The closure of the east coast fishery in Canada in 1992 has affected the lives of individuals and communities both directly and indirectly, causing massive unemployment. Previous research indicates that unemployment negatively affects people's health and other aspects of family functioning. This study assesses the perceived effects of unemployment on the individuals' health, and compares the psychological well-being of the employed and that of the unemployed individuals in the same communities affected by the cod moratorium. The sample consisted of 681 individuals, 16 years of age and older from randomly selected households. They were individually interviewed using structured questionnaires. The GHQ-28 with a high test-retest coefficient (0.90) and split-half reliability (0.92) was used to measure the psychological well-being. The unemployed reported more stress, boredom, high level of uncertainty, less satisfaction with themselves, their life, their educational level, income and health. Implications for health promotion, policy formulation and future research are put forward.
From a prospective epidemiological and radiological study of peptic ulcer disease in the northern part of Norway, relations between occupation and the occurrence of new peptic ulcers are presented. Over a 3-year period 1861 patients with dyspeptic complaints, 557 women and 1304 men belonging to 12 different occupational groups, were studied. Special attention was paid to the fishing population, constituting 2488 men and only 55 women. In the period studied 87 gastric ulcers and 118 duodenal ulcers were found. A statistically significantly higher incidence of both gastric and duodenal ulcers was found in fishermen than in the other groups. Furthermore, significantly higher incidences of duodenal ulcers were found in men occupied in 'land or water transport'. Compared with the total male population at risk in the area studied, significantly higher incidences were found for duodenal ulcer in fishermen. The present study confirms prior reports both from Scotland and from North Norway, showing an increased incidence of peptic ulcers in the fishing population.
OBJECTIVES. Studies from other countries have identified fishing as a hazardous industry, but little is known about occupational injury mortality related to fishing in the United States. Alaska was chosen for this study because approximately 45,000 people annually participate in Alaska's fishing industry and fishing is thought to be a major contributor to occupational injury mortality in the state. METHODS. Work-related injury deaths in Alaska's fishing industry were identified by means of death certificates and US Coast Guard mortality data. Fatality rates were calculated by using average annual fishing industry employment estimates. RESULTS. The 5-year average annual fishing-related fatality rate was 414.6 per 100,000 fishermen. The majority of the decedents were Caucasian men who drowned while fishing. CONCLUSIONS. This study emphasizes that fishing is a dangerous industry in Alaska and demonstrates the benefit of using multiple data sources to identify fishing-related deaths in the state.
Comment In: American Journal of Public Health. 1994 Mar;84(3):496-498
The risk of mortality related to occupation was determined for commercial fishermen in the Canadian Atlantic coast provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The subjects were a cohort of 31,415 fishermen licensed by the Canadian Department of Fisheries during 1975-83. Mortality and cause of death were obtained from the Canada Mortality Data Base and the Marine Casualty Investigation Unit (MCI), and were confirmed by examination of death certificates. Eighty four deaths likely to be related to fishing were recorded over 183,378 person-years of exposure for an annual mortality of 45.8 (95% confidence interval (CI) 36.0-55.6) per 100,000 fishermen. The rate of potential years of life lost up to age 75 was 1583 per 100,000 person-years of exposure. Inclusion of 14 additional deaths, which were possibly related to occupation, would increase these rates further. Bias in this study is likely to underestimate the risks. It is concluded that fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations in terms of mortality related to work.
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All commercial fishermen in the Canadian Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) are registered with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The data obtained by DFO during 1975-1983 on 33,000 fishermen were linked with the Canadian Mortality Data Base by the record linkage procedures in place at Statistics Canada, thus identifying 1,289 male deaths. When Canadian mortality rates were used to calculate the expected number of deaths, the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 0.80 for all causes. The rather low SMR can be explained at least partially by "the healthy worker effect". Although the healthy worker effect is generally greater for the younger age groups (i.e. a lower SMR), in this study the all-causes SMR for those under 44 years of age was 1.5. All accidents together showed an SMR of 1.5 which was even higher for the younger age groups (1.75). The most striking finding was the ratio for water transport accidents where observed deaths occurred at 8.5 times the expected rate. SMR for cancers were somewhat high, especially cancer of the pancreas at 1.5. Notable also were the very low rates for respiratory diseases although the younger fishermen still had an SMR greater than one. From a public health point of view, the high accident mortality for all fishermen and high mortality for many causes at the most productive ages associated with this occupation is of concern.
Reporting of human accidents in the Norwegian Fishing Fleet has always been very difficult because there has been no tradition in making reports on all types of working accidents among fishermen, if the accident does not seem to be very serious or there is no economical incentive to report. Therefore reports are only written when the accidents are serious or if the fisherman is reported sick. Reports about an accident are sent to the insurance company, but another report should also be sent to the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD). Comparing of data from one former insurance company and NMD shows that the real numbers of injuries or serious accidents among Norwegian fishermen could be up to two times more than the numbers reported to NMD. Special analyses of 1690 accidents from the so called PUS-database (NMD) for the period 1998-2002, show that the calculated risk was 23.6 accidents per 1000 man-years. This is quite a high risk level, and most of the accidents in the fishing fleet were rather serious. The calculated risks are highest for fishermen on board the deep sea fleet of trawlers (28.6 accidents per 1000 man-years) and also on the deep sea fleet of purse seiners (28.9 accidents per 1000 man-years). Fatal accidents over a longer period of 51.5 years from 1955 to 2006 are also roughly analysed. These data from SINTEF's own database show that the numbers of fatal accidents have been decreasing over this long period, except for the two periods 1980-84 and 1990-94 where we had some casualties with total losses of larger vessels with the loss of most of the crew, but also many others typical work accidents on smaller vessels. The total numbers of registered Norwegian fishermen and also the numbers of man-years have been drastically reduced over the 51.5 years from 1955 to 2006. The risks of fatal accidents have been very steady over time at a high level, although there has been a marked risk reduction since 1990-94. For the last 8.5-year period of January 1998-July 2006 the numbers of fatal accidents and calculated risks are analysed for three main fleet groups. The highest risk factor of 24.8 fatal accidents per 10.000 man years is found in the smaller fleet, length of vessel (Loa) 28 meter).
Fisheries work is one of the occupations at highest risk for occupational accidents in many countries. It is necessary to understand the injuries in order to prevent them. This study of occupational injury claims by fisheries workers in Norway made to insurance companies from 1991 to 1996 analysed the workers' age, time of injury, injury type, part of the body involved, injury event and cost. The highest injury incidence rates were among the younger fisheries workers and during the winter months. Bruises and fractures were the most frequent injury types, and fingers and hands were most often affected, whereas falls and accidents related to machines were the most common causes. Safety measures should be taken on board to prevent falls and machine-related injuries, and young fisheries workers should have better on-the-job training.