Working conditions in international seafaring.Occup Med (Lond). 2006 Sep; 56(6):393-7.OM
Seafaring is a global profession and seafarers have their second home on board and live there for several months at a time.
To assess self-rated health status and the main characteristics of seafarers' working conditions.
Questionnaire study concerning the most recent tour of duty.
A total of 6,461 seafarers in 11 countries responded. In general, the seafarers' self-rated health was good, but it declined significantly with age. Seafarers from South-East Asian countries spent longer time periods at sea, and had lower numbers of officers and older seafarers than found among seafarers from western countries. Most seafarers worked every day of the week, and on average for 67-70 h a week during periods of 2.5-8.5 months at sea.
Seafarers' self-rated health was generally good but varied significantly by country. Working conditions also differed by country but did not reflect working conditions in general. Further studies are necessary to describe more closely the influence of work schedules on the health and social life of seafarers.