All 291 fatal accidents (510 persons on board, 318 drowned) in water traffic in Finland in 1986-1988 were investigated by specific teams. Only some data of this extensive investigation are presented in this study. Staggering and falling in boat because of drunkenness, falling over and sinking of boat were the main causes of getting into water of the people aboard. Only 3.5% of the drowned had used life jackets and 9.7% of them could not swim. The reduced ability to swim because of alcohol and the exhaustion were in about half of the drowned the actual cause and the cold water in one third the background factor for drowning. The results indicate that fatal accidents in water traffic are a major problem of males (95.9%) and give important information for countermeasures.
Maritime occupational accidents can be determined by several factors, among which human characteristics play a crucial role. Worker's safety behaviour depends on individual physical and mental characteristics as well as on his/her social and cultural background. The aim of this study is to investigate the frequency of workplace injuries in the Danish merchant fleet in the period 2010-2012, and to characterise its nationality dependence.
Occupational injuries data reported from ships registered in the Danish International Ship Register to the Danish Maritime Authority were collected. Publicly available employment data were used to calculate the cumulative incidence rates for Danish, non-Danish European Union (EU) and non-EU employees working on non-passenger ships. Crude injury rates and rates adjusted for occupational status were statistically compared.
The majority of accidents happened to Danish and non-EU workers on non-passenger ships. The injury rate varied around 70 per 1000 among Danish seafarers, while the rate for non-Danish employees was about 30 per 1000. Crude and adjusted relative risk was found significantly lower for EU (0.33-0.46;0.26-0.39) and for non-EU (0.41-0.53; 0.54-0.65) workers compared to Danish seafarers. The difference decreased, but remained significant in most cases for serious injuries.
Occupational injury rates show considerable nationality differences as reported from non-passenger ships registered under the Danish flag. The differences can only be partly explained by varying reporting practices. The findings confirm the results of previous studies and point out the need for effective interventions in the high-risk groups.
OBJECTIVE: According to the Norwegian Road Traffic Act, car drivers are not allowed to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.2 g/kg. Depending on the size of the boat or ship, boat drivers/captains/first mates are not allowed to conduct the boat with a BAC above 0.8 g/kg when driving small boats (length less than 15 m) and above 1.5 g/kg when running larger vessels/ships. The new Sea Act of June 2005 states that captains/first mates cannot conduct a ship if he/she has a BAC above 0.2 g/kg. Our aim was to determine the current median BAC in a large population of car and boat drivers in Norway. Our other aim was to study if median BAC was higher in boat drivers than in car drivers who were suspected by the police to be impaired. Furthermore, we wanted to investigate if the BAC levels were differently distributed by gender or age within and between these two groups. METHODS: The Norwegian Institute of Public Health analyzes blood samples from all car/boat drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and non-alcoholic drugs. In the present study, samples submitted between 01.05 and 01.09 in 2002-2004 were included. Drivers, who in addition tested positive for drugs or abuse substances other than ethanol were excluded. RESULTS: There were 321 boat drivers and 3,061 car drivers who were suspected to be under the influence of ethanol only. The median BAC in boat drivers (1.76 g/kg [range 0.02-3.54]) was significantly higher compared to that in car drivers (1.54 g/kg [range 0.00-4.27]). In the car driver group, the mean BAC did not differ significantly between men and women. The median level of BAC was significantly higher in men than in women in the boat driver group (1.77 g/kg with CI 1.69-1.85 vs. 1.27 g/kg with CI 0.78-1.76). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol impairment of car drivers is known to be considered the most important contributing cause of car crash injuries. Driving a boat may demand the same degree of performance skills as driving a car. The median BAC in apprehended boat drivers was considerably high in the present study. The median BAC was also high in car drivers despite strict legislation. The population of drivers of cars in our study, however, is from previous studies known to contain a large proportion of heavy drinkers. Less is known about the drinking habits in boat drivers, and caution is needed in generalizing from our results. However, our results indicate the possible need for stricter legislation and more frequent police control that will hopefully prevent serious accidents caused by ethanol drinking at sea.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims at getting a comprehensive view of the incidence, nature and circumstances leading up to injuries in Icelandic waters in 2001-2005. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The NOMESCO database at Landspitali University Hospital registers prospectively accidents at sea treated in the Emergency Department, including circumstances leading to the accident, vessel type, experience, task being performed, weather conditions etc. The Icelandic Marine Accident Investigation Board provided data on fatal injuries, and additional information on injuries at sea was collected from the Social Insurance Administration (SIA). RESULTS: Of 17 fatal accidents occurring in 2001-2005 14 were work related which amounts to 54/100.000 seamen/year. The SIA received 1787 injury reports (7% of registered seamen), 826 sought assistance at Landspitali, 52 were admitted with an average injury severity score of 5.5 (1-16) and no ensuing fatalities. Most accidents occurred on fishing vessels (87%), 51% thereof on trawlers. Experienced fishermen are most commonly injured, working on deck in daylight and stable weather. CONCLUSIONS: Fatalities have declined steadily in the last two decades, yet 7% of registered fishermen sustain injuries each year. These occur amongst experienced fishermen in good external conditions, which calls for revision of safety procedures on board.
The incidence of cancer among 4571 shipyard workers with first employment between 1940 and 1979, including 623 welders of mild steel, was investigated in a historical cohort study. The loss to follow up was 1.1%. The total number of deaths was 1078 (974.5 expected) and there were 408 cases of cancer v 361.3 expected. Sixty five cases of lung cancer were found v 46.3 expected based on the national rates for males. Four pleural mesotheliomas had occurred (1.2 expected), none among the welders. An excess of lung cancers was found among the welders (nine cases v 3.6 expected). There were six cases of lung cancer v 1.6 expected in a high exposure group of 255 welders. A survey of the smoking habits as of 1984 indicated 10%-20% more daily smokers among the shipyard production workers than among Norwegian males. Exposure to smoking and asbestos were confounding variables in this study.
The incidence of lung cancer among 428 shipyard welders exposed for more than ten years to welding fumes was investigated. The welders were examined for siderosis by the Directorate of Labor Inspection in 1975. The present study was a follow-up based on historical information from the Norwegian registry of dust-exposed workers. Twenty-three welders with siderosis, and 156 welders working at the same shipyards as the siderosis cases were studied as sub-cohorts. There was no loss on follow-up. The observation period was 1976 through 1992. There were 32 cases of cancer from all causes vs 41.3 expected. A nonsignificant excess of lung cancer was observed; 10 cases vs 6.5 expected. The incidence of lung cancer was highest for the welders with more than 30 years since first exposure (7 cases vs 4.1 expected). The sub-cohort of welders with siderosis had no case of lung cancer vs 0.5 expected. These welders were assumed to have experienced high exposure levels for welding fumes. The morbidity of cancer from all causes was low for this small group of blue-collar workers, but the incidence of lung cancer was slightly increased. The increase was not attributable to welders with siderosis. