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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 OF ACCIDENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PREVENTION EDUCATION by VICTORIA L E E B R A N D L M A Y R B . A . , The University o f British Columbia, 1978  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF 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 OF ARTS  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 BRITISH 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 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  /lUautf ?. /?? 9  f  &UnJAO^  ABSTRACT  Commercial fishers are employed i n one o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the researcher's judgements regarding the transcripts and final interpretation o f the data. The strategies were: use o f a research partner (consistency), conducting a participant review (credibility), and comparison with another study (triangulation). The participants o f this study attributed multiple causes to a given accident and their explanations were complex. The study found 22 categories o f causes o f accidents. The attributed causes from 9 o f the 12 participants were distributed in all quadrants o f attributions on the orienting framework (external/stable, external/unstable, internal/stable and internal/unstable). Five or more participants attributed the following as causes i n 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 o f accidents. The study indicates that prevention education program content should be broadened to address the full spectrum o f fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. Through the utilization o f fishers' attributed causes o f accidents, prevention education programs could assist fishers to focus on their perceptions o f occupational hazards and risks, and address questions o f 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  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT  ii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  iv  LIST OF T A B L E S  vii  LIST O F FIGURES  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  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 Theoretical Framework Orienting Framework Implications for Prevention Education Purpose o f the Study Structure o f the Thesis  4 4 6 10 11 11  C H A P T E R 2: T H E FISHERS: A N I M A G E O F T H E I R W O R L D Social and Contextual Issues The People and Attitudes Cultures Customs and Power Economics, Politics and the Decline in Fish Stock Educational Practices Overview o f Educational Settings Proposed Structured Training Programs Two (Hands-On) American Training Approaches Research Concept o f Safety Research Traditions Current Research Direction Summary  12 12 12 14 15 16 18 18 20 21 22 22 24 29 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 Overview o f Attribution Theory Fundamental Principles o f Attribution Theory Major Contributors to the Field Biases i n Attribution Attribution Theory Within the Context o f this Thesis DeJoy's Analysis and M o d e l o f Attribution Theory in Workplace Safety Conceptual Framework  32 33 33 34 37 38 38 40  i ;  iv  Conclusions  44  C H A P T E R 4: M E T H O D O L O G Y Suitability o f Methodology Issues Strategy Sampling Process Issues Strategy Interview Process Issues Strategy Reliability and Validity or Trustworthiness Issues Strategy Treatment o f the Data Issues Strategy Structure o f the Results Summary  45 45 45 47 48 48 49 50 50 51 52 52 54 56 56 57 58 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 Socib-Demographic Characteristics and Interview Highlights Overview Case Vignettes Interview Process Context Interview Schedule Summary  61 61 61 62 73 73 75 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 Analyzing the Transcripts Charting the Framework Issues o f Trustworthiness Research Partner (Consistency) Participant Review (Credibility) Comparison with Binkley's Study (Triangulation) Summary  77 77 79 83 83 87 91 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 "THEIR WORDS AND EXPLANATIONS" "Top 10" Categories o f Causes Internal/Stable External/Stable Internal/Unstable External/Unstable  95 95 96 102 107 110  Internal/Unstable External/Unstable Summary  107 110 112  C H A P T E R 8: I M P L I C A T I O N S F O R P R E V E N T I O N E D U C A T I O N A Complex Issue Program in Place for British Columbia Fishers Programs on the Drawing Board The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program Workers' Compensation Board Fishing Vessel Emergency Drills Prevention Education Issues Conclusions  114 115 118 119 119 122 125 127  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 Limitations Retrospective Interviews Self-serving Bias Number o f Participants Future Research Interviews Immediately Following an Accident Different Cultural Backgrounds Perspectives o f Skippers and Crewmembers Conclusions  128 128 128 129 130 130 130 131 132 133  REFERENCES  134  A P P E N D I X A : Information/Invitation Letter For Skippers and Crewmembers  141  A P P E N D I X B: Consent Form For Interviews With Skippers A n d Crewmembers  142  A P P E N D I X C : Interview Schedule  143  A P P E N D I X D: Overview o f the Fishers' Attributed Causes, Including Examples o f the Fishers' Phrases  146  vi  LIST O F T A B L E S Page Table 1.  Table 2.  Table 3.  Table 4.  A n Overview o f the "Causes" Attributed to the Accidents as Indicated by Each o f the Participants  59  Summary o f the Ethnic Background and Additional Socio-cultural Details o f the Participants  63  Summary o f the Boats, and Gear Type(s) Used and the Species o f Fish(es) Caught by the Participants  64  Attributed Causes o f Fishing Accidents Reported by Twelve Fishers  vii  117  LIST O F F I G U R E S Page Figure 1. The intersection o f the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents and create the orienting framework  7  Figure 2. A n Attributional Model o f the Safety-Management Process  39  Figure 3. "Categories o f causes" nested within the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents  96  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  M a n y people contributed to the successful completion o f 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 o f this thesis, and numerous people in the fishing industry, my co-workers, Catharina Charron, David Clarabut, Karen Gallie, Wendy Hunt, W i l m a Kelder, Betty-Anne Lee, Candace Mayes, Janice Mayes, Alanna Nadeau, M i k e Ross, and Robin V a n Heck. Additionally, I would like to express my indebtedness to the following four people: L y a 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 o f Salty.  ix  1  C H A P T E R 1: A DANGEROUS OCCUPATION  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 o f isolation and boredom. They are skilled in terms o f 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, & V a n N o y , 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 o f sixth is out of a total o f 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 o f fatal claims accepted by the Workers' Compensation Board ( W C B ) of British Columbia over the period from 1988 to 1997 (Workers' Compensation Board o f B . C . Annual Report, 1997). It does not take into account the number o f people employed in each industry. In terms o f showing the actual risk that a fisher faces, the position o f sixth for fishers is deceptively low, because information on the number o f full-time equivalents (FTE's) and the number o f person years o f employment are not available through the W C B o f 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 o f fishing and trapping together, which confounds the analysis o f strictly the fishing industry. A l s o , this is for the country o f Canada, not only for the province o f 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 o f the risk o f 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 o f 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 o f reporting o f nonfatal injuries to the authorities. The fishers' lack o f reporting injuries ties into the way they look at the issue o f risk i n their profession. Fishers have established a pattern of denial and trivialization as part o f 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 o f the dangers o f their occupation. This propensity to deny risk and ignore non life threatening injuries confounds the statistical analyses o f the overall work related injuries and results in a lack o f 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 o f times before, a bight o f 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 o f calm.... (p. 38). The fisher saw the sides o f the steel vessel as huge barriers preventing h i m 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 h i m 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 o f 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 o f denial or trivialization of the dangers had prevented a change i n behaviour by those fishers who had not personally been overboard. H o w did the remainder o f the crew justify the continued practice o f not wearing their P F D ' s ? H a d these co-workers been able to convince themselves somehow that "this wouldn't happen to me"?  4  This incident gives a glimpse o f a broader problem. Fishers can attribute the cause o f an accident to fate, luck and such "factors" beyond their control. A fisher who believes the cause o f an accident is beyond his or her control is likely to doubt the usefulness o f learning about safety. Policy makers have traditionally ignored the human, behavioural and attitudinal factors even though American and Canadian analysis o f fishing vessel accidents indicate that human factors directly or indirectly contribute to 70% to 90% o f incidents (National Research Council, 1991, pp. 13-14). Many researchers are aware o f 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; Reilly, 1985, 1987). However, researchers have not usually considered fishers' accident stories. Professional fishers have identified some o f 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 o f accidents. Approach Theoretical Framework Researchers in the fishing industry have functioned from an objective and quantifiable view o f the world. This study challenges the traditional concept o f the objective world and its "technical control" approach to knowledge by focusing on fishers' subjective interpretations o f fishing safety. Instead o f 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 o f 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 o f fishing safety knowledge that fishers hold and take for granted. It is an attempt to share the complex world o f lived experience from the point o f view o f 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. W e 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 V a n N o y (1995) shows how two different groups o f 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 o f work place safety, affirms the importance o f perceptual data o f 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 o f injury events and accidents. A t the centre o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the framework. The intersection o f two lines creates the four quadrants that make up the framework (see Figure 1). The vertical line represents the dimension o f stability. The dimension o f 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 STABLE  Internal/Stable  External/Stable E X T E  I  N T E R"  R  N A L  N A L  Internal/Unstable  External/U nstable  UNSTABLE  ORIENTING F R A M E W O R K F i g u r e 1. The intersection o f 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 o f factors that came from the environment or from outside o f him or her self. External causes can also result in changes for future actions however, sometimes the external causes may be outside o f the control o f the individual. In the following true account the skipper can identify multiple sources to which he attributes the causes o f 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 o f fuel. He managed to contact the Coast Guard and they air dropped a 55 gallon drum o f fuel. The boat and crew all made it back to port safely. After the experience the skipper stated, " W e 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). H i s description, in which he emphasizes his greed, would place the greed in the upper left quadrant o f internal and stable. One might argue that the wind coming up "unexpectedly" to 50 miles per hour was an external and unstable factor o f weather conditions; however, the story didn't clarify whether the skipper knew o f the  9 high winds to come and chose to ignore or challenge that situation. In any event, the skipper's own analysis o f the causes that got him into a problem situation pointed to the leak, the lack o f fuel, and largely his own greed. In the story presented above, the skipper states that he wouldn't head out again with a leak i n 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 o f 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 o f fishers, and are part o f their verbal comments (Pollnac et al., 1995). A l s o , the interviews involved real people relating accounts o f their life experiences regarding fishing and accidents. Real life exists within a complex context. Instead o f trying to compress these complex events into one category per accident, I accepted that the fishers would attribute multiple causes in their descriptions o f 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 o f fishers' attributed causes o f 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 w i 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f fire equipment, rather than taking into account the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. One outcome o f my study is the clarification o f the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents through the analysis of fishers' descriptions o f accidents.  11  Purpose of the Study The purposes o f this research were to: 1.  examine fishers' attributed causes o f accidents, and  2.  derive implications for prevention education. Structure of the Thesis Chapter 1 has presented an outline o f the background, the approach, and the  purposes o f this study. Chapter 2 reviews literature on fishers and their industry, and closes with a review o f safety research i n 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 o f 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 o f the transcripts. Chapter 7 analyzes the participant fishers' ten most frequently attributed causes o f accidents and includes quotations from the transcripts. Chapter 8 discusses the implications o f these findings for prevention education. Chapter 9 examines the limitations o f the study and recommendations for future research concerning fishers and safety.  12  C H A P T E R 2: T H E FISHERS: A N I M A G E OF THEIR W O R L D  The purposes o f this study were to examine fishers' attributed causes for accidents, and derive implications for prevention education. This chapter provides an overview o f 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 o f 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, N e w 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 ) o f 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 o f 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 o f statement captures what is, for many, the "hook" o f being a commercial fisher. But, i f the seduction o f freedom is the "hook" o f fishing, then the denial o f danger is the "line and sinker." A s mentioned in Chapter 1, the research o f Pollnac, Poggie, and VanDusen (1995) shows the tendency o f fishers to trivialize or deny the dangers of commercial fishing. This practice allows fishers to reject information that verifies the dangers o f their work and to discard the importance o f 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 o f catching more fish. Safety equipment represents facing dangers connected with fishing. This denial o f danger attitude is confirmed by Binkley (1994). A s part o f a much larger study, Binkley presented 11 interviews which typify the experiences o f 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 o f 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 o f fishers' traditionally fatalistic attitude toward the risks o f 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 o f 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 o f this chapter. Cultures The British Columbian fishing community contains a multicultural mixture o f peoples.. Some o f the most common cultural backgrounds o f the B . C . fisher are: Native Indian, Japanese, Yugoslavian, Norwegian, British, and Vietnamese. This is one o f 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 o f major importance and suggests how the cultural backgrounds of the fishers should be taken into consideration. The majority o f 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; Reilly, 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 i n greater depth in Chapter 4.  15  Customs and Power Fishing as an occupation has a lack o f controlling factors normally found in other occupations (Gray, 1986; Secretariat for Regulation Review, 1993). The industry term for the monetary relationship between the owner o f the vessel, the skipper (often one and the same but not always), and the vessel's crew is "co-adventurers". This means they share i n the operating cost o f 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 o f a typical supervisor in general industry. This situation leads to an imbalance of power, especially while the vessel is at sea. Some o f 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 o f the fishing vessel" (Part 24, Section 24.73, Workers' Compensation Board o f 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 o f a personal floatation device (PFD) as part o f their habits, then the simple regulation o f this activity is unlikely to produce a change o f actions.  