Technology ID

Swing-Away Winch Cathead Guard

Lead Inventor
Woodward, Chelsea (CDC)
Research Materials
Occupational Safety and Health
Non-Medical Devices
Medical Devices
Therapeutic Areas
Infectious Disease
Development Stages
Development Status
  • Early-stage
  • Prototype
Lead IC
Shrimp boat operators use two trawl retrieval mechanisms mounted on the same winch frame. The main spools are used in the first operation; the shrimpers stand within inches of rotating cathead drums and guide incoming wire rope onto the main spools. Second, lazy lines are wrapped multiple times around each of the two spinning catheads (horizontal beams that raise and secure the anchor). Lastly, the guarding ends are pulled by the operators to cinch the rope to the rotating spool aiding trawl retrieval, but poses a hazard for operators to get entangled in the spinning cathead spools.

Researchers at NIOSH have developed guarding devices to protect shrimp boat winch operators from being entangled in the continuously spinning cathead spools. The mechanical guards feature a swinging functionality covering the catheads after the main trawl operations, allowing access to the normal operation of the catheads.
Commercial Applications
  • Protective guards used to protect shrimp boat operators from being entangled in cathead spools.
  • Cathead guards used to protect operators in the mining, oil, and gas industries where cathead winch spools are used.
  • Guards can be used in boating industry to protect operators of anchor windlasses.
Competitive Advantages
  • Swing-away mechanism of cathead guard protects operators from becoming entangled in spinning cathead spools.
  • Designed specifically to address safety issues with industry winch protocols.
Licensing Contact:
Mitzelfelt, Jeremiah