Some participants tied Economic Pressures and Government Rules and Regulations together. For most fishers, when Economic Pressures was brought up, it included insights about the worries and difficulties of catching enough fish to buy new equipment, to pay ongoing bills, or to keep the crew and/or company satisfied. Peter Lightheart felt forced into the circumstances because of government decisions regarding the timing of openings. Peter: "...because it's these situations that we get forced into. [Referring to the government decisions regarding openings.] Like we didn't want to be up there at that time of the year.... We didn't want to be fishing because we knew better. So the fish is in the water, there's $100,000 worth offish there and you need it to pay the rest of your bills for the season." Both Noreen White and Rod Quiggley cited Economic Pressures relating to the purchase of new equipment. In Noreen's case, she was a crewmember, but fully aware the skipper had made a large investment in the boat as well as new equipment. Because of this, she was prepared to continue fishing even as a predicted storm closed in on the 103 boat. With Rod's accident, Economic Pressures contributed to his haste, which resulted in his falling over board. Noreen: " we wanted to keep fishing. 'Cause E d [the skipper] had just bought this boat this spring and had also paid to have the freezer unit put on board at the cost of $ 100,000. So he had a big investment into the boat and the equipment. Rod: "I needed to have that extra set, that extra money from catching that extra fish....I had a new net on the drum that I had to pay for, that makes it much more difficult." For others, such as Hal Matsumoto, Economic Pressure was part of being a small businessman, which meant attempting to optimize the profit by obtaining the highest price for the product. Hal : "...we are trying to get more money by going to Vancouver, instead of selling in Prince Rupert. That's why I am running to, I think that finances, yeah, money is a major thing. We try to get the best price for our fish. If we were to get the same money in Prince Rupert, then I won't be travelling, 'cause I would be wasting fuel and 60 hours." The following two excerpts show the different types of Economic Pressures felt by a crewmember (Walt Pearson) and a skipper (Ken Thomas). Ken was the skipper of a boat that was owned 51% by a large packing company. Walt: "...just lots of harbour days. (Days spent sitting at harbour waiting for the weather to improve.) So we really put ourselves under the pressure, the guys, 'cause we want to get the job some point you just got to go for it, because otherwise no one is going to make a living and make any money. So working in the rough weather is just part of what is necessary to make the quota..." Ken: " I f I don't catch them (fish), they (the company) don't make anything, so there's always this 'Ooooo, we hope you do well tomorrow' talk." Economic Pressures figured prominently in the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. This is true both in terms of the number of participants in the study who cited 104 Economic Pressures, and in terms of the emphasis given to this cause within the fishers' explanations. Approach to Planning (Crew): Crewmembers did not have the opportunity to be the one to make decisions and have those decisions come into action. This is why the Crews' attributions regarding Approach to Planning are in the external dimension. Four of the twelve participants attributed one of the causes of the accident they were describing as being related to Approach to Planning. The same four participants also indicated either a positive safety procedure that was part of the Approach to Planning or a change in a procedure that came about as a result of the accident. The following two crewmembers' descriptions give representative pictures of the crewmembers' perspective of Approach to Planning. Both show the result of the accident, and the changes that were made as a result. Edmund Fumano described an injury to his father (the skipper) and then points out the changes that were made as a result. His father was struck in the face by a solid stainless steel pin, and he required hospital treatment. Edmund related that there was a combination of bad weather, and excessive pressure on the pins due to the weather and the positioning of the boat that contributed to the pin coming loose. He then described how he and his father later made changes that they felt would prevent the same situation from occurring again. Edmund: "We've gotten better pins. Heavier ones that sit down more, and we've made the other pin longer, rather than just six inches, longer so it stays in there and better lubrication, that way when it is pressed it spins ... we also position the boat so that it doesn't get too much pressure on the pins. So, my Dad has learned how to position the boat better. Y o u learn from what happens." 105 Walt Pearson depicted an event where the boat sustained a blow from a submerged log and subsequently took on water. He outlined both a negative and a positive aspect of the Approach to Planning. Walt: "It was just running at night. Running at night isn't the smartest thing. On a steel boat, its no big deal, but on a wooden boat, you always want to be careful.... A t least we didn't have any life-threatening situation there, 'cause we had so many boats around us, plus our punt would have been our last resort. But we had lots of help standing by so no problem there. They were asking how we were doing, on the radio." So, on the one hand, Walt was not in favour of running at night in a wooden boat, and explained he felt that aspect of the planning was not well thought out. On the other hand, he recognized the boat he was on was one in a group of boats running together. Because of the planning of having a group together, there was no danger to life. Crewmembers seemed to view Approach to Planning from the positive and negative sides and were able and wil l ing to acknowledge both aspects. Weather Conditions Expected: There was a difference between fishers' attributed cause where they had been caught "off guard" because of the weather versus a cause where they had knowingly "challenged" the weather. For Weather Conditions Expected, some fishers had been fully aware of adverse weather conditions and had simply accepted them as normal. Six of the 12 participants attributed one of the causes of their accident to Weather Conditions Expected. In comparison, only 2 participants attributed one of the causes of their accident to Weather Conditions Lfaexpected. In the case of one participant (Liam Osaka), there was a combination of knowing that there was bad weather, being wil l ing to challenge it, but then being caught off guard by additional Weather Conditions Unexpected that were specific to an unfamiliar location. 106 Liam: " W e l l , right off the start, we knew that there was bad weather. We were on the leeward side ... and thought there wouldn't be much of a problem ... and eventually I found out... that one area it just funnels down and the wind goes over the mountain and shoots through and I neglected to find that out...." In another fishers' description, the weather was challenged outright. The crew and skipper were aware of a predicted storm and had discussed an article about " E l N i n o " in Time magazine. Additionally, other boats had left the fishing grounds in an attempt to obtain a safe harbour. Noreen White: "Wel l , hindsight is 20:20 'cause boy, this article was right on. Where it said there was gonna be storms, there were storms big time. A n d we ended up right in the middle of the whole thing ... there were about 42 or so other boats around us.... After a couple of days the fleet was down to 12 boats. They were heading to cover 'cause they heard about a big storm coming.... Wel l , it was at least 80,1 think it was even to 100 sometimes, but by that point who had time to even keep track...And all of a sudden the waves went from 5 to 8 feet to 80 to 100 feet....Both Bob [another crew member] and I were [had been] feeling pretty uncertain about heading out, especially once we realized what the weather predictions were and saw it in that Time article." In several other explanations, the bad weather situations were expected and cited as one cause of the accident. The expected bad weather was accepted as simply being a part of the working conditions. Peter Lightheart: "The weather was probably part of it, although I don't think there was really bad weather, although.... There had been some freezing spray and there was some ice on the rai l" Edmund Fumano: "Wel l , it was first of all the weather out there was really bad.... A n d what happened was the weather was too shaky and the net was pulled, pressed against the pin as it was coming in so the pin had a lot of pressure on it so the boat as it went up and down against the waves...." Overall, Weather Conditions Expected was attributed to being a cause of the accident more frequently than situations where the fishers were unaware of poor weather conditions. The fishers tended to view bad weather as an accepted aspect of the job and treated what most people would view as an extra-ordinary situation as ordinary. 