16  Power runs deep in the interactions o f the crew and skipper. In an analysis o f 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 o f this type points out the political impact o f 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 o f customs and power as they tie into communication on board fishing vessels represents a large area o f 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 o f their responsibility. Economics, Politics and the Decline in Fish Stock I do not intend to delve into an analysis o f all the ramifications o f the economic and political changes in the fishing industry. That in itself would be a completely different thesis. I present a brief outline o f 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 o f fish stock and the havoc it has wrought on the lives o f 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 o f the changes. Since 1995 a significant downturn in the tons o f 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 " M i f f l i n 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 o f salmon commercial fishing fleet jobs from 1991 to 1994 and compared that average with the number of jobs in 1997: there was a decrease o f 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 o f red meat ( B . C . Job Protection Commission, 1998). The decline i n 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 o f 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. E d u c a t i o n a l Practices Overview o f Educational Settings A n assortment o f 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 Auxiliary 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 o f the British Columbia Institute o f Technology, offers certification programs for careers at sea. Most o f the programs are for marine industries other than fishing, however, they do offer the Ministry o f 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 o f less than 100 gross tons. The focus o f any o f the four levels o f 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 I V 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 i n the Fishing Master III level. Therefore, although the title o f 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 o f "prevention education is focused on materials preparation and dissemination, giving out o f information" (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987, p. 2). Their officers give public presentations and show videos. A n y 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 o f 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 o f roles i n overseeing commercial fishing, there remain no specific requirements for crew certification on vessels o f 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 o f 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 o f how to adequately train fishers in effective safety practices. Some literature presents more focused concepts, including outlines for the curricula o f 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 o f 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 o f the development o f the curricula or how to take these types o f 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 o f information for the skipper and crew o f fishing vessels. Some o f the topics are applicable to the specific everyday activities o f fishers as they include vessel familiarity, working conditions, and stability. Most o f 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 o f the manual is designed for use on board a boat. It also encourages the skipper and crew to make regular use o f 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 o f 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 handson practice used to bring to life and dramatize the manual's information. The concept o f 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 i n its quarterly newsletter Marine Safety Update (1998) and offers safety and drill 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 o f 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 o f the A M S E A training programs are favourable, both from the statistical analysis o f lives saved (Perkins, 1995), and from the viewpoint o f 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 i n 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 o f the benefits that a particular action w i 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 w i 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 o f 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 o f 90% o f fisher deaths result from drowning (National Institute o f Occupational Safety & Health, 1994). For decades the only form o f 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 o f boating activities (Doherty, 1993). In addition, it carries a negative social connotation for the wearer. Fishers are physically active and require a high range o f motion; hence, they have adopted the standard use o f non-  24  flotation, non-thermal rain gear. This situation would never be solved with the addition o f regulations, stricter enforcement, or the distribution of more pamphlets proclaiming the benefits o f wearing a P F D . The manufacturers of flotation gear have recognized the difficulties regarding the restricted range o f 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 o f this new flotation gear, but not all (Canadian Coast Guard Working Group on Fishing Vessel Safety, 1987). This type o f innovation and corresponding changes by the manufacturers and the authorities are required for some safety issues. Some o f the new gear now carries a positive image for the wearer. However, it still remains that not all fishers appropriately use this simple form o f life saving gear, which raises the deceptively simple question o f "why not"? Research Traditions Fishing industry research reports have traditionally analyzed data gathered by various government agencies. Because o f this, I w i l l present a brief overview o f 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 o f 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 o f the British Columbia fishing fleet are broken into a number of agencies. This contributes to a lack o f co-ordinated information. The focus o f the Transportation Safety Board and the other government agencies involved i n 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 o f the accident and the identification o f 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 o f 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 o f accidents was underway (p. 65). Information from the Coast Guard as o f 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 coordination o f 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 o f Coast Guard resources than to the understanding o f what causes incidents" (Boshier, 1990, p. 46). The Transportation Safety Board publishes marine occurrence and casualty statistics for successive years based on type o f 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 o f collection some questions arise regarding their reliability. Through the use o f 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 o f the 342 fishing vessels into an "other" gear type category. Concerned with the inaccuracy o f the coding, Boshier used licensing information to clarify the gear types o f 185 o f the 230 "other" classifications. This is an example o f the possible lack o f integrity of the data base and the care that must be taken in the acceptance o f it at face value. The following presents an example o f the T S B ' s data collecting focus. The T S B (1997) report on the sinking o f the Hili-Kum  mentions at the beginning o f the report that  the skipper was under financial pressures but decided to head out in spite o f 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 o f 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 o f fishers in preventing the series o f 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 o f solutions. There is a noticeable lack o f 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 o f 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 o f the National Register and the Register o f 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 o f 45.8 per 100,000 person years. Both the above studies expressed concern about the accuracy o f existing data sources. In a report o f the fatal and non-fatal work related injuries o f N e w Zealand fishers, Norrish and Cryer (1990) analyzed injuries by parts of the body injured, and frequency o f occurrence. They reviewed fatalities in relation to the location o f the vessel when the accident occurred. The findings are as to be expected, with the higher mortality rates occurring i n the rougher sea conditions, in the isolated locations, or at the critical path areas o f river and harbour entrances. Concern is once again expressed over the inadequacies o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f fishing accidents through a review o f claims records. ( S T D stands for short term disability and L T D for long term disability.) The claim file records are originally gathered for the purposes o f deciding whether an injury w i l l be accepted by the W C B for payment o f 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 o f categories such as frequency o f type o f accident, frequency o f type o f injury, common causes and contributing factors, and work activities such as the handling o f the gear or the fish, or no identifiable activity. This study does an adequate job o f 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 o f events that lead up to the accidents. In the scant recommendations, the study acknowledges that the records do not present sufficient information o f the factors leading up to the accidents. A study on the mortality o f United Kingdom fishers from 1961 to 1980 from the data o f 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 o f fishers from 1961 to 1980. The further conclusion was that fishers were at no  29  decreased risk o f death from work related accidents after the establishment o f the Committee o f 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 i n improving the work environment for fishers. This is not an exhaustive list o f research studies but is representative o f major fishing countries. This sampling highlights the tradition of looking at the problem by reviewing numbers o f injuries and deaths and placing them into categories. A l l research reports reviewed i n this section express varying concerns about the integrity o f 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 o f fatalities per person years o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 200 fishers and 25 wives. From this  30  larger study she selected 11 interviews as representative o f the larger study. One o f 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 o f them i f they had ever had a serious accident and they would indicate "no". However, during the course o f 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 o f 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 N o y (1995) claimed, "There is enough evidence presented in this research to show that the additional perspectives brought by professional fishermen to the review o f casualties are important to any serious investigation o f causal factors" (p 61). She further added, "Involving the fishermen in the review process also shows great promise i n developing scales for types o f unsafe actions for future injury causation research activities." In her conclusion she outlined the need for an integrated approach. Summary Fishers consist o f a diverse group o f people; however, they are consistent with respect to their love o f independence and their individualist nature. With a few exceptions, most training involves "information dissemination". Frequently, the  31  foundations o f 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 o f 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 o f government agency data bases. The majority o f 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 o f analysis is useful, it presents a picture that lacks the perspective o f the fishers themselves. B y now, readers w i l l recognize that I have a point o f 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 o f their accidents. It was decided upon because o f its common sense approach to analyzing the causes o f 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 o f attribution theory, and second, to review an attribution theory analysis and model. The amount o f 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 o f their retrospective study. This review is limited to an overview o f 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 o f a compilation o f smaller theories through which is woven the common thread o f the cognitive-ascriptive process (Harvey, Weary, & Stanley, 1985; Zelen, 1991). Therefore, at the end o f this chapter, I specify the "portions" o f attribution theory that have been adopted and used for the development o f the conceptual framework employed in the data analysis section o f this thesis.  33  Overview of Attribution Theory Fundamental Principles o f Attribution Theory First, what are attributions? Attributions are deductions that people make about the causes o f incidents, and the behaviour o f themselves and others. Attribution theory is governed by some fundamental principles. The following is an outline o f 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 o f 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 o f 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, & Miller, 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 o f 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 o f the major contributors to the field o f attribution theory. Major Contributors to the Field Heider. Numerous authors and researchers place Fritz Heider's work at the foundation o f attribution theory (Hewstone, 1989; Shultz, Schleifer, 1983; Weary, Stanley, & Harvey, 1989; Weiner, 1990). Heider (1958a, 1958b) outlined "commonsense psychology" with his analysis o f how people understood events and explained them in "common-sense" terms. H i s analysis included the process through which people attributed responsibility and how people located the cause o f 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 o f a person rowing a boat across a lake. He offers a sample o f possible expressions that could be used to describe the process o f 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 o f correspondent inferences as a model o f how people infer dispositions from behaviour. They adopted attributional principles from Heider and built upon them. Basically, the theory o f correspondent inferences focuses upon factors that modify an observer's attribution o f intent and disposition o f the behaviour o f 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 o f covariation between potential causes and effects is the essential notion in K e l l e y ' s attributional approach (Weary et al., 1989). The following presents a brief description o f 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 o f 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, K e l l e y ' 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 i n consensus ( H . H . Kelley, 1967, 1973; H . H . Kelley & Michela, 1980) Weiner: Wiener (1986, 1990) contributed additional dimensions o f causality to the internal and external locus principle o f attribution theory. Wiener first added the dimension o f causal stability. Stability describes the consistency o f 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 o f causes o f 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 o f 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 o f attribution theory so far. The research has identified some substantial implications for how people attribute the behaviours o f themselves and others; additionally, it has recognized that  37  people employ distortions or biases during the attributional process. The next section w i l l review some o f the principle biases o f 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 o f 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 o f attribution theory, how does attribution theory apply to peoples' examination o f safety issues and specifically how does it apply to fishers' views about their own accidents? First, I w i 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 o f causality and stability. Last, I w i l l begin to outline how these concepts apply within the context o f this thesis. Attribution Theory Within the Context of this Thesis DeJoy's Analysis and Model o f Attribution Theory in Workplace Safety DeJoy (1985, 1994) presents a convincing argument that individuals in workplace settings make use o f attributions when managing workplace safety. A l l levels o f 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 i n all practices incorporated into the company's overall safety plan. They also play a role i n 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 o f a safety-related event (see Figure 2). This brings about causal thinking on the part o f the worker, supervisor, management, and any safety committee members.  