Jerry Dzugan demonstrates how to lift heavy items safely.Hands that are painful to open, a sore back, shoulders that constantly ache — all these and more are aliments that seem to be part of the commercial fishing game.

“I had times when I couldn’t feel my hands when fishing,” says Jerry Dzugan at his Wednesday presentation on “Strains, Sprains and Pains: Ergonomics for Mariners” at the Keynote Stage. 

Dzugan, now with the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, says, “All mariners have problems with these injuries but not much is being done about it.”

Dzugan and AMSEA are trying to change that with training sessions and presentations like yesterday’s showing fishermen that by changing tools and the work area they can be more efficient, comfortable and work longer with less pain. 

Using a video with photos and drawings — plus audience participation — Dzugan showed the effects of improper lifting and bad posture.

Dzugan offered bits of advice: avoid twisting the spine to lift something; when cleaning fish, keep the work 4 to 6 inches below the elbow; keep a load close to the body; and tighten stomach muscles and exhale when lifting.    

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