107 Internal/Unstable Fatigue: The participants attributed Fatigue as part of the cause of their accidents in 5 out of 12 of the interviews. Three out of 5 of the Fatigue descriptions occurred during the time frame when the skipper simply had to get some sleep. The other 2 were situations when the crewmember was plain tired out from days of fishing. For two of the skippers, their dilemma consisted of being in difficult weather and, because of Fatigue, had to make the decision to turn the wheel over to a less experienced crewmember. Peter Lightheart: "So the mate that I had ... I got him up first to watch after a couple of hours. Like we had fished all the day and half the night, and I was ready to lie down for a couple of hours. A n d I told him, you know, 10 fathoms, and this range marker on the radar, stop right there, don't go any further.... So I just get my head down and almost fell asleep and we got 60,000 pounds of fish on board at the time, and I feel, bang, right under the keel, under the engine." In the case of Noreen, she was a crewmember, but described the situation where the storm ragged on for more than three days and the skipper (Ed) had to take a rest. Noreen: "This went on for three days in total, so E d couldn't stay at the wheel the whole time himself. So at one point when E d just had to try to catch a bit of sleep, he turned the wheel over to Olaf. Olaf is a strong guy, built really solid, but after a couple of hours of steering, at one point the wheel just spun right out of his hands.... I saw him literally get thrown off.. ." For the third skipper, Hal , his fatigue combined with a failure of the automatic pilot. A s the skipper, he made it his habit to be at the wheel when travelling at night. Hal was adamant that his maintenance routine was not responsible for the batteries not charging properly which in turn caused the failure of the automatic pilot. He was proud of his regular maintenance routine and the well-kept condition of his boat. His viewpoint was that Fatigue and his falling asleep were more important. Hal Matsumoto: " A n d we been working hard all day, [and by the] afternoon ... everybody tired of course. So ... I am the skipper, so I have to take responsibility 108 for the nighttime. So I was on the wheel and usually would also use the automatic pilot. But I fall asleep and then hit something. Because the pilot wasn't working 'cause the battery wasn't enough to correct the course.... I was depending on my auto pilot, but I was suppose to also be watching. I was tired, so I fall asleep..." The last two Fatigue descriptions involved crewmembers were "tired out" somewhat, in the case of Walt Pearson, or near exhaustion, in the case of Edmund Fumano. Walt: "He just didn't react fast enough...We were a bit tired, well pretty tired. But that just kinda added to the human error." Edmund: "We work to the point where you have no time to stop to eat, and the food that we have on board is such that you can eat it in less than five minutes. A n d you get really tired.... It is very tiring, and you have to have a lot of stamina to keep up.... I was working to the point that I was going to faint.... I had just woken up, I wasn't fully awake and didn't have my head straight yet. I wasn't really watching...." Edmund attributed his fatigued state and resulting inattention as contributing to his accident where his leg was wrapped and the line nearly pulled him overboard. The strength of the line caused a deep scar around his calf. Fishers described Fatigue as being an expected part of the job but they also realized that it added another challenge to their ability to perform their job safely. They acknowledged Fatigue by including it in the details of their description. Stress: Stress was cited as a cause of the accident in five of the interviews. This number is equal to Fatigue. Two of the five fishers who had indicated Fatigue also cited Stress as one of the causes. A l l five participants who included Stress as one of their accident causes were skippers. Stress was attached to the responsibility of being the skipper and all that entails, from making a good catch and getting a good price for the fish, to coping with competition of other boats, and keeping crew or company happy. 109 Hal Matsumoto explained that Stress played a role in his accident due to pressures of trying to get a better price for his large load of fish in Vancouver instead of selling it in Prince Rupert. Hal : "Stress, because you try to get to Vancouver as quick as possible, try to get there. Otherwise, we could have slept a couple of hours. And , I had opened up the speed 'cause it was a heavy load and wanted to go as quick as possible." For Rod Quiggley, his Stress focused on beating other boats to get his net back in the water in his usual spot. Contributing to his sense of urgency was the small run of fish for which all boats were competing Rod: "It was a very stressful day and I was trying to set my net back out... and there were quite a few boats setting their nets out and of course it was a hurried situation ... in the heat of the situation I wanted to get it all out.... So I reached over ... you know how when you are reaching over you can feel yourself lose your balance.... Then the lead line got caught around my leg. It was a very dangerous thing...." Rod goes on to describe how he got pulled overboard and how he managed to survive to be here to tell his story. In his conclusion he summarized just how stressful gillnetting is on the Fraser River. Rod: " M u c h stress, the stress of trying to catch as many fish on that small run that came into the river.... Gillnetting is a strange beast, small runs come in and everybody tries to key on them and the nets are very close together ... very very stressful. Another source of Stress for skippers was trying to keep everyone happy - crew, company, or both. They commented on tensions they felt in being responsible for finding a good catch of fish so everyone would make money. For L iam Osaka, he felt pressure, from his crewmembers to head out in bad weather after already trying to sit out the weather at anchor. L iam remarks that had he remained at anchor he would have had "two crew members sulking." L iam further noted, "they are out here to make money and every 110 fish that comes aboard means money to them." The crew had financial motivation, and because of that they placed L iam under Stress which resulted in his decision to fish in bad weather conditions. L iam attributed this as contributing to the sinking of his boat. Only one of the participants in the study was the skipper on a boat that was owned 49% by the skipper and 51% by the fish packing company. The skipper asserted that he experienced much Stress from company pressure to continually produce large catches. Ken Thomas: "I think it was just the stress factor going into the fishery. It is really're pretty stressed, the captain's got all the pressure on feels like when it is time to go to work it feels like you are going to war...pressure going into battle on the herring where the companies are quite competitive for the product, big time, you can't believe how big it is...and you ' l l get pressure...from the boss...'If you don't do any production tomorrow you're toast.'" Stress was attributed by five of the fishers, all skippers, to be a contributing cause in the accidents they described. Issues of being the one who makes the final decisions and the feeling of ultimate responsibility weighed heavily on the skippers. External/Unstable Government Rules and Regulations: Four of the 12 fishers cited Government Rules or Regulations as playing a role in the cause of their accident. The fishers' comments mainly referred to restricted openings or openings that occurred during bad weather. Some openings are still restricted in terms of the time frames; however, in more recent years the government has made some adjustments on how they set the openings in order to take into account predicted storms. Peter Lightheart: "The department would put us in a lot of these situations ... because it's these situations that we get forced into. L ike we didn't want to be up there at that time of year.... We didn't want to be fishing because we knew better." I l l Quinn Jackson: " of the terrible things that's happened in the fishing industry is compressed fishing time, so you have your policies, and because of that people want to be on the spot in the morning so they travel at night." E d Quinn described the grounding of his boat. He adamantly claimed the level of danger he and his crew experienced, and the extent of damage to his boat, would have been significantly less had the Coast Guard responded when they first received his call, instead of three hours later. Accordingly, Ed felt the government system had failed him during the one time in his 40 years of fishing when he needed help. He related this lack of help to the cutbacks in Coast Guard funding. Ed : "I called the Coast Guard, I got the radio operator and nothing else. N o help, just you're on you're own sort of thing ... it's high water and I got 20 minutes to do something and its going to fall, and I get kinda a never never response, forget i t . . . Fishers were leery of Government Rules and Regulations and saw them as a source of interference and frustration. Luck or Fate: The second most cited cause related to the fishers' mention of Luck or Fate. This cause was noted by 8 of the 12 participants. Most fishers used the word luck and often attached it to a phrase like, "It could happen to anybody," or "It was just one of those accidents...." Some fishers seemed to take a broad approach to how luck affected them or how it was part of the cause of the accident. E d Quinn: "Wel l , I always said i f I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any. If it has got to go wrong, I ' l l be at the top of the list..." More frequently, fishers saw that Luck or Fate played a role in their survival despite the danger. They portrayed that it came from outside their control even when a more detached analytical view of the situation might suggest that there were aspects of the situation where control could have been exercised. 112 Noreen White: "We made it back. Guess when your number's up, your number's up, and ours wasn't up yet... somehow I guess it wasn't our time yet...." Walt Pearson: "When a shackle goes there is supposed to be something else to stop it, but the safety wasn't hooked up properly. It just hit him where it skimmed off his head, didn't hit him straight on, so it was real lucky. It was just one of those things." Rod Quiggley: "Lucki ly the net on the drum had caught itself and it wasn't paying out anymore so I had something tight to pull myself back onto the boat....Lucky, i f the drum hadn't stopped and what we call a hang-up on the drum hadn't happened, I probably would have been a long way back on the cork line before I could have got some tension to pull myself back." Many fishers seemed to use Luck or Fate as a "catch-all" cause that was mainly expressed as an afterthought on how or why they survived the situation or were spared from more severe consequences. When Luck or Fate was mentioned, it was not focused upon as primary issue. Summary This chapter has presented the fishers' 10 most frequently cited attributed causes of accidents, grouped into categories of causes. The fishers' own words and phrases were used for illustration. A t the top of the list was Economic Pressures, spoken about by 10 of the participants. The fishers emphasized Economic Pressures, both in terms of the number of participants who noted this and the pointed comments that they made. Luck or Fate was second with regard to the number of fishers (8) who mentioned it. However, the remarks about Luck or Fate were much less pointed, more of a passing comment. Weather Conditions Expected and Knowledge were mentioned by 6 participants. Five participants attributed the causes of Fatigue and Stress as a component of their accident. The following were each cited by 4 participants: Competition, Approach to Planning Crew, and Government Rules and Regulations. In the case of Approach to Planning 113 Crew, there were also 4 participants who made remarks about a safety method or a change in procedure that took place as a result of an accident. The final attributed cause of the "top 10" was Approach to Planning Skipper, with 3 participants citing this as a part of their accident. The reason I decided to include this in the "top 10" was because 5 of the skippers also pointedly outlined their safety methods or a change they had made to the procedures as an outcome of an accident. Through the use of the fishers' own words and representative example excerpts, the reader should now have a more intimate understanding of the fishers' attributed causes of accidents. Chapter 8 w i l l focus on the implications for prevention education. 114 C H A P T E R 8: IMPLICATIONS F O R P R E V E N T I O N E D U C A T I O N Recommendations have been made to break away from the traditional techno-rational approach to safety education and "information dissemination" and instead to consider the fishers' view point regarding issues they present as important (Boshier, 1999; V a n Noy, 1995). However, research that focuses upon the fishers' own perspective, and more specifically, on the fishers perspective of what they consider to be causes of their accidents has been lacking in the research literature. This study has documented fishers' attributed causes of accidents in an attempt to partially f i l l that gap in the literature. Through fishers own accident accounts, and the analysis of those stories, this study has shown that fishers attribute their accidents to a broad spectrum of causes, a significant portion of which reside outside techno-rational concerns that focus on maintenance of machinery, and safety equipment in general. This suggests that more complex issues are involved. The logical question to ask is what can this research offer to the field of prevention education for fishers i f attributed causes for accidents reside both in the techno-rational (external/stable) and significantly in the other three quadrants of attributions (external/unstable, internal/stable, and internal/unstable). Chapter 8 acknowledges the complexity of using attribution theory as a basis for prevention education programs. The training presently available with regard to safety prevention education for B . C . fishers is briefly reviewed. Two programs "on the drawing board" are described focussing on their potential for broader reaching emphasis on the 115 fishers' attributed causes of accidents and how this may assist fishers in their assessment of risk. Suggestions are made on how to incorporate the fishers' attributed causes into prevention education. The chapter concludes with prevention education issues. Processes are discussed pertaining to increasing the effectiveness of programs for fishers. A Complex Issue Causes that fishers attribute to their accidents offer insights into their safety considerations. These indicate the direction for action fishers might take to decrease their occupational risks. This study identified 22 categories of causes as cited by participants. For 9 of the 12 participants the attributed causes of accidents were located in all four quadrants of attributions on the orienting framework (Table 3). This is of interest because current training regimens tend to address concerns that reside in the external/stable quadrant. It is easier for prevention training and education programs to subscribe to more technically advanced safety equipment, improved weather reporting systems, and fishing vessel stability requirements than to design prevention programs that address the full spectrum of categories of causes as identified through the application of attribution theory. DeJoy (1994) acknowledges this problem and suggests that when trying to apply attributed causes about safety issues to the work environment, "Incorrect attributions about safety events can lead to significant misapplication of prevention resources" (p. 9). This study is not concerned with whether fishers' attributed causes of accidents are correct or incorrect. Rather, it suggests that the wide spectrum of attributed causes need to be acknowledged when considering the content of prevention education programs for fishers. Chapter 8 does not suggest program action toward any specific attributed cause 116 category, but takes the position that fishers' collective attributed causes of their accidents might well be included in prevention education in the general context of making this information visible to fishers. Making attributed causes of accidents visible to fishers is not without inherent problems. It must be remembered that individual beliefs, expectations and intentions reside in a complex social and organizational environment and can influence the individual's attributed causes and the decisions made from them (DeJoy 1994). This researcher acknowledges the complexities of the introduction of attribution theory to prevention education. However, despite the complexities, an attempt needs to be made to use the information presented by fishers about attributed causes of accidents to improve safety prevention education. One way to do this is to refocus the attributed causes of fishing incidents/accidents through the lens of risk taking. In short, fishers might ask themselves, "yes, these are what I identify as leading to my incident/accident - in retrospect, was that taking an informed risk?" Within safety and health literature, a recognized approach to a safer work environment is called a risk assessment (Health and Safety Executive, 1998; Kohn & Ferry, 1999). A risk assessment is a careful examination of all manner of work activities to appraise what could cause injury and determine whether hazards could be controlled or eliminated. Some categories of causes identified in this study would be more controllable than others (Table 4). The American Society of Safety Engineers defines risk assessment as, "The amount or degree of potential danger perceived [italics added] by a given individual when determining a course of action to accomplish a given task" (Abercomie, 117 1988, p. 49). It is the fishers' perception of risks and attributed causes that are likely to direct their actions toward safety. Table 4. Attributed Causes of Fishing Accidents Reported by Twelve Fishers Attributed Cause Citing Locus Stability Control Number l,E S,U C,N Economic Pressures 10 E S c Luck, Fate 8 E u N Weather Conditions Expected 6 E s C Knowledge 6 I s C Fatigue 5 I u C Stress 5 I u C Approach to Planning Crew 4 E s N Competition 4 I u C Gov't Rules or Regulations 4 E u N Boat Movement Expected 4 E s N Approach to Planning Skipper 3 I s C Safety Equipment 3 E s C Carelessness 3 I u N Weather Conditions Unexpected 2 E u N Ability 2 I s C Maintenance Schedule Skipper 1 I s C Maintenance Schedule Crew 1 E s N Navigation Equipment 1 E s C Alcohol or Drugs 1 I u C Boredom 1 I u C Anxiety or Depression 1 I u C Key: E=External, ^Internal, S=Stable, U=Unstable, C=Controllable, N=Non-Controllable 118 The purpose of this study was not to systematically complete a risk assessment of each participant's fish boat and their work practices, however the study's findings represent the fishers' collective attributed causes of accidents. These perceived causes provide insight into the initial steps of the risk assessment process and offer possibilities for prevention education. This discussion about the complexities of attribution theory and prevention education need not occlude the introduction of fishers' attributed causes of accidents in safety training programs for fishers. From a practical adult education point of view to discuss attribution theory and safety with fishers is unrealistic. It is more realistic to speak to fishers about their perceived risks, and how the findings of this study might augment their understanding and assist them in reassessing their awareness of risk. Are they taking an informed risk? Program in Place for Br i t i sh Co lumbia Fishers A n overview of the Fishing Master Certificate program was described in Chapter 2. A l l four levels of the certificate program focus on general marine topics such as navigational equipment and specific regulations provided for under the Canada Shipping Act . The content of this program has not changed significantly over the years, nor has fisher input been solicited to update and make more relevant the existing course content. Even in 1997, when a re-structuring of the Canadian Marine Certificate System was undertaken, the Fishing Master Certificate program was not revisited (Minister of Transport, 1997). It is unlikely the Transport Canada certificate program for fishers, with the current curriculum, wi l l change in the foreseeable future. Transport Canada is laden with 119 laborious bureaucratic processes for change that do not include fisher input for direction as to what is relevant and useful and what is not. The results of this study identified 22 categories of causes from the participants' interviews. This researcher notes the existing program for fishers is mainly focused on techno-rational concerns that mostly reside in the External/Stable quadrant. It does not address the broad spectrum of perceived attributed causes of accidents as cited by participants of this study and that link to the fishers' perception of occupational risks. Given the unlikelihood of any revisions to the existing program, priority should be given to programs for fishers that are now on the drawing board. These programs may hold promise to take prevention education outside the realm of the current limited focus. Programs on the Drawing Board Two programs are in the development stages for British Columbia fishers. The first, is proposed by the B . C . Council of Professional Fish Harvesters. It is a comprehensive and complicated professional certification program and as such requires significant maturation as it is currently in its infancy. The second program is less ambitious and consists of a one day partially hands-on session that deals specifically with fishing vessel emergency drills. It has been designed through the Workers' Compensation Board of B . C . and has recently gone through the pilot stage. The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program The Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters is a non-profit organization founded in 1995. The Council is a federation of the main fish harvesters' organizations in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and British Columbia. West coast representatives on the Council are: the Native Brotherhood of B . C . , Pacific Gillnetters Association, Area G 120 Trol l Fishery Association, and United Fishermen and Al l i ed Workers' Union. The Council has several objectives focused on professionalizing fishers, one of which is to plan and implement training for the fish harvesting industry in Canada (Rahn, 1999). In A p r i l 1999 a conference, attended by approximately 200 fishers across all gear types, was held in Parksville, B . C . The agenda was to establish a B . C . council of professional fish harvesters based on the national model briefly described above. A t that conference the B . C . Fish Harvesters Council was created and steering committees formed. It is the intent of this newly formed Council to among other things, design and deliver a professional certification program for west coast fishers. A training subcommittee w i l l address issues of training, standards and grandfathering. A professional certification program is not a new concept. A similar training program was proposed by the now defunct Commercial Fishing Industry Council . Although the proposed program did not come to fruition, it included courses on fishing techniques and product handling, safety and survival at sea, vessel maintenance, financial management, managing a fishing enterprise, and crew management and leadership (Hanna, 1993). The proposed content of the program went beyond the Ministry of Transport Fishing Master Certificates in that it began to address some "non-traditional" topics such as financial management and crew management and leadership. That program was drafted by the same players as those in the B . C . Fish Harvesters Council . The training sub-committee of the B . C . Fish Harvesters Council is in a position to define needs and develop the program content. The fishers who are designing the program need to break away from the standard concept of training. The training sub-121 committee should have individuals on it who think beyond traditional training methods and who can employ some of the principles of adult education. The current direction of this program appears to be following traditional "training" nevertheless a window of opportunity exists to include a broader educational approach to fishing safety. Consideration should be given to including the categories of causes of accidents as identified through consultation with fishers and the findings of this study. A t minimum the program should enlarge upon already proposed course topics that echo those identified in this study. For example a course on financial management is listed for the certificate program and Economic Pressures was the most frequently cited attributed cause of accidents in this study. In participatory discussion groups, the learners should be encouraged to examine what past decisions they have made on the bases of Economic Pressures and consider i f this has placed them into a "near miss" situation and reassess their view of risks involved. From an adult education perspective, the learners in the program need to be able to attach their work experiences to the concepts that are presented as a part of the certification program. A n attempt could be made to incorporate more participatory group discussions and activities. This could include a section where the learners discuss their own accidents/incidents and near misses (not just those relating to Economic Pressures). This would assist the learners to attach meaning to the discussion and subsequent exercise, through the use of their own work experiences. A n activity could be to give them a list of the 22 categories of causes identified from this study and encourage them to rank in order the list according to their perceived importance for the causes of accidents and the risks involved. The learners should be informed that these categories came from 122 fishers within the B . C . fishing community. A participatory open discussion, should follow this exercise. The person facilitating the discussion and exercise should be an individual from the fishing community. This could assist fishers with the initial steps of identifying hazards and assessing risks and broaden the content of the program. The comparisons of risks (the learners' own accidents and the categories of causes from this study) may help convey the nature and size of a specific risk estimate for fisher-learners. Such comparisons would be a starting point for them to systematically address risks attached to different decision options. To be effective, this active collaboration with the learners needs to be done in a supportive learning environment to encourage them to bring forward their experiences and add them to the findings from this study. It is likely the learners would discuss causes from their accidents that coincide with causes from this study, for example: weather conditions expected, fatigue and competition. This would help them identify attributed causes of accidents as potentially adding to the risks of a situation. In future, they may reconsider options available to them during their decision making process and more readily ask themselves the question, " A m I taking an informed risk?" Without the discussion and exercise these risk comparisons may not be apparent. Workers' Compensation Board Fishing Vessel Emergency Dril ls The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has developed a one day program titled Fishing Vessel Emergency Dril ls . The program describes the W C B requirements for conducting on-board drills. Its focus is the following five emergency drills: crewmember