39  Decision-Maker's Characteristics  Safety-Related Event  Informational Analysis  Casual Attributions  Corrective Actions  Covariation Data Schemata Outcome Severity  Locus of Causality Stability Controllability  No Action Person-Directed Situation-Directed  Organizational Policies and Constraints  Reference: DeJoy 1994  F i g u r e 2. A n Attributional Model o f the Safety-Management Process  After the safety-related event, DeJoy's model moves to the informational analysis stage where the person initiates collecting and processing multiple causes o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f unsafe acts and unsafe conditions are still taught i n 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 o f 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 o f incorporating attribution theory into accident analysis is the opportunity to look beyond the traditional dichotomy. The traditional approach remains present through the use o f 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 o f causality and the stability dimensions were utilized to create the conceptual framework. I then employed this framework for the initial analysis o f the fishers' attributions o f fishing accidents. The locus of causality and the stability  41  dimensions form the bases o f Figure 1 as outlined in Chapter 1. Through the use o f this framework I assembled the categories o f causes o f the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. The third dimension o f 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 o f 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 o f an action depends on two factors, those within the person (internal) and those within the environment (external). Internal attributions assign the origin o f the behaviour to personal characteristics and inclinations, whereas external attributions assign the origin o f the behaviour to environmental pressures and situational conditions. The locus o f causality assists with focusing in on the source o f the cause and indicates where to make changes to prevent future occurrences. This in turn assists with workplace safety analysis. In the situation o f a fishing vessel going aground, there could be different scenarios involving two possible factors, one with an internal locus o f causality and the other with an external locus o f causality. A possible internal locus o f causality factor i n a fishing accident would be fatigue. Suppose a gillnetter fishing vessel had been active for the past five days in a combination o f 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 o f an external locus o f causality factor would be the occurrence o f a storm sized weather system (winds in excess o f 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 o f the cause, leading to either blame the worker or blame the environment. Life usually has a multitude o f factors but the point is that the locus o f 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 o f workplace safety, different attributions w i 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 w i 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 w i l l likely result in a rearrangement o f 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 o f causes also indicates the likelihood o f a repeat o f the past again in the future (DeJoy, 1994). If a person attributes an accident to an inherently hazardous feature o f the workplace, such as, in fishing, the expected movement o f the vessel, then because o f 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 o f the difficulties in the controllability dimension is in deciding when an external cause is considered to be controllable (DeJoy, 1994). In the context o f workplace safety, it depends how far back in the series o f events one is prepared to look when determining controllability. A n additional issue is exactly whose perception o f controllability is being considered. A n example o f this in fishing is the weather. The weather itself is not controllable. However, a fisher may be fully aware o f predicted bad weather and still make a conscious decision to proceed out into the bad weather and challenge it. O n the other hand, the fisher may not have been aware o f 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 o f the opportunity to review the weather forecast before proceeding from port.  44  Conclusions The theory o f attribution is applicable to the analysis o f fishers' perceptions o f accidents. This is because one o f the foundational concepts o f attribution theory is that the individual's (in this thesis, the fishers') ideas o f 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 o f a similar negative scenario (accident). DeJoy has begun the work o f bringing together the fields o f attribution theory and safety management in the workplace. The focus o f this study was to document the fishers' attributed causes o f 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 o f accidents than on observer ascribed causes. Chapter 4 outlines the methodology o f this study, including the issues and strategies relating to each o f the following: the suitability of the methodology, the sampling process, the interview process, issues o f reliability and validity or trustworthiness, and the treatment o f the data.  45  C H A P T E R 4: METHODOLOGY  The central focus o f this study was to describe and analyze professional fishers' attributed causes o f fishing accidents and, to review the implications for prevention education. This study was approached from a phenomenological perspective in order to provide an understanding o f the fishers' view o f their accidents. Due to the nature o f the study, I chose a qualitative methodology. In order to understand the participants' attributed causes, I interviewed them. Participants consisted o f 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 o f the data. I discuss issues relating to each of the above and outline my strategy to address or resolve them. Suitability 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 o f their world and its activities. Researchers have not commonly considered and documented the fishers' personal accounts o f their accidents. This study focuses upon the fishers' own words and their accumulated experiences. These create the foundation o f the fishers' attributed causes o f fishing accidents. The fishers' imbedded beliefs o f 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 o f the fishers' attributions o f 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 o f conceptual baggage (Kirby & M c K e n n a , 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 o f British Columbia but my beliefs go beyond the bureaucratic rhetoric o f the executive summary in the annual report. I have worked in positions that cope with the aftermath o f 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 o f personal interest. I grew up in a family involved i n boat building and design specifically, and tied to many aspects of the marine world i n general. In addition to boat building, I have relatives who are professional fishers. A l s o , 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 o f my employer and stated that this study was not on behalf o f the W C B , nor did I have any input  47  regarding the writing o f "orders." The participants in the study were not "put o f f by my employment. However, I was still aware I was not "one o f 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 o f 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 i n 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 o f 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 o f fishers' attributed causes o f 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 o f 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 o f a conceptual framework. This was supported by specific strategies designed to assist in the "trustworthiness" o f the study.  48  S a m p l i n g Process Issues The participants o f this study consisted o f 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 o f 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 o f the study and the methodology involved demanded that the participants be well informed and that they willingly volunteered to participate. It was essential that the participants felt no obligation to participate. The nature o f the study required that the participants wanted to have their voice heard and that this selection o f participants were able to provide full description of their attributed causes o f accidents. A l s o , the study was not focused upon the generalization o f results (external validity). Rather, internal validity or credibility as proposed by Lincoln and Guba (1985) was o f central importance. I paid careful attention to ensure that no ethical concerns would arise because o f my employment relationship with the W C B . I informed potential participants o f my employer's name, and specified that this study was not being conducted at the request o f the W C B , nor were there any ramifications for the participant in his or her choice to (or not to) participate i n 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 o f an incident where other persons had lost their  49  lives. One o f the benefits for the participants was their personal reflection and consideration o f safety habits; however, I did not want to request participants to relive and examine extremely traumatic incidents that had involved the loss o f 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 o f 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 A l l i e d 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. A t the outset o f this study, I had set a minimum o f 2 years of experience for crewmembers and 10 years o f experience for skippers. The actual crewmember participants in the study had a m i n i m u m o f 5 years o f experience and the skippers had a minimum o f 20 years o f experience. Potential participants who did not meet these criteria, could not communicate readily i n English, or were the survivor o f an incident that involved the loss o f 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 o f 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 o f obtaining participants, I was aware o f selecting future participants who would enrich the fullness o f variety from which the participants came in terms of: ethnic origin, age, position o f crew or skipper, gender, gear type, and size o f boat. Once a varied selection o f 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 o f the epistemological stance o f this research being phenomenology. The goal o f the research was to allow the participants an opportunity to review and explore their attributed causes o f fishing accidents. This required that they describe their experiences and consider the events surrounding an occupational personal injury or marine accident. Each o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the interview process required that the individual feel comfortable. It needed to take place i n a surrounding where he or she could speak freely. Therefore, I allowed the participant to have his or her choice o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the study, the participant's right to discontinue at any time, the extent o f involvement anticipated, and the maintenance o f 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 o f 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 o f causes to the accident example. The semi-structured nature o f the interview schedule allowed for flexibility and gave the participants options to fully explore their individual stories. It furnished the participants with a sense o f 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 o f 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 o f the boat, would be changed so participants would not be identifiable. Reliability and V a l i d i t y or Trustworthiness Issues Critics o f 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 o f L i n c o l n and Guba (1985) and Marshall and Rossman (1989) and instead applied the concept o f "truth value" or "'trustworthiness.'" The traditional notion o f 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 o f "trustworthiness" o f the data and constructs (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 290). T o what extent would separate researchers ascertain the same findings? A l s o , to what extent would another researcher agree with the application o f 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 o f accidents and then placed each into its own category that consisted o f one "attributed cause." I then situated each category in one o f the four quadrants o f attributions on the framework. The issue o f consistency addresses the following question: I f I coded a fisher's idea i n a transcript (e.g., lines 2-4 on page 3) and placed it in the category o f Economic Pressure, and that category was situated in the external/stable quadrant o f the framework, would another researcher concur? Instead o f internal validity, I have chosen to apply Lincoln and Guba's alternative construct o f "credibility" (1985, p. 296). Credibility is the extent to which the researcher has accurately identified and defined the subject. The intent o f 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 o f the study? D o the  54  fishers' phrases, that I have taken as excerpts from the transcripts, accurately stand for their attributed causes o f accidents? W i t h regard to external validity, Lincoln and Guba propose the construct o f "transferability." They place the responsibility o f establishing the applicability o f 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 o f the above issues. Strategy I did not approach this study with the goal of it being replicable i n the future. M y intent was that this research be exploratory and descriptive and that the fullness o f the participants' attributed causes o f 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 o f the data, the application o f the constructs to the data, and the analytical premises (the foundational theoretical framework as outlined in Chapter 3, and the analysis o f the transcripts i n Chapter 6).  55  Strategies that I employed i n data collection to increase consistency included the following: the use o f an audio tape recorder so that the participants' exact words were available for analysis, the use o f verbatim accounts from the participants including quotations from the documents, the use o f low-inference descriptors which involved precise and detailed descriptions o f the fishers and their situational context. A l s o , to increase the trustworthiness and consistency in the development o f the categories, the coding, and the placement o f the data on the conceptual framework, I utilized the assistance o f a research partner who critically questioned my analysis. In the case o f the research partner, I provided her with three whole transcripts as w e l l as the causes used i n the data analysis and the decision criteria explaining why certain attributed causes were i n 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 o f the transcripts. This same research partner also contributed to the analysis through her expert reflective and critical questioning o f my concepts. The research partner contributed her perspective on an ongoing basis during the analysis process. W i t h regard to the credibility o f the study, the strategies that I employed included a lengthy data collection period o f one year from October 1996 to October 1997. Another strategy was my use o f the fishers' language in the interviews and our adjoining discussions. I also conducted the in-depth interviews in surroundings that were part o f their real life experiences (on board the boat) and/or were relaxed and private (the  56  participant's choice o f his or her home or my home). I completed a review o f my own "conceptual baggage" by writing out my potential biases around the topic o f 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 o f the study's fishers. They commented and gave feedback on my analysis and interpretation o f the interviews. These strategies were intended to assist in increasing the agreement between myself and the participants on the description and analysis o f the data and to help guard against making inaccurate inferences about the meaning o f the transcripts. For triangulation, during my analysis o f the data I took into consideration a comparison o f Binkley's (1994) study with my participants' perspectives. The reader w i l l recall from a summary o f Binkley's study i n Chapter 2 that her study is a rare example o f documented fishers' stories from the east coast o f Canada. A l s o , when designing my research, I decided to interview multiple participants instead o f focusing on the attributed causes o f one fisher from a solitary life history approach. The use o f a different source o f data and multiple informants strengthened the data through corroboration. Treatment of the D a t a Issues I w i l l outline the strategies that I employed i n the management o f the data in this portion o f the methodology chapter. The management o f the quantities o f 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 i n 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 i n the analysis process. Strategy I set up a research log that contained a list o f 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 i n a secure location until the completion o f this study. Only I had access to the master list, which I then destroyed at the conclusion o f the study. Directly after each interview, I made notes in a field journal about highlights o f 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 o f 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 o f paper. O n the coloured transcript, I read and highlighted the key phrases and concepts that contained the participant's insights into his or her attributed causes o f the accident. These key phrases and concepts were then analyzed with regard to the themes that they contained. I w i l l review the emergence o f the themes and categories o f causes in Chapter 6 under the section titled Analyzing the Transcripts. I coded the participant's phrases that explained their attributed causes o f 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 o f the Orienting Framework as shown in Figure 1. This framework was developed from attribution theory. I w i l l discuss the application o f the categories o f causes to the four quadrants o f 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 o f 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 o f overall viewing (Table 1). I then returned to a fresh copy o f each participant's coloured transcript and again highlighted the transcripts, primarily repeating the original highlighting, but this time with a "refined" eye, being aware o f 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 o f the professional fisher regarding his or her attributed causes o f accidents. Chapter 5 describes the socio-demographic characteristics o f the participants, the gear type, size and construction o f 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 o f how the categories o f causes emerged from the data, and the placement o f the categories o f causes onto the four quadrants o f the framework. I used the framework to chart a picture o f the data to assist i n the overall visualization and interpretation o f the data. I present the outcomes o f the strategies used regarding the