Collaborative, cross-national studies on health and safety in seafaring for evidence-based Maritime policy and regulations.Int Marit Health. 2009; 60(1-2):10-3.IM
Until recently, maritime health and safety policies and regulations were sparsely based on health and safety research, and only a small number of countries contributed to new research.
To strengthen maritime health and safety research activities by presenting a study example and discussing the possibilities and needs for more national and cross-national research.
In a cross-national epidemiological study example, the seafarers from eleven countries completed small, anonymous questionnaires concerning the working conditions on their latest tours at sea while waiting for their health examinations.
Significant disparities were pointed out among the nationalities, e.g., the length of the tours at sea, the proportional distribution of officers and non-officers, the mean age structure, the injury incidence rates, and the differences of occupational safety standards. The analysis of all data together increased the statistical strength of the multivariate analyses and allowed for valid comparisons among the nationalities.
The questionnaire data was used successfully in the collaborative study example, but other data sources and methods are useful for health and safety research in seafaring as well. More national and cross-national research on maritime health and safety is warranted.