overboard, fire, flooding, abandoning ship and calling for help. Concepts are included for the skippers (masters) or owner of the boat on how to make drills 123 effective and safe. The publication, "Gearing up for Safety" is included as a reference (Workers' Compensation Board, 1994). It offers a practical interpretation of the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation regarding safety practices in fishing and includes examples of accidents through the use of "Hazard Alert" summaries. Two W C B Safety Officers who specialize in the fishing industry have presented this one day program in pilot sessions. The pilot sessions have been extremely well received by fishers who have attended them. Evaluations indicate fishers see this W C B drills program as relevant to their work, and the specific skills gained are valuable. A n accompanying video was released in Apr i l 1999 to augment the learning process through visual example. The total package w i l l be in its final format for the fall of 1999. However, it falls short regarding exploring the fishers' perception of attributed causes of accidents and assessment of risks. The development of this program has not finished. Changes and improvements can be considered. Findings from this study can be used to increase learner awareness of the attributed causes of accidents and assessment of occupational risks. The format of this one day program is flexible and includes some traditional classroom instruction but also combines this with discussions and hands-on experiences such as donning an immersion suit, setting off a flare and the recovery of a buoy for a simulated person-overboard situation. The setting is a combination of community centre, dock-side, and on board vessels. The program opens with a recent west coast example of a fishing vessel accident where two crewmembers drowned and one survived (Transportation Safety Board, 1997). Some of the factors that lead up to the accident are reviewed, and include, the skipper 124 being under financial pressures and his decision to set sail despite the bad weather forecast. Currently, the learners are asked to talk about their accident/incident and near misses in a general fashion at the beginning of the program. However, this could be expanded in a similar manner as described for the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program. The factors of financial pressures and storm warnings on the weather forecast from the T S B example concur with the categories of causes identified in this study of Economic Pressures and Weather Conditions Expected. This presents an opportunity for discussion on findings from this study and risk assessment through the use of a known B . C . example. A list of the 22 categories of causes from this study could be handed out and ranked, with additional participatory group discussion. This would continue to help identify fishers' attributed causes of accidents and assist them to compare and systematically address the risks associated with their work. The Fishing Vessel Emergency Dri l ls program deals with situations where an emergency is taking place. The subject matter is serious and of importance to fishers. The participants have enthusiastically accepted the drills program, which suggests a "readiness to learn". This creates opportunities for learners to consider new concepts they may otherwise ignore. The inclusion of attributed causes of accidents and comparison of their perceived risks is a logical part of the program. This would help to give the program more of an educational focus than just dri l l training. It would encourage learners to reflect on the larger issue of multiple causes of accidents and guide them to assess whether they are taking informed risks. What issues need to be addressed in order to make both of the described "on the drawing board" programs more effective from an adult education perspective? 125 Prevention Educat ion Issues This section explores some processes that would contribute to effective prevention education programs for fishers. Recognizing the value of these processes is important since each can encourage an open participatory learning environment. A participatory learning environment is required to facilitate the fishers' discussions regarding their attributed causes of accidents, their ranking of the findings of this study, and their systematic comparison and assessment of the risks in their work environment. To reach B . C . fishers these programs should go to the communities of the fishers and not be. offered only in the lower mainland. This would assist in reaching fishers where they are, and where they are comfortable. When ever possible, for hands-on portions, the best location would be to "take it to the docks". Many fishers w i l l not sign up for a course, unless it is mandated. Taking portions of the programs to the docks would help with both accessibility and visibility, i f for no other reason than it is " in their face" and they might as well find out what is going on. This would be particularly effective i f scheduling was co-ordinated in consultation with fish buying companies (to confirm when boats are at the docks) and through the timing of the openings (to know when boats are gathered in key locations such as Prince Rupert). Content of programs should be adjusted to reflect the different needs and operational requirements of different sizes of boats and various gear types. For example, practice for a person overboard dri l l would be different for a six person seiner as compared with a two person gillnetter. These types of distinctions need to be addressed and appropriately customized into the programs. 126 Credibility would be enhanced through the use of members of the fishing community as facilitators. The facilitators should be recognized as being "one o f the fishers, and respected for their work experience. Similarity of work experience should assist learners in being able to identify with the facilitator, and assist the facilitator in being able to "talk the same language" as learners. The various fishing associations and organizations would be good contacts to identify suitable persons. The power and authority of facilitator and learner should be substantially equal. Having the facilitator come from within the "rank and file" of fishers would increase the industry rapport and contribute to minimizing the extent of any power relationships. This would assist in encouraging active participation in discussions and exercises. Power relationships on board the vessels should also be addressed. This can be of particular importance in an emergency situation where the person with the authority (the skipper) may override concerns of other crewmembers even in the face of danger. For example, postponing making a call for help, because of "pride". Programs should recognize the variety of cultural backgrounds of fishers and attempt to take the cultural differences into account (e.g. Vietnamese, First Nations, Yugoslavian). Some cultural groups are particularly hesitant around authority figures and "experts". When this is combined with a difficulty with the English language it can make the program inaccessible. However, i f facilitators come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and include individuals from different cultural communities, the barriers would be minimized. These above considerations wi l l assist in allowing fishers an opportunity to discuss and review their attributed causes of accidents and take into account how they 127 may reassess their occupational risks. This goes together with broadening of program content to include attributed causes that come from all four quadrants of attributions as indicated by participants of this study. Conclusions Fishers' attributed causes of accidents represent a link to their perceived safety concerns. Instead of trying to down play or ignore that fishers take risks, the proposed approach suggests recognition of those risks. Fishers are asked to review their past work experiences and address the questions of, "Was that an informed risk? What can I do to control or eliminate that risk?" A risk assessment is an accepted process to improve safety in the work environment. It is a way of thinking, not a specific procedure. This study has described and examined fishers' attributed causes of accidents. These are useful for prevention education because they assist fishers in focusing on the risks of their work. In addition to broadening the content of prevention education programs, the utilization o f processes that are conducive to a participatory learning environment are necessary. These processes would work towards: improving accessibility and credibility, recognizing the requirements of the different boats and gear types, minimizing power and authority, and acknowledging the variety of cultural backgrounds of fishers. 128 C H A P T E R 9: L I M I T A T I O N S A N D F U T U R E R E S E A R C H The purpose of this chapter is to describe the limitations of this study and to suggest directions for future research. This study described and analyzed 12 fishers' perspectives regarding their attributed causes of accidents and presented implications for prevention education. The major limitations of this study concern the use of retrospective interviews, the attribution theory bias called "self-serving", and the small number of participants. I outline the specifics around these limitations, and then indicate potential ideas for future research. Limitat ions Retrospective Interviews A methodological problem exists with the use of retrospective interviews. The participants may recall their experiences with biases, in part because of the passage of time. The participants may not specifically be trying to change their point of view, however, their responses may not reflect what they thought of a situation when it actually happened. Aspects of the current events in their present life may colour their past reflections. Changes such as having left the fishery, or government changes relating to the fishery, that occurred in subsequent years, or other personal or situational developments may cause shifts in thinking. The present set of circumstances act as a reference point for the participant who is attempting to reconstruct past events and offer his or her thoughts that relate to those events. For example, a fisher who is now a skipper may recall his prior fishing experiences as a crewmember as relatively carefree when 129 compared with the burden of responsibilities that he now carries as a skipper. Alternatively, the same skipper may now be relieved to pass some of the more physically demanding duties to his crewmembers. Because the participant may not be able to recall past events in a totally accurate manner, this must be accepted as a limitation of this study. Having said this, it must also be realized that virtually every account of what occurred in the past must cope with this type of reflective bias, whether it be an interview, or a survey. Self-serving Bias Attribution theory recognizes a self-serving bias comes into play when individuals try to explain success or failure. Basically, people want to be seen in a "good light" and w i l l attempt to find an explanation that is personally acceptable (Heider, 1958b). Fishing accidents were the focus of this study, so participants were attempting to describe the reasons why an accident occurred. Accidents are negative situations and involve a failure. Overall, people w i l l tend to reject responsibility for their failures. A review of the limitations of this study needs to include the realization that participants of this study w i l l have attempted to represent themselves in a "good light". Participants can be expected to have placed a greater emphasis on causes that made them feel more comfortable, and less "to blame." Participants are also likely to have attributed their accident to a cause that seemed socially acceptable, such as Economic Pressures, or to have placed the responsibility at the feet of a large faceless external cause such as Government Rules and Regulations. They would be less likely to attribute their accidents to Alcohol or Drugs, or Boredom, or Anxiety or Depression, as these would be seen to be socially unacceptable and very personal. 130 The focus of this study was to describe the fishers' perspective due to the lack of documentation of this in the literature. The need for fishers to represent themselves in a "good light" is part of the limitations of this study. This w i l l have played a role regarding which causes fishers were prepared to highlight. It must also be recognized however, that any analysis of an accident w i l l have a particular perspective attached to it, whether it is the perspective of an "official" (e.g., of the Coast Guard, the Worker's Compensation Board, the Transportation Safety Board) or that of the fisher. Number of Participants This study included the attributed causes of accidents from 12 professional fishers. The small number of participants' needs to be recognized as a limitation of this study. There were 22 categories of causes of accidents that participants spoke to, and which were identified during the analysis of the data. This study creates a starting point toward the description and analysis of fishers' attributed causes of accidents. In order to obtain a more accurate and complete representation of each of the causes, a larger group of participants would be in order. Future Research This section outlines possible future research directions that may contribute to the understanding of fishers' perspectives of the causes of their accidents. Interviews Immediately Following an Accident One approach future research could consider would be to perform participant interviews immediately following a fishing accident. In order to accomplish this, the researcher would likely have to obtain permission to gain access to the reports of an agency such as the Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia. The W C B 131 produces initial accident reports called preliminary reports that outline basic information about a serious industrial accident. Preliminary reports are produced as soon as possible following an accident. Alternatively, the researcher could also be advised of a new fishing industry accident through W C B Safety and Hygiene Officers who specialize in the fishing industry. The researcher would then have the opportunity to complete interviews of a similar nature to those in this study, and these would occur relatively quickly after the accident. This would assist in gathering the perspectives of fishers immediately following their industrial accident and would alleviate some of the limitations as outlined above under retrospective interviews. A note should be made that one of the roles of W C B Safety and Hygiene Officers is to investigate and report on serious accidents. The focus of their reports does not include the analysis of the attributed causes of accidents of the fishers (in the case of the fishing industry). Therefore, an independent researcher, whose focus was specifically on the perspective of fishers, would add another dimension to the information collected. This would continue to contribute to the description and analyses initiated with this current study. It would not be a repeat of the type of information that is already being collected. Different Cultural Backgrounds This study did not delve into the potentially different attributed causes that might be identified by an analysis of perspectives of fishers from different cultural backgrounds. A review of the various attributed causes presented by fishers from different cultural backgrounds may provide some additional insight into prevention education approaches that would be effective with the specific groups. A larger selection of participants from 132 the various cultural backgrounds would be required in order to have sufficient numbers in any one group so that the researcher could begin to see emerging patterns. In this study, the interviews with the First Nation participants indicated a pattern. First Nation fishers stated they fished and travelled in groups of boats and made a point o f checking on the welfare of the others in their group. Some of the other non-First Nation participants in this study also suggested that they had other fishers around them with whom they communicated. However, the statements of the First Nation participants were much stronger and louder on this topic than were those of the non-First Nation participants. This was not attributed as a cause of accidents, but as a regular operating practice that was viewed as a safety feature. Patterns of this nature or other explanations might emerge from various cultural groups and may represent another area of interest for future research. Perspectives of Skippers and Crewmembers The last recommendation regarding future research is in the area of identifying the potentially different perspectives that may exist between skippers as compared with crewmembers. Some studies on workplace safety have indicated that people in supervisory and decision-making positions often place more emphasis on external causes when reviewing issues of poor subordinate performance (DeJoy, 1985, 1994). The fundamental attributional error of attribution theory indicates that observers w i l l underestimate external or situational factors, whereas actors w i l l explain their own behaviour with an emphasis on external and situational factors. This is the basic actor-observer difference. In professional fishing the skipper is in the role of the supervisor; however, a high level of interdependency exists between skipper and crewmember(s). A 133 question for consideration for future research might be: To what extent do skipper and crewmembers have different attributed causes of fishing accidents? Also , does the high level of interdependency of skipper and crewmembers alter the usual actor-observer difference? Depending on the outcome, additional considerations may be in order with regard to the implications towards prevention education for skippers and crewmembers. Conclusions This has been a descriptive study with the purposes of examining fishers' attributed causes of accidents and deriving implications for prevention education. This study has shown that fishers' attributed causes of accidents are diverse and complex. The fishers do not focus on the traditional techno-rational concerns such as safety and navigation equipment. 