trustworthiness o f the study. Chapter 7 presents a summary o f the fishers' 10 most frequently discussed categories o f causes. I include representative phrases from the fishers' interviews to assist the reader in understanding the context o f the fishers' own thoughts and words. Chapter 8 examines the how the findings o f this study have implications for prevention education and looks at approaches that might assist the fishers' in assessing the risks o f their occupation. Chapter 9 reviews the limitations o f this study and suggest future research. Summary This chapter presented the methodology used in this research. I discussed issues around the suitability o f the methodology, the sampling process, the interview process, the validity and reliability (trustworthiness) of the data, and the treatment o f the data. I also outlined the strategy used for each o f these sections. Chapter 5 presents an overview o f the 12 participants o f this study, and their interviews. Chapter 6 describes the details o f my analysis o f the data.  61  C H A P T E R 5: T H E PARTICIPANTS AND T H E INTERVIEW  The intent o f this chapter is to acquaint the reader with the participants o f this study. They were 12 professional fishers who lived in southern British Columbia and worked on any portion o f the British Columbia coast. First, I present the sociodemographic characteristics o f the participants, as well as some individual interview highlights. Next, I review the interview process to provide the reader with a sense o f the contextual factors that were part o f 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 o f Vancouver Island, but frequently came to work i n North Vancouver. One lived on one o f 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 o f the two females were 32 and 55 years. The fishers' ethnic backgrounds were varied. Three o f the participants were First Nations, and two were Japanese. The remaining seven participants comprised one individual from each o f the following ethnic backgrounds: Yugoslavian, French Canadian, British/Newfoundlander, British, N o v a Scotian, Vietnamese, and Norwegian. The years o f fishing experience ranged from 5 to 43 years. The prior generations o f 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 i n professional fishing. Seven o f the participants stated that they worked in the position o f skipper. T w o stated that they worked in the position o f crewmember. Three stated that they actively held the position o f 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 o f the boats included steel, fibreglass, wood, and aluminium. The participants all possessed a good command o f the English language. A l l had experienced some form o f professional fishing accident(s) or had been witness to an accident(s). I specifically decided not to interview fishers who were survivors o f an accident that had involved a fatality. Tables 2 and 3 present an overview o f the details regarding the participants' ethnic background information and the details o f the boats and gear-type information. Case Vignettes A l l names o f the participants are pseudonyms. If the name o f a participant's boat is mentioned at any time in this thesis, it is also a pseudonym, as the small community o f fishers on the west coast o f British Columbia can readily identify one another through their boats. Ken Thomas:  K e n was a 45-year-old male, with an extensive family history o f  professional fishing, including prior generations back i n his family's original country o f origin, Yugoslavia. He skippered a 72-foot steel seiner as a partial owner in conjunction with one o f the large West Coast packing companies. He had a crew o f five when fishing salmon and six when fishing herring. K e n had personally experienced an injury that took  63  T a b l e 2. Summary o f the Ethnic Background and Additional Socio-cultural Details o f the Participants.  Pseudonym  Ethnic Background  Skipper or Crew  No. of Yrs. Fishing  Age  Ken Thomas  Yugoslavian  Skipper  30 years  45  Ed Quinn  British/Nfld.  Skipper  40 years  72  Rod Quiggley  British  Skipper  43 years  56  Peter Lightheart  Nova Scotian  Skipper  20 years  38  Quinn Jackson  First Nations  Skipper  40 years  58  Barb Zenn  First Nations  Crew/Ski pper  38 years  55  Paul Zenn  First Nations  Crew/Ski pper  23 years  37  Hal Matsumoto  Japanese  Skipper  45 years  59  Noreen White Edmund Fumano  French Canadian Vietnamese  Crew Crew  5 years 6 years  32 21  Liam Osaka  Japanese  Skipper  28 years  36  Walt Pearson  Norwegian  Crew/Ski pper  5 years  24  Family Attachment to Fishing Extensive, many generations, including family in Yugoslavia Over 100 years of family fishing on B.C. west coast. Not in Britain. Grandfather & father fishers since 1930's. Not in Britain. Uncle, brother fishers. Not father. Not others in past generations. Extensive, all male relatives fishers for many generations. Extensive, all male and some female relatives fishers for many generations. Extensive, all male and some female relatives fishers for many generations. Father fisher, but not prior generations in Japan. No prior family history of fishing. Father fisher. Prior family history of fishing in Vietnam. Grandfather & father fishers on B.C. west coast. Not in Japan. Father, brother fishers in Canada. Grandfather some in Norway.  Sex Male Male Male Male Male Female  Male  Male Female Male Male Male  off the tip o f one o f his fingers, and involved his being flown off the boat to the nearest hospital. H e 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 o f the stress that he was under as the skipper o f this large boat, i n terms o f his responsibility both to the company and to his crew. O n 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 o f the top producers at the company Christmas  64  T a b l e 3. Summary o f the Boats, and Gear Type(s) Used and the Species o f Fish(es) Caught by the Participants. Size of Boat  Construction Material  Ken Thomas Ed Quinn Rod Quiggley Peter Lightheart  72 40 38 50  feet feet feet feet  Steel Fiberglass Wood Aluminium  Quinn Jackson Barb Zenn Paul Zenn Hal Matsumoto  37 30 52 30 42  feet feet feet feet feet  Noreen White  Pseudonym  GearType(s)  Species of Fish(es) Salmon/Herring Salmon/Herring Salmon Various  Wood Wood Fiberglass Fiberglass Wood  Seiner Gillnetter/Troller Gillnetter Dragger (Trawler) Trailer Gillnetter Seiner Gillnetter Troller/Longliner  77 feet  Fiberglass  Troller/Longliner  Tuna  Edmund Fumano  38 feet  Fiberglass  Gillnetter/Troller  Salmon/Herring  Liam Osaka Walt Pearson  54 feet 72 feet 37 feet  Wood Steel Wood  Trailer Trapper Gillnetter  Salmon/Tuna Black Cod Salmon/Herring  Salmon/Herring Salmon/Herring Halibut/Salmon Herring Salmon/Halibut  Additional Notes  Originally fished on the east coast of Canada  Has also fished: salmon & herring on a gillnetter and shrimp on a dragger Also fishes: black cod & halibut on a troller/longliner Also fishes: shrimp on a trapper Fishes on various boats including a seiner  party. He expressed the company pressures in terms o f "the big threat... nice way to send your boys off to battle". Near the end o f the interview K e n mentioned the idea o f luck as being a part o f the accident. K e n 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 o f fishing on the west coast o f British Columbia. His family had not been involved in fishing in their country o f origin. His great-grandfather came from  65  Britain and settled in Newfoundland, where he worked as a fisher. H i s 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. E d first fished with his father when he was 13 years old. He learned all o f his fishing knowledge on the job. Other male members o f his family are active in professional fishing. E d owned and skippered a 40-foot fibreglass gillnetter/troller. H e states that in his years o f fishing he has had numerous close calls, but only one "real accident". H i s accident involved a grounding i n 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 o f events lead to the grounding, but from E d ' s perspective he blamed his knowledge, by virtue o f his over-confidence. He summarized the cause o f the accident as, "Stupid. Just plain stupid". E d stated that maintenance and the overall organizational approach to fishing trips were extremely important aspects o f avoiding accidents. He was articulate and friendly, and appeared to enjoy the opportunity to review some o f his fishing history, especially regarding his family connections to fishing. Rod Quiggley:  R o d 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. R o d grew up on a floating home on the Fraser River. H e started fishing i n 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. R o d 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 R o d 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 R o d a thank-you note, as I did to all my participants, and suggested i n the note that I might want some additional clarification. R o d initiated the second contact with me and offered to give a second interview. A t the beginning o f our second meeting, R o d volunteered that he had been avoiding telling me the full details o f 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. H i s 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 i n the drum getting "hung-up," which tightened the cork line and allowed him to pull himself back up into the boat. H i s repeatedly mentioned issues o f stress, economic pressures, and competition as being the major factors that lead to the overboard situation occurring. R o d 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. H i s father and past generations o f relatives had not worked i n the fishing industry. Peter grew up in N o v a Scotia and originally fished on the east coast o f Canada. He came to the West Coast in 1990 because he "could see the writing on the w a l l " for East Coast fishing and because increasing government rules were causing h i m significant problems. Peter skippered an aluminium 50-foot dragger  67  (trawler) and had a crew o f three i n addition to himself. The two main differences that he saw between the east and west coasts were the fish species and the size o f the fishing grounds. The West Coast fishing grounds are very small compared to the East Coast. From his perspective the advantage o f 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. O n 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 o f 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 i n fishing. He came from a First Nations background. He lived and fished on the west coast o f 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 o f his family's heritage and involvement in fishing through the generations. He repeatedly mentioned that he and his tribe (tribe is Quinn's choice o f words) always travelled in groups o f boats and that he saw this as a strong safety factor. In addition, members o f 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 o f these factors (tribespeople nearby, and with spare parts) made the incident basically non-threatening. He told o f a number o f other people's boating incidents where he found it incredible that the other people did not travel i n boat groups o f two or more. The sense o f 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 o f the Fraser River and was still living there within the territory o f her tribe. A l l o f her male relatives had been involved i n fishing for as long back as she could remember. Some o f her female relatives also participated i n fishing, usually as she had, with their father or husband. Barb was now functioning i n the positions o f both skipper and crew, depending on the circumstances o f the moment. The boat that Barb currently worked on was a 30-foot wooden gillnetter. I had originally contacted Barb to request her participation i n 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 i n the study who were directly related It was clear to me that there was a very real sense o f family ties, and a feeling o f the affection between mother and son. The majority o f fishing that Barb did was on the Fraser River, i n the Pitt Meadows area. Barb mentioned that the fishers keep an eye on one another, and stay i n contact by radio, and because they are fishing on the river, they are closer at hand (than those who fished on the ocean). One o f her main concerns was the lack o f navigational courtesy, especially on the part o f 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 o f 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 i n the net and twisted around the beater bar. In response to this, Paul changed where he stands i n 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:  H a l was a 59-year-old male o f Japanese decent. He came to  Canada when he was 17 years old. H i s father was a fisher, and he passed away when H a l was 19 so H a l took over his father's boat and started to fish on his own. H a l ' s family had not been fishers in the generations prior to his father. H a l was the skipper o f a 42-foot wooden troller/longliner. H a l 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 o f fishing H a l had not sustained any significant personal injury. He described an incident where he struck the bow o f his boat on a cliff rock. This occurred because he fell asleep at the wheel, and also because o f a failure o f the batteries so that the auto pilot  70  wasn't working properly. This incident caused H a l 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 o f 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 o f his boat. Noreen White: Noreen was a 32-year-old female o f 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 o f her relationship with the skipper. She worked in the position o f 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. O n 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 o f 100 feet, perhaps 200 feet, so large it really didn't matter, they were in a "white out." She mentioned the weather warnings o f " E l N i n o , " and that she and another crewmember had expressed some concerns at the outset o f the trip. She acknowledged but played down that their boat was one o f the last, in a fleet o f 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 i n the boat and gear. Noreen attributed the dangers o f the situation to the weather and i n her final analysis felt that they made it back alive because o f 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. H i s father's boat was a 38-foot fibreglass gillnetter/troller. Edmund was talkative. He described a couple o f 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 o f the shrimping net and his foot got caught in the rope and started to pull him overboard. H i s father managed to put the engine i n reverse and get h i m free. H e 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 willing to blame himself as careless. Liam Osakza:  L i a m was a 36-year-old male of Japanese descent, however he was  born i n B e l l a Bella and grew up on the West Coast. H i s father was a fisher and L i a m joined his father when he was 10 or 11 years old. H i s grandfather was a packer. L i a m was the skipper o f his 54-foot wooden trailer. L i a m was articulate and clearly had done a lot o f thinking about issues o f safety, especially following the incident in which he lost  72  his previous boat. He had actually become somewhat o f 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 i a m 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. H e 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 o f other factors such as the inherent instability o f the design o f the boat and some o f 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 i a m 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. H i s 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 o f the incidents, but frequently came to the conclusion that "it's just one o f those things" and included luck as part o f the equation. He told me o f the body blows that he took as part o f working i n rough weather. They worked in the rough weather as they were tired o f 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 i n 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 i n 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 i n any danger o f loss o f life. He would prefer not to work on that boat again because it was old and not well maintained. Interview Process The purpose o f this study was to describe and analyze fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. Fishers' attributions are part o f a naturalistic social process and as such, exist as part o f the larger contextual environment. Therefore, I would be remiss i n my role as the researcher i f I did not give the reader a more complete understanding o f the context within which these interviews were held, and within which the participants were functioning. In aid o f this, I present a summary o f my field notes as described through the context and the interview schedule. Context I interviewed the participants i n 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 o f the locations had its benefits and its detractions. The home locations resulted i n the least interruptions. They were not as rich i n 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 o f the participant being able to point to locations on the boat during his recounting o f 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 o f an invitation extended through one o f the associations, I attended a "special meeting" for association members. The meeting offered an opportunity for the fishers to talk with representatives o f the Department o f Fisheries and Oceans about the changes i n the West Coast fisheries. This meeting provided a rich source o f grassroots issues and feelings around the significant political changes in the fishing industry. One o f the issues that loomed over the participants during the period o f this study was the changes occurring i n the political arena regarding the "fate" o f the West Coast fishing industry. The government rules and regulations were in such a state o f fluctuation that the participants viewed them as an unstable cause. The fishers presented a sense o f 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 o f the accidents to government rules and regulations.  