Background The world merchant fleet comprise about 1.4 million seafarers. Multi ethnic crews make about 2/3 of the world merchant fleet. The purpose was to descripe important aspects of the working environment for seafarers. Method The seafarers have biannual health examinations and they used 5-10 minutes during the waiting time to complete a small, anonymous questionnaire with questions concerning the latest tour of duty. Data were collected in 11 countries: Denmark (DK), the Philippines, Croatia, Spain, South Africa, Ukraine, Russia, United Kingdom United Kingdom (UK), Poland, Indonesia and China. The questionnaire was on safety on board: (self-perceived safety, knowledge of safety representative, exposure to chemical substances and the use of personal safety equipment against chemical exposures). Injuries during the latest tour of duty were examined. Results 6.593 questionnaires were collected in 2001. The participation rate was 90-95%. The length of the latest tour differed significantly for the nationalities: The Philippines, Indonesian, Chinese and Ukraine ratings stayed at sea for an average of 8 to 11 months while the ratings from the Western countries, like DK and the UK had 2,5 to 3,5 months at sea. The average was 60-80 working hours a week. 60% had 70 hours or more per week and one third more than 80 hours. 80 % worked all the 7 days in the week. Officers were 15-30% among the Philippines and Indonesian seafarers and 80% among the seafarers from United Kingdom and Denmark. 80% of the seafarers from the UK and DK worked on ships from their own nation while the Philippines and the Indonesian seafarers mainly worked on foreign ships. Seafarers over 50 years of age were few among the eastern nationalities. Nearly 9% of the seafarers were injured on the latest tour of duty. Slips, trips and falls were frequent involved. Seafarers from the Philippines and Indonesia had low incidence rates of injury. The self-perceived health was generally good among the seafarers, with some national exceptions Conclusions - Remarkable non-equity for work conditions between the nationalities - Working hours per week and the stay on board are very long for some nationalities - Nearly 9% of the seafarers were injured on the latest tour of duty - Slips trips and falls constitute about half of the most serious injuries.
Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention, 2008
søfart, arbejdsmiljø, international; seafaring, occupational health, international
Main Research Area:
ORP2008 - 6th International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention, 2008