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The purpose of this study is to take a look at fishermen's ideas and insights into the causes of fishing related accidents. A s a professional fisherman you are engaged in the activity of fishing and possess the knowledge and perceptions that are essential to the study. I anticipate that the findings wi l l assist in giving direction for future prevention education. I hope you w i l l be supportive of this study. I w i l l be contacting you in the near future to obtain your consent to interview you. Participation in this study is voluntary. Your involvement would be in the form of a maximum of two interviews that would be approximately one and one half hours in length. The interview wi l l be conducted at a time and location convenient to you. These interviews wi l l be tape recorded and the information gathered w i l l be used as data for my research project. Y o u may be asked to review portions of your interview transcript for accuracy. The maximum total amount of time that you w i l l be asked to participant w i l l be 4 hours. I w i l l not identify either you or the your vessel by name in my thesis or any reports. Y o u are free to withdraw your permission at any time, before, during, or after the interview. If at any time you have any questions or concerns about the project, you may contact either Roger Boshier at 822-xxxx or myself at 43x-xxxx. Yours sincerely, Victoria Brandlmayr 142 APPENDIX B: Consent Form for Interviews with Skippers and Crewmembers Dear : M y name is Victoria Brandlmayr and I am a graduate student in Adult Education at the University of British Columbia. The purpose of this letter is to seek your consent to participate in a maximum of two interviews for my graduate thesis study. The title of my study is: Fishers' Attributions of Accidents and Their Implications Toward Prevention Education. I w i l l be supervised in my work by Dr. Roger Boshier of the Faculty of Education. The purpose of this study is to take a look at fishermen's ideas and insights into the causes of fishing related accidents. A s a professional fisherman, you are engaged in the activity of fishing and possess the knowledge and perceptions that are essential to this study. I anticipate that the findings w i l l assist in giving direction for future prevention education. A maximum of two, one and one half hour interviews wi l l be required on a voluntary basis. Y o u may also be asked to review portions of your interview transcript(s) for accuracy. Your total time commitment is expected to be a maximum of four hours. The material I gather in these interviews wi l l be used as data for my project. I w i l l not identify either you or your vessel by name in my thesis or any reports. Y o u may stop your participation at any time before, during or after the interview(s). If at any time you have any questions or concerns about the study, please do not hesitate to contact either Dr. Roger Boshier at 822-xxxx or myself at 43x-xxxx. If you are wil l ing to participate in this project, please indicate this by signing in the space provided below. Thank you, Victoria Brandlmayr I, , give my consent to participate in this project. I am being provided a copy of this consent form for my own records. Signature Date 143 Appendix C : Interview Schedule Biograph ical/Backgro und Questions 1. H o w many years have you been a fisher? How many years as the skipper (master)? 2. What was it about being a fisher that attracted you to the job? 3. Who else in your family is also a fisher? Currently, in past generations, and possible future generations? 4. Tel l me a little bit about your individual background, for example, age, family, formal schooling (general and fishing related), address and phone number (if not already obtained). Specific "Accident" Knowledge (Real Life Examples) 5. Tel l me about a time when things didn't go as planned, something went wrong? Tel l me about your "biggest" (most significant) real life accident. 6. Can you recall having experienced additional "accident" situations? (These might be situations where you were directly involved or ones that happened on board your vessel or the vessel you were on at the time). 7. If person states he has never had an accident: Even though you have never had a serious accident, there have likely been a "near miss" or two over the years. Can you think of a near miss situation? Please describe it for me. 8. Taking a more in-depth look at 5 or 7, i f not automatically brought forward in the description ask about: the time of day (daylight or dark) day of the week the month of the year (season) the "type" of day, (weather) how many months or years ago how many people on board on board what vessel, gear type, size and age at what point in the trip, how many days "out" was a "catch" already on board, how full had you worked with the crew before had the crew worked together before 9. What led up to that event? What happened in the hours (maybe even days) prior to that situation? 10. In the case of a "near miss" being described: What occurred to prevent the near miss from being a serious accident? (skipper's skill/experience, the crew, luck, etc.) Focusing of the Accident Situation onto the Attribution Model 11. Were there any "clues" ahead of time that this event might occur? If yes, what were the clues? If no, what about the event made it occur unexpectedly? 12 If this particular event was totally unexpected, do you think that having experienced this situation, you would be able to "see it coming" another time? What would be the things that might give you the sense this might happen? 13. In looking back, knowing what you know now, would there be anything that you would do differently? If so, what? (How far back in time and in the series of events would you feel you would have to go in order to get a different outcome?) If not, expand on the reasons why? 14. What might you want/expect that your crew or skipper would do differently? 15. If during the above descriptions the following items are not discussed then ask about whether the participant feels that any of the following items, circumstances may have played a role for either himself or his crew or skipper: ability knowledge economic pressures 145 approach to planning team approach of entire crew (functions as a team) maintenance standards or habits navigational equipment on board safety equipment on board fatigue alcohol or drug use anger or temper boredom stress weather conditions anxiety or depression luck 13. H o w would you compare the trip where that incident occurred to another trip where everything was "perfect"....totally in order? What would you say are some of the main differences between the two? 14. Why do you think that situation happened? What is your gut feeling or overall summary of the reason why? 17. Especially i f the participant has been describing a near miss or "someone else's" accident (but even with a major accident he may still feel he has a good overall safety record): To what do you attribute your (good) safety record? 18. If a skipper has been describing a crew member accident ask about: a.) do you ever end up doing the crewmember's job? b.) how many years since you were last a crew member? 19 For either a crewmember or a skipper ask: To what extent do you feel that an unsafe or careless crewmember or skipper (opposite to what they are) is an important feature in the cause of an accident. 20. A n y other comments that you would like to add? 146 APPENDIX D: Overview of the Fishers' Attributed Causes, Including Examples of the Fishers' Phrases Internal/Stable Abi l i ty (2): the fisher attributed a cause as a lack of ability to deal effectively with the circumstances. Noreen White: "(the other crew members didn't not have) experience to the point that they can "feel" the boat and steer it with.. .anticipation..." Walt Pearson: " . . .the guy driving didn't drive properly when the log hit.. .didn't react fast enough..." Knowledge (6): the fisher attributed a cause as the lack of Knowledge in relation to a specific piece of information that was missing, or information, even i f provided, that was not applied properly to the circumstances. E d Quinn: "I didn't realize that there was this pause with it (the sounder).. .1 was fooling with it when I shouldn't have been, I had enough knowledge to do it without i t . . . " Quinn Jackson: "I didn't realize that it (the pump) was actually pumping in . Paul Zenn: " . . .it wasn't a safe place to be.. .we warned him not to stand there." Noreen White: " I don't think that we really realized just what (storm) was still to come.. ." Edmund Fumano: "I know better, now I definitely make sure that I look.. .where I am standing before releasing the net into the water." L i a m Osaka: " . . .But you think that you know everything..." 147 Approach to Planning Skipper (3): the skipper attributed a cause as a series of events that dealt with the "big picture" of the organization of the trip or the fishing processes. E d Quinn: "I hadn't turned the radar on yet.. .what I should have done was take the boat out of gear.. .1 should have played with that sounder before I left the dock." Rod Quiggley: "there wasn't a (protective) flap.. .this was an old coat and the buttons were exposed and the web got caught..." Paul Zenn: "So then the bar is still turning.. .and he (the crew) couldn't get to it to turn it off. . ." Maintenance Schedule Skipper (1): the skipper attributed a cause as a break down of equipment that was normally reviewed as part of the regular maintenance schedule. Quinn Jackson: " . . .it still bothers me today.. .that rubber hose gave away, it wore out...and burst..." Competition (4): the fisher attributed a cause as the internal challenge of catching fish, as either a sense of pride or to beat out a fisher on another boat. K e n Thomas: " . . .it becomes a sport after a while.. .It's a game.. .It's a challenge..." Rod Quiggley: "There was just no way that I was going to have somebody else put their net in the water where I knew the opportunity was there to catch that extra f i sh . . . " Noreen White: " . . .but we were having such good fishing and it really was quite exciting so we really didn't want to stop at that point." Edmund Fumano: "The fact is, that out there it is very competitive." 