75  A t the start o f this study, several o f 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 o f my participants to be helpful, and encouraging. More so, they were extremely open i n their discussions o f their injury and accident events, and regarding their insights into their world o f fishing. I believe the fact that I was female made it easier and less threatening for the participants to enter into a personal discussion. H a d I been a male interviewer and researcher, I believe there would have been a higher level o f 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 o f two pilot interviews. I did not include the pilot interviews as part o f this study data. The questions I used i n this study's interview schedule initially emerged out o f 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 o f 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 o f a standard list and did not sound judgmental.  76  Overall the interview schedule worked well and the main adjustments I made were i n my diligence i n keeping the focus o f the interview on the participants' attributed causes o f the accident(s). Summary Chapter 5 has presented an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics o f the participants, the basic information about their vessel and gear-type, case vignettes, and the interview process from my perspective. The intent i n 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 o f familiarity with the participants. Chapter 6 presents the analysis o f the data.  77  C H A P T E R 6: ANALYSIS OF T H E DATA  The purpose o f this chapter is to outline the steps taken in analyzing the data and to review the results o f the trustworthiness strategies. First, I describe how the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents formed the categories o f cause. Next, I present a picture o f how the categories o f cause were placed onto the four quadrants o f attributions o f the conceptual framework. I used a conceptual framework as the foundation on which to portray the categories o f cause from the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. The framework was created out o f the main concepts from attribution theory. I reviewed the transcripts on an individual basis as each was completed. Finally, I outline the results o f the trustworthiness strategies relating to consistency, credibility, and triangulation. A n a l y z i n g the T r a n s c r i p t s 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 o f causes. The emergence o f themes and the development o f categories o f causes occurred simultaneously through my review and examination o f the data and inductive analysis. A s I continued to work with all the data, three additional categories o f causes became visible. I have already described the administration and physical organization o f the data (Chapter 4). In this section, I offer insights into my decision making processes regarding how the fishers' phrases that described attributed causes o f accidents were placed into categories o f causes. This was an inductive analysis process, and as such the best method  78  o f offering insight into the process is to paint a picture through the use o f examples. I present the three additional categories o f causes that emerged out o f the data as the examples. The fishers' perspective is o f principal importance in this study. During my analysis o f the data I constantly kept this in mind. I present these categories o f causes because they show how the inductive analysis process required that I continually reassess my assumptions toward the data and continue to place at the forefront the participants' descriptions o f attributed causes of accidents. The three additional categories o f causes that emerged as I worked with the data were: Competition, Weather Expected, and Carelessness. Regarding Competition, i f the participants o f 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 o f the competitive spirit. Competition was brought forward by five o f the participants, some o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f another person's decision. In six o f 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 o f this study was the fishers' attributions, not mine, nor those o f 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 o f "stupid" i n the category o f Carelessness. I continually reminded myself that this study was focused on the participants' attributed causes of accidents. C h a r t i n g the F r a m e w o r k 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 o f a rigidly systematic theoretical framework that could potentially strangle the interpretation o f 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 o f this section is to outline the application o f the constructs to the data. In the above section o f Chapter 6 I described the emergence o f the themes and categories o f causes. In this portion o f the analysis chapter I w i l l offer insights into my thoughts during the application o f the constructs to the data. I w i l l do this by describing what influenced my assignment o f 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 o f locus of causality and stability. The locus o f causality dimension addresses the continuum o f "two sets o f 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 o f the data from the viewpoint o f these attribution theory dimensions, I assigned each o f 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 o f the initial 19 categories o f causes. The additional three categories o f causes were assigned to a quadrant as they emerged. I was not able to find any prior studies concerning the specific topic o f professional fishers' analysis o f accidents with the use of attribution theory as a theoretical framework. Therefore, I built upon the works o f Weiner (1985; Weiner et al., 1972), and started by assigning categories o f 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 Ability to the internal/stable quadrant. I then incorporated the direction outlined by DeJoy (1994, 1985) in his application o f attribution theory to managing safety in the workplace (as reviewed in Chapter 3). From there, I applied my understanding o f a combination o f (a) attribution theory and (b) the attributed causes the participants presented.  81  Some categories o f 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 o f the quadrants. Internal/Stable  Quadrant of Attributions: Example, Competition  The category o f  cause o f Competition emerged out o f the data as the participants spoke about their personal need (ego) to excel i n 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 " m y " 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 o f Competition indicated that it was there consistently whenever they were fishing. Because o f how the participants spoke o f 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 i n the external and unstable quadrant as I was considering weather to be an Unexpected factor. The category o f cause o f "Weather Conditions Unexpected" still remained i n the external and unstable quadrant; however, the data presented by the participants created an additional category o f cause o f 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 o f  82  the incident. Therefore, when the fisher had stated that weather was an attributed cause and he also had stated that he had known o f the weather conditions, I placed that transcript excerpt o f "expected" weather into the external and stable quadrant o f the orienting framework. Internal/Unstable  Quadrant of Attributions: Example, Stress Stress came out o f  the interviews with 5 o f the 12 participants. They had indicated that Stress was a part o f their accident. A l l 5 were skippers. They took their Stress as being their own personal issue where they internalized the pressures o f being in charge o f decision making and their ultimate responsibilities for success or failure o f the trip. Although the responsibility o f 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 Regulations  Quadrant of Attributions : Example, Government Rules and  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 o f 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 o f this study was from a phenomenological perspective, the manner i n which the fishers were viewing rules and regulations was o f primary importance. I respected their perspective in my placement o f that category o f cause on the external and unstable quadrant o f attributions.  83  Issues of Trustworthiness Strategies were used to assist in strengthening the trustworthiness o f my analysis o f the data relating to the participants' attributed causes o f accidents. The overall strategies were presented in Chapter 4. Three strategies were employed to enhance the trustworthiness o f the data. These were: use o f a research partner (relating to consistency), conducting a participant review (relating to credibility), and comparing my results to B i n k l e y ' s (1994) study (relating to triangulation). I present the details o f these strategies in the following section. Research Partner (Consistency) Throughout the analysis o f the data in this study I was fortunate to have the input and critical review o f 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 o f a vessel o f unlimited size, or as a first officer foreign-going. Howe has spent 25 years i n the fishing industry. The last 10 years she owned and operated a 36foot 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 o f a hands-on training program on fishing vessel stability and delivered the program throughout British Columbia coastal communities. During the inductive analysis stages o f 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 o f an individual who has extensive direct  'Captain H o w e ' s name is used with her consent.  84  experience as a professional fisher and a formally educated mariner. Howe was familiar with the categories o f 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) o f 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 o f categories o f causes to my transcripts. In all three whole transcripts, Howe's analysis o f which phrases most significantly spoke to the fishers' attributed causes o f the accident and mine were in high agreement. O n some o f the lengthy key phrases, Howe and I highlighted a slightly different portion o f the concept to which the participant was speaking. However, both o f 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 o f the data fit with Howe's interpretation, which was important especially given that Howe was reviewing the data with the eye o f her first-hand experience within professional fishing. There were some slight additional considerations that Howe brought to the analysis for each o f the transcripts. In the following paragraphs I w i l l compare our analysis o f each transcript, and indicate the extent o f our agreement in specifying the categories o f 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 i n the mid-northern portion o f the Pacific. Both Howe and I identified the following categories of causes as being part o f Noreen's attributed causes o f the accident: Ability, Knowledge, Competition, Economic Pressures, Integrity and Stability o f the Vessel, Weather Conditions Expected, Fatigue, and Luck or Fate. Howe and I agreed with these categories o f causes and the phrases that they came from. In addition, some o f the phrases that Howe highlighted were Noreen's descriptions of the actions o f the skipper. Howe included these in the categories o f causes o f (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 lifethreatening situation. I had made a note o f 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 o f stating it was the skipper's steering ability that saved their lives. Nevertheless, I agree Howe was correct in including these as categories o f 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 o f causes as being  86  part o f Edmund's attributed causes o f the incident: Knowledge, Competition, Economic Pressures, Approach to Planning Crew, Weather Conditions Expected, Boat Movement Expected, Fatigue, and Carelessness. A l s o , both Howe and I concurred that under the category o f cause o f Approach to Planning Crew, Edmund had made some changes to his work practices as a result o f the accident. The changes he made were ones that would assist i n 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 o f a good safety practice than as a factor in causing the accident. The marking o f safety equipment was the only difference i n our two analyses; therefore, overall there was high agreement. The third transcript that Howe reviewed was L i a m Osaka's. L i a m described an incident that involved the sinking and total loss of his boat. There was no loss o f life. Howe and I both identified the following categories of causes as being part o f L i a m ' s attributed causes o f the incident: Knowledge, Approach to Planning Skipper, Economic Pressures, Integrity and Stability o f the Vessel, Weather Conditions Expected, Stress, Weather Conditions Unexpected, and L u c k or Fate. We also agreed that in the cause o f Approach to Planning Skipper, the majority o f the L i a m ' s concepts dealt with changes that he made as a result o f the accident. This included his realization that for safety, the crew required an understanding o f the actions needed i n the case o f an emergency. A l s o , 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 o f the three transcripts, Howe did not indicate that there was a need to include any additional categories o f causes. Participant Review (Credibility) I requested the assistance o f two participants. They agreed to a second interview, this time to discuss and explore my interpretations o f the data and to provide their feedback. Following my analysis o f 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 o f the key phrases regarding their attributed causes o f accidents. I requested their feedback on my assignment o f categories o f causes for the key phrases. I asked them to express their level o f agreement (or disagreement) about how they would compare my "breakdown" o f their interview with how they would summarize their accident. In other words, when they reviewed their information in Table 1 showing the entries o f the categories o f causes from their accident account, would they agree this represented what they had expressed i n their interview? I also requested their review o f the entire Table 1, taking into consideration the 12 participants' data from the study as well as Figure 3 (the list o f categories o f 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 o f accidents in professional fishing. Both Noreen and L i a m agreed that their respective transcripts were an accurate document o f their interview. Overall they felt phrases I had highlighted were the important parts o f their accounts o f their accidents and that the categories o f causes attached to them were appropriate. They both examined Table 1 and Figure 3 with great  88  interest and we discussed the organization o f the table and figure so that they felt comfortable with the information. Below, I present some o f their specific remarks and observations. Noreen agreed strongly that one o f 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 i n the new boat and the freezer unit. She felt the phrase I had assigned to the category o f cause o f 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 o f money would have her returning to open ocean tuna fishing and, as o f the date o f the second interview she had not returned to fish tuna. She has continued to work on fisheries closer to the coast o f 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 o f the skipper because they trusted his judgement. She now realized ignoring the signs about the pending storm was also a part o f the Economic Pressures. She stated their overall lack o f Knowledge o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f causes and how they were applied compared favourably to how she viewed the incident. Next, I w i l l describe L i a m Osaka's specific comments. Following this I w i l l present both Noreen's and L i a m ' s input regarding the data from all the participants' interviews. L i a m agreed the major factor in the sinking o f his boat involved the Integrity and Stability o f the Vessel. He commented from his review of his transcript he had frequently talked about the issue o f the vessel's stability. In addition to the Integrity and Stability o f the Vessel, L i a m felt the other major attributed cause was the Weather Conditions Expected; however, he reaffirmed there was an aspect o f local knowledge about the weather that he had not expected (Weather Conditions Unexpected). He agreed the pressure his crew had placed on h i m to go out and try to fish created Stress for h i m and the pressure resulted from Economic Pressures on the crew. He was somewhat surprised from his reading o f 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 o f 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 o f the boat and their  90  duties in case o f an emergency. In retrospect, he reinforced, the accident involved a combination o f factors and he affirmed that the attributed causes I had pulled from his interview transcript were i n 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 i a m 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 o f 12). They each were somewhat surprised the participants had mentioned L u c k or Fate as frequently as indicated (8 out o f 12). We discussed this and I explained that L u c k or Fate was mentioned in an incidental manner. Taking this into consideration, they both agreed talk o f L u c k or Fate did happen on a regular basis, and the occurrence o f 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 A l c o h o l and Drugs. They both wondered aloud i f Alcohol and Drugs must be was a factor i n more accidents was indicated (1 out o f 12). Their reaction was not surprising, and I had felt the same in my review o f the lack of entries in this category o f cause. I indicated