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Occupational health needs of commercial fishermen in South West England

Occupational health needs of commercial fishermen in South West England
Occupational health needs of commercial fishermen in South West England
Background - Work in commercial fishing is physically demanding and hazardous, but unlike merchant seamen, fishermen are not required to hold a certificate of medical fitness.

Aims - To investigate the case for regulatory medical standards for commercial fishermen and to identify priorities for the prevention and management of occupational injuries at sea.

Methods - We surveyed a convenience sample of fishermen at three major fishing ports in South West England using a standardized interview-administered questionnaire.

Results - Interviews were completed by 210 (68%) of 307 fishermen approached. Over their careers, 56 subjects (27%) had been returned to shore as an emergency for medical reasons, a rate of 14.6 (95% confidence interval 11.5–18.2) per 1000 man-years. Most emergency evacuations were for acute injuries, and only five were for illness. A few participants suffered from chronic disease that would call into question their fitness to go to sea. Fifty-five fishermen had suffered injuries in the past 12 months, including 12 that had caused loss of more than 3 days from work. Subjects had self-stitched 4 of 15 reported hand lacerations, while others had been bound with ‘gaffer’ tape.

Conclusions - Prevention of hand lacerations should be a high priority, with first-aid training and equipment for fishing crews to improve their care when prevention fails. No firm conclusions can be drawn about the value of regular medical screening for commercial fishermen, but such screening should be considered a lower priority than accident prevention
Evacuation, fishermen, health screening, injury, laceration
0962-7480
49-53
Grimsmo-Powney, Helen
37a9ae0f-1fe6-43eb-9eea-74b5d732821a
Harris, Clare E
5cf60085-46ba-4387-919c-c9bd88a9fc6c
Reading, Isabel
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Grimsmo-Powney, Helen
37a9ae0f-1fe6-43eb-9eea-74b5d732821a
Harris, Clare E
5cf60085-46ba-4387-919c-c9bd88a9fc6c
Reading, Isabel
6f832276-87b7-4a76-a9ed-b4b3df0a3f66
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Grimsmo-Powney, Helen, Harris, Clare E, Reading, Isabel and Coggon, David (2010) Occupational health needs of commercial fishermen in South West England. Occupational Medicine, 60 (1), 49-53. (doi:10.1093/occmed/kqp137).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background - Work in commercial fishing is physically demanding and hazardous, but unlike merchant seamen, fishermen are not required to hold a certificate of medical fitness.

Aims - To investigate the case for regulatory medical standards for commercial fishermen and to identify priorities for the prevention and management of occupational injuries at sea.

Methods - We surveyed a convenience sample of fishermen at three major fishing ports in South West England using a standardized interview-administered questionnaire.

Results - Interviews were completed by 210 (68%) of 307 fishermen approached. Over their careers, 56 subjects (27%) had been returned to shore as an emergency for medical reasons, a rate of 14.6 (95% confidence interval 11.5–18.2) per 1000 man-years. Most emergency evacuations were for acute injuries, and only five were for illness. A few participants suffered from chronic disease that would call into question their fitness to go to sea. Fifty-five fishermen had suffered injuries in the past 12 months, including 12 that had caused loss of more than 3 days from work. Subjects had self-stitched 4 of 15 reported hand lacerations, while others had been bound with ‘gaffer’ tape.

Conclusions - Prevention of hand lacerations should be a high priority, with first-aid training and equipment for fishing crews to improve their care when prevention fails. No firm conclusions can be drawn about the value of regular medical screening for commercial fishermen, but such screening should be considered a lower priority than accident prevention

Text
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More information

Published date: 2010
Keywords: Evacuation, fishermen, health screening, injury, laceration

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 150203
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/150203
ISSN: 0962-7480
PURE UUID: 393fd9ff-d64e-44a4-869c-938c2f7c5f2d
ORCID for Isabel Reading: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1457-6532
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 May 2010 14:18
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 02:49

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Contributors

Author: Helen Grimsmo-Powney
Author: Clare E Harris
Author: Isabel Reading ORCID iD
Author: David Coggon ORCID iD

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