148 External/Stable Economic Pressures (10): the fisher attributed a cause as money issues or concerns regarding paying off bills or wanting to earn more money, or pressure from others such as the fish packing company to produce large catches. Ken Thomas: " I f I don't catch them (fish), they (the company) don't make anything, so there is always this 'Ooooo, we hope you do well tomorrow' talk." Rod Quiggley: "I needed to have.. .that extra money from catching that extra fish...I had a new pay for. . ." Peter Lightheart: " . . .there's $100,000 worth of fish there and you need it to pay the rest of your bills for the season." Barb Zenn: "yeah to pay the bil ls . . .the first two drifts.. .are the best for the whole day.. ." Paul Zenn: " . . .gotta catch those fish and maybe get a little bigger share..." Hal Matsumoto: " . . . we are trying to get more money by going to Vancouver.. .money a major thing." Noreen White: "we wanted to keep fishing.. .he (the skipper) had a big investment into the boat and the equipment..." Edmund Fumano: " . . .the financial pressures are always there.. .we have pressure to work as much as we can. . ." L i a m Osaka: " . . .they (the crew) are out here to make money and every fish that comes aboard means money to them." Walt Pearson: " . . .put ourselves under pressure.. .otherwise no one is going to make.. .any money." Approach to Planning Crew (4): the crewmember attributed a cause as the overall planning of the trip or the fishing process. Barb Zenn: "They (the authorities) can make it legally your fault. (Commenting on navigation, and right of way.) Paul Zenn: "I don't know, for some reason I was instructed to go the outside route (around the net)." Edmund Fumano: " . . .it was a whole series of things that happened together before my Dad got hit in the face..." Walt Pearson: "Running at night isn't the smartest thing to do (in a wooden boat).. .to add to it the pump wasn't working. . ." Maintenance Schedule Crew (1): the fisher attributed a cause as a lack of maintenance that resulted in some form equipment failure. Walt Pearson: " . . .that wooden boat was in bad shape.. .a junker, the pump needed repair." Navigation Equipment (1): the fisher attributed a cause as navigation equipment contributing to the occurence o f the accident. Ed Quinn: " . . .1 wanted that equipment going so I could just follow down along the can buoys and let him have the channel." Safety Equipment (3): the fisher attributed a cause as the safety equipment contributing to the occurrence of the accident. Quinn Jackson: "these safety bells for the alarm system, .. .it is important to have a bell outside the cabin. . ." Barb Zenn: " . . .cause he always has a knife stuck right there. If it had been there he would have used it." Walt Pearson: "it. . .took about 25 minutes to get it (the pump) going.. .the electric pump that wasn't working great, but it was working some." Integrity and Stability of Vessel (2): the fisher attributed a cause to the lack of sufficient integrity and stability of the vessel. Noreen White: " . . .that part (an addition on the stern of the boat) just kinda hangs over the water and doesn't have a keel or a hull section that extends into the water itself." L i a m Osaka: "It has always been a finicky boat and when you talk to a lot of guys, they know it as a top heavy vessel." Weather Conditions Expected (6): the fisher attributed a cause to weather conditions that he or she had known about. K e n Thomas: "there was some ice and overall it was bad conditions..." E d Quinn: " . . .but the tide was a big change and there was wind that blew us. . ." Peter Lightheart: " . . .there was some ice on the rai l . . .the freezing spray is the worst..." Noreen White: " . . .there were storms big time.. .at least 80,1 think it was even to 100 sometimes..." Edmund Fumano: " . . .because of the wind, .. .the tide against the wind tends to increase the amount of action and the size of the waves..." L iam Osaka: " . . .we knew that there was bad weather.. .it would have been blowing about 35 to 40 south east..." 151 Boat Movement Expected (4): the fisher attributed a cause to boat movement that was part of the ongoing motion. Peter Lightheart: " . . .the boat just was moving and it rolled.. .and the back end of the door slid off the r a i l . . . " Barb Zenn: " . . .it was just because he was trying to stop the two boats from coming together, the swell was working against h im . . . " Edmund Fumano: ".. .we were fishing in four meter swells, with a wave.. .and I my foot slipped off.. .rammed my shin. . ." Walt Pearson: " . . .you get the wave that hits the boat and grabs you. . .and up against the r a i l . . . " Internal/Unstable Fatigue (5): the fisher attributed a cause to being extremely tired resulting in inattention or a situation where another less experienced crewmember had to take the wheel. Peter Lightheart: "I got him up first to watch.. .and I feel, bang, right under the keel . . . " Hal Matsumoto: " . . .everybody tired of course.. .so I was on the wheel... I fall asleep..." Noreen White: "(the storm lasted) for three days, (the skipper) had to catch a bit of sleep, turned the wheel over to Olaf . . ." Edmund Fumano: " . . .and you get really tired.. .It is very tiring.. .1 had just woken up, I wasn't fully awake yet.. .wasn't really watching..." Walt Pearson: "We were...pretty tired...that just kinda added to the human error." Alcohol or Drugs (1): the fisher attributed a cause to either alcohol or drugs. 152 Quinn Jackson: "...have a few drinks.. .some fishermen have extreme addictions..." Boredom (1): the fisher attributed a cause to boredom. Ken Thomas: " . . .1 think a lot of boredom from waiting (for an opening), the waiting can be tedious. Stress (5): the fisher attributed a cause to the stress of the situation due to tensions around being the one who was ultimately responsible, and/or keeping the crew or the company happy, and/or economic pressures. Ken Thomas: " . . .the stress factor.. .the captain's got all the pressure.. .feels like you are going to war... pressure from the boss..." Rod Quiggley: " . . .a very stressful day.. .hurried.. .in the heat of the situation.. .the stress of trying to catch a many fish.. . Peter Lightheart: " . . .1 had stress from the economics of the times.. .stressful due to the government and we knew it wasn't good to be there... Hal Matsumoto: "Stress.. .try to get to Vancouver as quick as possible. L i a m Osaka: " . . .the crew.. .stressed...they are out here to make money..." Anxiety or Depression (1): the fisher attributed a cause to either anxiety or depression. K e n Thomas: " . . .1 was feeling.. .all the waiting.. .a bit depressed..." Carelessness (3): the fisher attributed a cause to carelessness, on the part of themselves or another. E d Quinn: " . . .when you know what's going on and you do it anyway, that's stupid, careless..." Paul Zenn: "Just a careless moment.. .it just happened." 153 Edmund Fumano: " . . .1 was careless and too quick.. .just my own carelessness..." External/Unstable Government Rules or Regulations (4): the fisher attributed a cause to either government rules or regulations. Ken Thomas: " . . .the Mif f l in plan put the pressure on . . . " E d Quinn: " . . .1 get a.. .never never response.. .(from the Coast Guard)." Peter Lightheart: "...because it's these situations that we get forced into (by the government)..." Quinn Jackson: "so you have your policies and because of that.. .travel at night." Weather Conditions Unexpected (2): the fisher attributed a cause to weather conditions that he or she was not expecting. Peter Lightheart: " . . .the marine forecasts are so unreliable.. .problem that I find.. .the forecasting. L iam Osaka: " .. .the wind funnels downs.. .1 neglected to find that out before we headed out (new fishing grounds)." Luck or Fate (8): the fisher attributed a cause to luck or fate, either where they felt they had "bad" luck or where the fisher saw that luck played a role in his or her survival. Ken Thomas: " . . .well luckily I was the only one who got the injury.. ." E d Quinn: " W e l l I always said i f I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any." Rod Quiggley: "Luck, i f the drum hadn't stopped.. .Lucki ly the net on the drum caught itself..." Peter Lightheart: "It was just one of those accidents, unlucky.. ." Hal Matsumoto: "so that was lucky that we had built such a strong boat..." Noreen White: " . . .when your number's up, your numbers up, and our wasn't yet.. ." L i a m Osaka: " . . .but you just gamble a little bit.. .test fate..." Walt Pearson: " . . .didn't hit him straight on, so it was real lucky . . . " 


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