to Noreen and L i a m that even the fisher who mentioned A l c o h o l as a attributed cause was not speaking about his own accident but another person's. They both reaffirmed that i n 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 L i a m ' s responses to the information presented i n Tables 1 and Figure 3 was to affirm that it appeared to be a reasonable accounting both o f their individual interviews and o f the interviews from all participants according to their knowledge o f accidents and safety issues as professional fishers. Comparison with Binkley's (19941 Study (Triangulation) B i n k l e y ' s (1994) study involved interviews o f fishers who were a part o f the deep-sea fishery o f N o v a Scotia, and to a lesser degree their wives. Initially Binkley oversaw the work o f 14 interviewers who surveyed 334 fishers. From this group, Binkley and 2 additional interviewers explored more detailed interviews with 100 o f the fishers. In the year following, Binkley, one o f the original interviewers, and a new interviewer interviewed 100 fishers that were new to the study, as well as 25 wives o f fishers. From the above research, Binkley and her research team obtained over 200 interviews that they felt confident contained in-depth accounts o f a wide range o f experiences o f deep-sea fishers and their wives. From this body o f research, Binkley presents the stories o f 11 interviewees that offer a representative picture o f 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 o f 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 N o v a 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 o f B . C . fishers (only one participant in my study was working in a deep-sea offshore fishery). A l s o , the N o v a Scotian deep-sea fishery uses very large vessels and employs greater numbers in the crew and the in management structure, as compared to those o f the B . C . West Coast. I am aware o f these differences. Binkley's study, however, does focus on the subjective experience o f fishers. It is this aspect o f her study that makes a comparison o f the two studies appropriate. B i n k l e y ' s study allowed the interviewees to talk broadly about any aspect o f deepsea fishing. It did not specifically focus upon the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. Overall, however, similar themes emerged. From a review o f the 11 stories, the themes strongly mentioned include: money and economics, weather conditions that were expected and accepted as part o f the job, stress, fatigue, and working conditions that often spoke to issues o f 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 o f personal safety and economic benefits. Binkley states, "Most fishermen w i l l accept the possibility o f injury and accident i n order to meet their immediate economic  93  needs"(p. 221). This is confirmed in my study, with 10 o f the 12 participants attributing Economic Pressures as a cause i n their accident. A l s o under the heading o f 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 o f the dangerous working environment. Other topics Binkley included are stress and fatigue. In general terms, the fishers spoke o f "breaking up" as a result o f the pressures. The captains and mates specifically focused in on the responsibilities o f running the vessel and working with crew who have insufficient experience (p. 26). The crew spoke to the issue o f not obtaining six straight hours o f sleep, but instead having only two or three hours o f sleep at a time (p. 129). The participants o f my study repeatedly attributed the causes o f their accidents to Economic Pressures, Weather Conditions Expected, Stress, and Fatigue, which are in keeping with Binkley's findings. Under the heading o f safety concerns, Binkley again presented the most predominant topic as that o f economics. In the N o v a Scotian deep-sea fishery, more levels o f management exist than with most o f the British Columbia fleet. Additional levels o f management can further distance the decision making and result i n 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 i n the overall analysis o f the safety concerns. Binkley also mentioned fatigue as a safety concern, because o f the time pressures to catch and then immediately process the perishable resource o f the fish.  94  Overall, many o f the topics listed by the interviewees o f B i n k l e y ' s study, and the context in which they were applied, were also major focuses o f my participants' attributed causes o f accidents. Summary Chapter 6 has provided a description of the analysis o f the transcripts, a picture o f each o f the quadrants o f attributions in the framework, and an overview o f the results o f the trustworthiness strategies. The purposes o f this study were to examine fishers' attributed causes o f 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 o f the fishers' most frequently discussed categories o f causes o f accidents along with typical key phrases from the transcripts. Chapter 8 reviews the implications for prevention education. Chapter 9 offers limitations o f the study and recommendations for future research for fishers and safety.  95  C H A P T E R 7: T H E FISHERS' ATTRIBUTED CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS "THEIR WORDS AND EXPLANATIONS"  Chapter 7 presents a brief explanation o f the fishers' 10 most frequently discussed attributed causes o f 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. " T o p 10" Categories of Causes B e l o w is an outline o f the fishers' most frequently discussed attributed causes o f accidents grouped into the categories of causes. They are positioned on the four quadrants o f the orienting framework. Under each category, I offer typical key phrases from the fishers that represent the attributed cause. The "top ten" categories o f causes in the four quadrants o f 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 o f participants that attributed each cause as a factor in the accident they described.  96  STABLE Economic Pressures (10)  A b i l i t y (2)*  Approach to Planning Crew (4)  Knowledge (6) Approach to Planning Skipper (3) Maintenance Schedule Skipper (1)  Maintenance Schedule Crew (1) Navigation Equipment (1) Safety Equipment (3)  Competition (4)  Integrity and Stability o f Vessel (2)  I N T E  Weather Conditions Expected (6) Boat Movement Expected (4)  Internal / Stable  External / Stable  E X T E  R"  R  N A L  N A L  Fatigue (5)  G o v ' t Rules or Regulations (4)  A l c o h o l or Drugs (1)  Weather Conditions Unexpected (2)  Boredom (1)  Luck or Fate (8)  Stress (5) Anxiety or Depression (1) Carelessness (3)  Internal / Unstable  External / Unstable UNSTABLE  F i g u r e 3. "Categories o f causes" nested within the two dimensions that frame the fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. [ T h e numbers in brackets, represent the number o f 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 o f  a specific piece o f information that had a significant effect on the outcome. Six o f the 12 participants attributed a lack o f Knowledge as one o f the causes that contributed to the  97  accident they were describing. Within the larger category o f Knowledge, 2 o f the fishers described situations that related to a combination o f the weather and a new fishing ground, 2 described issues that related to the use o f equipment, and 2 described events that related to an inexperienced crewmember standing in the wrong location. Noreen White and L i a m Osaka each presented an account o f 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 i n the open ocean, whereas over the last 25 years or so E d [the skipper] has always fished around the B . C . coast, mostly around the Queen Charlottes. I know I heard h i m say that the storm seemed to move in even faster than he was used to, and o f course there was just no place to get to quickly to get any shelter." L i a m : "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 o f 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 o f it and I went back into the engine room and by this time there was a foot and a half o f water above the floor. I thought o f it and I shut the main valve off and then it didn't take long to pump the boat out." E d : "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 i n "the bight." In Edmund Fumano's accident, he was almost pulled overboard after his foot was entangled in the line o f the net. H e stated, " N o w , 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 o f the skiff and another crewmember got his leg caught between the skiff and the large boat, resulting i n 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f competitive spirit was part o f the attributed cause o f their accident. For Noreen White, it was a matter o f being caught up with the energy o f bringing, a lot o f 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 o f the other boats headed for cover and an enormous storm closed i n around them.  99  Edmund Fumano concluded that one o f the reasons that he had been hurrying so much, which contributed to his accident, was because o f the Competition from other boats, "The fact is, that out there it is very competitive. Y o u need to be quick at everything y o u do...." R o d 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. R o d : "I had to get to the other side o f the set because there was a person setting from the other side o f the river too ... you know the idea o f corking, where other boats, other nets get in front. Other people actually put their net right on top o f 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 K e n Thomas, Competition constituted a challenge to remain one o f the top producers i n the company fleet. K e n : "I am a professional fisherman so for me the cheque at the end o f the term is awful nice, but it becomes sport after a while and you become better at it i f it is more o f 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 o f catching fish, beating out other fishers, and staying at the top o f 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 i n terms o f 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 o f 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 o f skippers. Skippers cited Approach to Planning as a factor in their accidents in 3 o f the 12 interviews. The reason that I have included this with the "top 10" causes is because they also indicated in 5 o f the 12 interviews that their Approach to Planning was an important feature in their overall safety methods. Skippers stated these explanations o f safety methods in a very purposeful manner. Because o f this I felt they were worthy o f recognition even though this represents a slight departure in focus. In one instance the skipper decided to change a procedure because o f an accident. Approach to Planning is deemed to be in the stable dimension because it is part o f the overall judgement process o f the fisher. For the skipper to attribute one o f 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 o f gear and just drift till 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 o f 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 o f the safety methods the skippers made a point o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the group all o f us have tried to ensure that we have spare hoses. A n d one thing that I've found in terms o f all o f the group is the importance for us to all have the same motors and the same kind o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f circumstances attached to it. It also offers examples where the fisher was thinking about and planning for safety methods i n advance. External/Stable Economic Pressures:  The most frequently attributed cause o f accidents related to  Economic Pressures. Ten out o f 12 o f the participants included Economic Pressures as one cause o f their accident. This should be no surprise given that commercial fishing is performed with the intent o f 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 o f 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 o f government decisions regarding the timing o f openings. Peter: "...because it's these situations that we get forced into. [Referring to the government decisions regarding openings.] L i k e we didn't want to be up there at that time o f 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 o f your bills for the season." Both Noreen White and R o d Quiggley cited Economic Pressures relating to the purchase o f new equipment. In Noreen's case, she was a crewmember, but fully aware the skipper had made a large investment i n 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 R o d ' 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 o f $ 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 H a l Matsumoto, Economic Pressure was part o f 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 o f 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 o f Economic Pressures felt by a crewmember (Walt Pearson) and a skipper (Ken Thomas). K e n was the skipper o f a boat that was owned 5 1 % 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 i n the rough weather is just part o f what is necessary to make the quota..." K e n : " 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 o f accidents. This is true both i n terms o f the number o f participants in the study who cited  104  Economic Pressures, and i n terms o f 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 o f the twelve participants attributed one o f the causes o f 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 o f the Approach to Planning or a change in a procedure that came about as a result o f the accident. The following two crewmembers' descriptions give representative pictures o f the crewmembers' perspective o f Approach to Planning. Both show the result o f 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. H i s father was struck in the face by a solid stainless steel pin, and he required hospital treatment. Edmund related that there was a combination o f bad weather, and excessive pressure on the pins due to the weather and the positioning o f 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: " W e ' v e 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 i n 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 o f the Approach to Planning. Walt: "It was just running at night. Running at night isn't the smartest thing. O n 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 o f 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 o f the planning was not well thought out. O n the other hand, he recognized the boat he was on was one i n a group o f boats running together. Because o f the planning o f 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 willing to acknowledge both aspects. Weather Conditions Expected: There was a difference between fishers' attributed cause where they had been caught "off guard" because o f the weather versus a cause where they had knowingly "challenged" the weather. For Weather Conditions Expected, some fishers had been fully aware o f adverse weather conditions and had simply accepted them as normal. Six o f the 12 participants attributed one o f the causes o f their accident to Weather Conditions Expected. In comparison, only 2 participants attributed one o f the causes o f their accident to Weather Conditions Lfaexpected. In the case o f one participant (Liam Osaka), there was a combination o f knowing that there was bad weather, being willing to challenge it, but then being caught off guard by additional Weather Conditions Unexpected that were specific to an unfamiliar location.  