Guidelines on the medical examination of fishers

In accordance with established procedures, these guidelines will be submitted to the 352nd Session (October–November 2024) of the Governing Body of the ILO for its consideration.

Guidelines | 16 February 2024
Fishers are required to undergo medical examinations to reduce risks to other crew members and for the safe operation of the fishing vessel, for the environmental and navigational safety, as well as to safeguard their personal health and safety. Convention No. 188 and the 1995 STCW-F Convention require fishers to hold a medical certificate, detail the information to be recorded and indicate certain specific aspects of fitness that need to be assessed. These Guidelines apply to fishers in accordance with the requirements of Convention No. 188 and the 1995 STCW-F Convention.

The Guidelines are arranged in the following manner:

Part 1 summarizes the purpose and scope of the Guidelines, their contents and the background to their preparation, and identifies the main features of a framework for medical examinations and the issue of a medical certificate to a fisher.

Part 2 provides information relevant to competent authorities to assist with the framing of national regulations that will be compatible with relevant international instruments on the health and fitness of fishers.

Part 3 provides information relevant to those who are carrying out fishers’ medical assessments. This may be used directly or may form the basis for national guidelines for medical practitioners.

These Guidelines also include a series of appendices on standards for different types of impairing conditions, record-keeping and the contents of the medical certificate. The series of appendices includes guidance on how to establish a programme to monitor the health and occupational risk factors relevant to fishers, the implementation of a training programme for medical practitioners, standards for different types of impairing conditions, record-keeping and the contents of the medical certificate.