106  L i a m : " 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 o f 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 o f a predicted storm and had discussed an article about " E l N i n o " i n Time magazine. Additionally, other boats had left the fishing grounds in an attempt to obtain a safe harbour. Noreen White: " W e l 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 o f the whole thing ... there were about 42 or so other boats around us.... After a couple o f days the fleet was down to 12 boats. They were heading to cover 'cause they heard about a big storm coming.... W e l 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 o f a sudden the waves went from 5 to 8 feet to 80 to 100 feet....Both B o b [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 o f the accident. The expected bad weather was accepted as simply being a part o f the working conditions. Peter Lightheart: "The weather was probably part o f 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 rail" Edmund Fumano: " W e l l , it was first o f 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 o f 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 o f the accident more frequently than situations where the fishers were unaware o f poor weather conditions. The fishers tended to view bad weather as an accepted aspect o f 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 o f the cause o f their accidents  in 5 out o f 12 o f the interviews. Three out o f 5 o f 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 o f fishing. For two o f the skippers, their dilemma consisted of being in difficult weather and, because o f 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 o f hours. L i k e we had fished all the day and half the night, and I was ready to lie down for a couple o f 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 o f fish on board at the time, and I feel, bang, right under the keel, under the engine." In the case o f 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 o f sleep, he turned the wheel over to Olaf. Olaf is a strong guy, built really solid, but after a couple o f hours o f steering, at one point the wheel just spun right out o f his hands.... I saw him literally get thrown off..." For the third skipper, Hal, his fatigue combined with a failure o f the automatic pilot. A s the skipper, he made it his habit to be at the wheel when travelling at night. H a l was adamant that his maintenance routine was not responsible for the batteries not charging properly which in turn caused the failure o f the automatic pilot. He was proud of his regular maintenance routine and the well-kept condition o f his boat. H i s 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 o f 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, i n the case o f Walt Pearson, or near exhaustion, in the case o f 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: " W e 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 o f 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 o f the line caused a deep scar around his calf. Fishers described Fatigue as being an expected part o f 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 o f their description. Stress: Stress was cited as a cause o f the accident in five o f the interviews. This number is equal to Fatigue. Two o f the five fishers who had indicated Fatigue also cited Stress as one o f the causes. A l l five participants who included Stress as one o f their accident causes were skippers. Stress was attached to the responsibility o f 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  H a l Matsumoto explained that Stress played a role in his accident due to pressures of trying to get a better price for his large load o f fish in Vancouver instead o f selling it in Prince Rupert. H a l : "Stress, because you try to get to Vancouver as quick as possible, try to get there. Otherwise, we could have slept a couple o f hours. A n d , I had opened up the speed 'cause it was a heavy load and wanted to go as quick as possible." For R o d Quiggley, his Stress focused on beating other boats to get his net back i n the water i n his usual spot. Contributing to his sense of urgency was the small run o f 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 o f course it was a hurried situation ... i n the heat o f 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...." R o d 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. R o d : " M u c h stress, the stress o f trying to catch as many fish on that small run that came into the river.... Gillnetting is a strange beast, small runs come i n and everybody tries to key on them and the nets are very close together ... very very stressful. Another source o f 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 o f fish so everyone would make money. For L i a m Osaka, he felt pressure, from his crewmembers to head out in bad weather after already trying to sit out the weather at anchor. L i a m remarks that had he remained at anchor he would have had "two crew members sulking." L i a m 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 o f that they placed L i a m under Stress which resulted in his decision to fish i n bad weather conditions. L i a m attributed this as contributing to the sinking o f his boat. Only one o f the participants i n the study was the skipper on a boat that was owned 49% by the skipper and 5 1 % by the fish packing company. The skipper asserted that he experienced much Stress from company pressure to continually produce large catches. K e n 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 y o u ' l l get pressure...from the boss...'If you don't do any production tomorrow you're toast.'" Stress was attributed by five o f the fishers, all skippers, to be a contributing cause in the accidents they described. Issues o f being the one who makes the final decisions and the feeling o f ultimate responsibility weighed heavily on the skippers. External/Unstable Government Rules and Regulations:  Four o f the 12 fishers cited Government  Rules or Regulations as playing a role in the cause o f their accident. The fishers' comments mainly referred to restricted openings or openings that occurred during bad weather. Some openings are still restricted in terms o f the time frames; however, in more recent years the government has made some adjustments on how they set the openings i n order to take into account predicted storms. Peter Lightheart: "The department would put us in a lot o f these situations ... because it's these situations that we get forced into. L i k e we didn't want to be up there at that time o f year.... We didn't want to be fishing because we knew better."  Ill  Quinn Jackson: " o f the terrible things that's happened in the fishing industry is compressed fishing time, so you have your policies, and because o f that people want to be on the spot in the morning so they travel at night." E d Quinn described the grounding o f his boat. He adamantly claimed the level o f 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 o f three hours later. Accordingly, E d felt the government system had failed h i m during the one time in his 40 years o f fishing when he needed help. He related this lack of help to the cutbacks in Coast Guard funding. E d : "I called the Coast Guard, I got the radio operator and nothing else. N o help, just you're on you're own sort o f 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 it... Fishers were leery o f Government Rules and Regulations and saw them as a source o f interference and frustration. Luck or Fate: The second most cited cause related to the fishers' mention o f L u c k or Fate. This cause was noted by 8 o f 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 o f those accidents...." Some fishers seemed to take a broad approach to how luck affected them or how it was part o f the cause o f the accident. E d Quinn: " W e l 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 o f 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 o f the situation might suggest that there were aspects o f the situation where control could have been exercised.  112  Noreen White: " W e 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 h i m where it skimmed off his head, didn't hit h i m straight on, so it was real lucky. It was just one o f those things." R o d Quiggley: " L u c k i l y 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." M a n y 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 o f accidents, grouped into categories o f causes. The fishers' own words and phrases were used for illustration. A t the top o f the list was Economic Pressures, spoken about by 10 o f the participants. The fishers emphasized Economic Pressures, both i n terms o f the number o f participants who noted this and the pointed comments that they made. L u c k or Fate was second with regard to the number o f fishers (8) who mentioned it. However, the remarks about L u c k or Fate were much less pointed, more o f a passing comment. Weather Conditions Expected and Knowledge were mentioned by 6 participants. Five participants attributed the causes o f Fatigue and Stress as a component o f their accident. The following were each cited by 4 participants: Competition, Approach to Planning Crew, and Government Rules and Regulations. In the case o f Approach to Planning  113  Crew, there were also 4 participants who made remarks about a safety method or a change i n procedure that took place as a result o f an accident. The final attributed cause o f the "top 10" was Approach to Planning Skipper, with 3 participants citing this as a part o f their accident. The reason I decided to include this in the "top 10" was because 5 o f the skippers also pointedly outlined their safety methods or a change they had made to the procedures as an outcome o f an accident. Through the use o f the fishers' own words and representative example excerpts, the reader should now have a more intimate understanding o f the fishers' attributed causes o f 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 PREVENTION EDUCATION  Recommendations have been made to break away from the traditional technorational 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 N o y , 1995). However, research that focuses upon the fishers' own perspective, and more specifically, on the fishers perspective o f what they consider to be causes o f their accidents has been lacking i n the research literature. This study has documented fishers' attributed causes o f accidents in an attempt to partially fill that gap in the literature. Through fishers own accident accounts, and the analysis o f those stories, this study has shown that fishers attribute their accidents to a broad spectrum o f causes, a significant portion o f which reside outside techno-rational concerns that focus on maintenance o f 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 o f prevention education for fishers i f attributed causes for accidents reside both in the techno-rational (external/stable) and significantly i n the other three quadrants o f attributions (external/unstable, internal/stable, and internal/unstable). Chapter 8 acknowledges the complexity o f 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 o f 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 C o m p l e x 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 o f causes as cited by participants. For 9 o f the 12 participants the attributed causes o f accidents were located in all four quadrants o f attributions on the orienting framework (Table 3). This is o f 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 o f categories o f causes as identified through the application o f 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 o f prevention resources" (p. 9). This study is not concerned with whether fishers' attributed causes o f accidents are correct or incorrect. Rather, it suggests that the wide spectrum o f 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 o f their accidents might well be included in prevention education in the general context o f making this information visible to fishers. M a k i n g attributed causes o f 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 o f the introduction o f 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 o f accidents to improve safety prevention education. One way to do this is to refocus the attributed causes o f fishing incidents/accidents through the lens o f 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; K o h n & Ferry, 1999). A risk assessment is a careful examination o f all manner o f work activities to appraise what could cause injury and determine whether hazards could be controlled or eliminated. Some categories o f causes identified i n this study would be more controllable than others (Table 4). The American Society of Safety Engineers defines risk assessment as, "The amount or degree o f potential danger perceived [italics added] by a given individual when determining a course o f action to accomplish a given task" (Abercomie,  117  1988, p. 49). It is the fishers' perception o f risks and attributed causes that are likely to direct their actions toward safety.  T a b l e 4. Attributed Causes o f Fishing Accidents Reported by Twelve Fishers  Attributed Cause  Citing Number  Locus l,E  Stability S,U  Economic Pressures  10  E  S  Luck, Fate  8  E  Weather Conditions Expected  6  E  Knowledge  6  I  Fatigue  5  I  Stress  5  I  Approach to Planning Crew  4  E  Competition  4  I  Gov't Rules or Regulations  4  E  Boat Movement Expected  4  E  Approach to Planning Skipper  3  I  Safety Equipment  3  E  Carelessness  3  I  Weather Conditions Unexpected  2  E  Ability  2  I  Maintenance Schedule Skipper  1  I  Maintenance Schedule Crew  1  E  Navigation Equipment  1  E  Alcohol or Drugs  1  I  Boredom  1  I  Anxiety or Depression  1  I  u s s u u s u u s s s u u s s s s u u u  Key: E=External, ^Internal, S=Stable, U=Unstable, C=Controllable, N=Non-Controllable  Control C,N  c N C C C C N  C N N C C N N C C N C C C C  118  The purpose o f this study was not to systematically complete a risk assessment o f each participant's fish boat and their work practices, however the study's findings represent the fishers' collective attributed causes o f accidents. These perceived causes provide insight into the initial steps o f the risk assessment process and offer possibilities for prevention education. This discussion about the complexities o f attribution theory and prevention education need not occlude the introduction o f fishers' attributed causes o f accidents i n safety training programs for fishers. From a practical adult education point o f 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 o f this study might augment their understanding and assist them in reassessing their awareness o f risk. A r e they taking an informed risk? P r o g r a m i n Place for B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a Fishers A n overview o f the Fishing Master Certificate program was described in Chapter 2. A l l four levels o f the certificate program focus on general marine topics such as navigational equipment and specific regulations provided for under the Canada Shipping A c t . The content o f 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 o f the Canadian Marine Certificate System was undertaken, the Fishing Master Certificate program was not revisited (Minister o f Transport, 1997). It is unlikely the Transport Canada certificate program for fishers, with the current curriculum, w i 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 o f this study identified 22 categories o f 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 o f perceived attributed causes o f accidents as cited by participants o f this study and that link to the fishers' perception o f occupational risks. G i v e n the unlikelihood o f 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 o f the current limited focus. Programs on the D r a w i n g B o a r d Two programs are in the development stages for British Columbia fishers. The first, is proposed by the B . C . Council o f 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 o f a one day partially hands-on session that deals specifically with fishing vessel emergency drills. It has been designed through the Workers' Compensation Board o f B . C . and has recently gone through the pilot stage. The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program The Canadian Council o f Professional Fish Harvesters is a non-profit organization founded i n 1995. The Council is a federation o f the main fish harvesters' organizations i n Atlantic Canada, Quebec and British Columbia. West coast representatives on the Council are: the Native Brotherhood o f B . C . , Pacific Gillnetters Association, Area G  120  Troll Fishery Association, and United Fishermen and A l l i e d Workers' Union. The Council has several objectives focused on professionalizing fishers, one o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the program went beyond the Ministry o f 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 o f the B . C . Fish Harvesters Council is i n 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 o f training. The training sub-  121  committee should have individuals on it who think beyond traditional training methods and who can employ some o f the principles o f adult education. The current direction o f this program appears to be following traditional "training" nevertheless a window o f opportunity exists to include a broader educational approach to fishing safety. Consideration should be given to including the categories o f causes o f accidents as identified through consultation with fishers and the findings o f 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 o f accidents i n this study. In participatory discussion groups, the learners should be encouraged to examine what past decisions they have made on the bases o f Economic Pressures and consider i f this has placed them into a "near miss" situation and reassess their view o f 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 o f 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 o f their own work experiences. A n activity could be to give them a list o f the 22 categories o f 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 o f identifying hazards and assessing risks and broaden the content o f the program. The comparisons o f risks (the learners' own accidents and the categories o f causes from this study) may help convey the nature and size o f a specific risk estimate for fisherlearners. 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 o f accidents as potentially adding to the risks o f 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 Drills The Workers' Compensation Board ( W C B ) has developed a one day program titled Fishing Vessel Emergency Drills. 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 o f 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 o f the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation regarding safety practices i n fishing and includes examples o f 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 A p r 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 o f 1999. However, it falls short regarding exploring the fishers' perception o f attributed causes o f accidents and assessment o f risks. The development o f this program has not finished. Changes and improvements can be considered. Findings from this study can be used to increase learner awareness o f the attributed causes o f accidents and assessment of occupational risks. The format o f 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 o f a buoy for a simulated personoverboard situation. The setting is a combination o f community centre, dock-side, and on board vessels. The program opens with a recent west coast example o f a fishing vessel accident where two crewmembers drowned and one survived (Transportation Safety Board, 1997). Some o f 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 i n a general fashion at the beginning o f the program. However, this could be expanded in a similar manner as described for the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Program. The factors o f financial pressures and storm warnings on the weather forecast from the T S B example concur with the categories o f causes identified i n this study o f Economic Pressures and Weather Conditions Expected. This presents an opportunity for discussion on findings from this study and risk assessment through the use o f a known B . C . example. A list of the 22 categories o f causes from this study could be handed out and ranked, with additional participatory group discussion. This would continue to help identify fishers' attributed causes o f accidents and assist them to compare and systematically address the risks associated with their work. The Fishing Vessel Emergency Drills program deals with situations where an emergency is taking place. The subject matter is serious and o f 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 o f attributed causes o f accidents and comparison o f their perceived risks is a logical part o f the program. This would help to give the program more o f an educational focus than just drill training. It would encourage learners to reflect on the larger issue o f multiple causes o f accidents and guide them to assess whether they are taking informed risks. What issues need to be addressed i n order to make both o f the described "on the drawing board" programs more effective from an adult education perspective?  125  Prevention E d u c a t i o n Issues This section explores some processes that would contribute to effective prevention education programs for fishers. Recognizing the value o f 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 o f accidents, their ranking o f the findings o f this study, and their systematic comparison and assessment o f the risks in their work environment. To reach B . C . fishers these programs should go to the communities o f 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". M a n y fishers w i l l not sign up for a course, unless it is mandated. Taking portions o f the programs to the docks would help with both accessibility and visibility, i f for no other reason than it is " i n 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 o f the openings (to know when boats are gathered i n key locations such as Prince Rupert). Content o f programs should be adjusted to reflect the different needs and operational requirements o f different sizes o f boats and various gear types. For example, practice for a person overboard drill would be different for a six person seiner as compared with a two person gillnetter. These types o f distinctions need to be addressed and appropriately customized into the programs.  126  Credibility would be enhanced through the use o f members o f the fishing community as facilitators. The facilitators should be recognized as being "one o f the fishers, and respected for their work experience. Similarity o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f particular importance in an emergency situation where the person with the authority (the skipper) may override concerns o f other crewmembers even in the face o f danger. For example, postponing making a call for help, because o f "pride". Programs should recognize the variety o f cultural backgrounds o f 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 o f ethnic backgrounds, and include individuals from different cultural communities, the barriers would be minimized. These above considerations w i l l assist in allowing fishers an opportunity to discuss and review their attributed causes o f accidents and take into account how they  127  may reassess their occupational risks. This goes together with broadening o f program content to include attributed causes that come from all four quadrants o f attributions as indicated by participants o f this study. Conclusions Fishers' attributed causes o f accidents represent a link to their perceived safety concerns. Instead o f trying to down play or ignore that fishers take risks, the proposed approach suggests recognition o f 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 o f thinking, not a specific procedure. This study has described and examined fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. These are useful for prevention education because they assist fishers in focusing on the risks o f their work. In addition to broadening the content o f 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 o f the different boats and gear types, minimizing power and authority, and acknowledging the variety o f cultural backgrounds o f fishers.  128  C H A P T E R 9: LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH  The purpose o f this chapter is to describe the limitations o f this study and to suggest directions for future research. This study described and analyzed 12 fishers' perspectives regarding their attributed causes o f accidents and presented implications for prevention education. The major limitations o f this study concern the use o f retrospective interviews, the attribution theory bias called "self-serving", and the small number o f participants. I outline the specifics around these limitations, and then indicate potential ideas for future research. Limitations Retrospective Interviews A methodological problem exists with the use o f retrospective interviews. The participants may recall their experiences with biases, i n part because o f the passage o f time. The participants may not specifically be trying to change their point o f view, however, their responses may not reflect what they thought o f a situation when it actually happened. Aspects o f 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 o f 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 o f responsibilities that he now carries as a skipper. Alternatively, the same skipper may now be relieved to pass some o f 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 o f this study. Having said this, it must also be realized that virtually every account o f what occurred in the past must cope with this type o f 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 i n a "good light" and w i l l attempt to find an explanation that is personally acceptable (Heider, 1958b). Fishing accidents were the focus o f 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 o f the limitations o f this study needs to include the realization that participants o f 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 o f a large faceless external cause such as Government Rules and Regulations. They would be less likely to attribute their accidents to A l c o h o l or Drugs, or Boredom, or Anxiety or Depression, as these would be seen to be socially unacceptable and very personal.  130  The focus o f this study was to describe the fishers' perspective due to the lack o f documentation o f this in the literature. The need for fishers to represent themselves in a "good light" is part o f the limitations o f 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 o f an accident w i l l have a particular perspective attached to it, whether it is the perspective o f an "official" (e.g., o f the Coast Guard, the Worker's Compensation Board, the Transportation Safety Board) or that o f the fisher. Number o f Participants This study included the attributed causes o f accidents from 12 professional fishers. The small number o f participants' needs to be recognized as a limitation o f this study. There were 22 categories o f causes o f accidents that participants spoke to, and which were identified during the analysis o f the data. This study creates a starting point toward the description and analysis o f fishers' attributed causes o f accidents. In order to obtain a more accurate and complete representation o f each of the causes, a larger group of participants would be in order. F u t u r e Research This section outlines possible future research directions that may contribute to the understanding o f fishers' perspectives o f the causes o f 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 o f an agency such as the Workers' Compensation Board o f 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 i n the fishing industry. The researcher would then have the opportunity to complete interviews o f a similar nature to those in this study, and these would occur relatively quickly after the accident. This would assist in gathering the perspectives o f fishers immediately following their industrial accident and would alleviate some o f the limitations as outlined above under retrospective interviews. A note should be made that one o f the roles o f 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 o f the attributed causes o f accidents of the fishers (in the case o f the fishing industry). Therefore, an independent researcher, whose focus was specifically on the perspective o f 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 o f the type o f 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 o f perspectives o f fishers from different cultural backgrounds. A review o f 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 i n 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 o f boats and made a point o f checking on the welfare o f the others i n their group. Some o f the other non-First Nation participants i n this study also suggested that they had other fishers around them with whom they communicated. However, the statements o f the First Nation participants were much stronger and louder on this topic than were those o f the non-First Nation participants. This was not attributed as a cause o f accidents, but as a regular operating practice that was viewed as a safety feature. Patterns o f this nature or other explanations might emerge from various cultural groups and may represent another area o f interest for future research. Perspectives o f Skippers and Crewmembers The last recommendation regarding future research is in the area o f identifying the potentially different perspectives that may exist between skippers as compared with crewmembers. Some studies on workplace safety have indicated that people i n supervisory and decision-making positions often place more emphasis on external causes when reviewing issues o f poor subordinate performance (DeJoy, 1985, 1994). The fundamental attributional error o f 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 actorobserver difference. In professional fishing the skipper is in the role o f the supervisor; however, a high level o f 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 o f fishing accidents? A l s o , does the high level o f interdependency o f 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 o f examining fishers' attributed causes o f accidents and deriving implications for prevention education. This study has shown that fishers' attributed causes o f accidents are diverse and complex. 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N e w York: Springer-Verlag.  141  APPENDIX A: Information/Invitation Letter For Skippers And Crewmembers  Date  Dear  I am writing to invite you to participate in a study being conducted by myself. I am a graduate student in Adult Education at the University o f British Columbia. The title o f my project is: Fishers' Attributions of Accidents and Their Implications Toward Prevention Education. The Faculty Advisor (Professor) who is overseeing my study is Dr. Roger W . Boshier. The purpose o f this study is to take a look at fishermen's ideas and insights into the causes o f fishing related accidents. A s a professional fisherman you are engaged in the activity o f fishing and possess the knowledge and perceptions that are essential to the study. I anticipate that the findings w i l l assist i n giving direction for future prevention education. I hope you w i l l be supportive o f 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. Y o u r involvement would be in the form o f a maximum o f two interviews that would be approximately one and one half hours i n length. The interview w i l l be conducted at a time and location convenient to you. These interviews w i 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 o f your interview transcript for accuracy. The maximum total amount o f 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  A P P E N D I X 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 o f British Columbia. The purpose of this letter is to seek your consent to participate in a maximum o f two interviews for my graduate thesis study. The title o f 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 o f the Faculty o f Education. The purpose o f this study is to take a look at fishermen's ideas and insights into the causes o f fishing related accidents. A s a professional fisherman, you are engaged in the activity o f 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 o f two, one and one half hour interviews w i l l be required on a voluntary basis. Y o u may also be asked to review portions o f your interview transcript(s) for accuracy. Your total time commitment is expected to be a maximum o f four hours. The material I gather in these interviews w i 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 willing to participate i n 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 o f 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? H o w 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. Tell 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. Tell me about a time when things didn't go as planned, something went wrong? Tell 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 o f 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 o f the week the month o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f 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 o f the main differences between the two? 14. W h y do you think that situation happened? What is your gut feeling or overall summary o f 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 o f an accident. 20. A n y other comments that you would like to add?  146  A P P E N D I X D: Overview of the Fishers' Attributed Causes, Including Examples of the Fishers' Phrases Internal/Stable A b i l i t y (2): the fisher attributed a cause as a lack o f 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 o f Knowledge i n relation to a specific piece o f 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 i n . 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 o f events that dealt with the "big picture" o f the organization o f 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 o f gear.. .1 should have played with that sounder before I left the dock." R o d 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 o f equipment that was normally reviewed as part o f 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 o f catching fish, as either a sense o f 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..." R o d 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 s h . . . " 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. K e n 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." R o d 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 o f fish there and you need it to pay the rest o f your bills for the season." Barb Zenn: "yeah to pay the bills.. .the first two drifts.. .are the best for the whole day..." Paul Zenn: " . . .gotta catch those fish and maybe get a little bigger share..." H a l 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 c a n . . . " 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 o f the trip or the fishing process. Barb Zenn: "They (the authorities) can make it legally your fault. (Commenting on navigation, and right o f 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 o f 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 w o r k i n g . . . " Maintenance Schedule Crew (1): the fisher attributed a cause as a lack o f 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. E d 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 o f 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 o f Vessel (2): the fisher attributed a cause to the lack o f sufficient integrity and stability o f the vessel. Noreen White: " . . .that part (an addition on the stern o f 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 o f 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 rail.. .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 o f the wind, .. .the tide against the wind tends to increase the amount o f action and the size o f the waves..." L i a m 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 o f the ongoing motion. Peter Lightheart: " . . .the boat just was moving and it rolled.. .and the back end o f 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 i m . . . " Edmund Fumano: "...we were fishing in four meter swells, with a wave.. .and I my foot slipped off.. .rammed my s h i n . . . " 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 i n inattention or a situation where another less experienced crewmember had to take the wheel. Peter Lightheart: "I got h i m up first to watch.. .and I feel, bang, right under the keel..." H a l 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 O l a f . . . " 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: " W e were...pretty tired...that just kinda added to the human error." A l c o h o l 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. K e n Thomas: " . . .1 think a lot o f boredom from waiting (for an opening), the waiting can be tedious. Stress (5): the fisher attributed a cause to the stress o f 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. K e n Thomas: " . . .the stress factor.. .the captain's got all the pressure.. .feels like you are going to war... pressure from the boss..." R o d Quiggley: " . . .a very stressful day.. .hurried.. .in the heat o f the situation.. .the stress o f trying to catch a many fish... Peter Lightheart: " . . .1 had stress from the economics o f the times.. .stressful due to the government and we knew it wasn't good to be there... H a l 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 o f 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. K e n Thomas: " . . .the M i f f l i n plan put the pressure o n . . . " 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 o f 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 i a m Osaka: " .. .the wind funnels downs.. .1 neglected to find that out before we headed out (new fishing grounds)." L u c k 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. K e n 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.. .Luckily the net on the drum caught itself..." Peter Lightheart: "It was just one o f 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 h i m straight on, so it was real l u c k y . . . "  


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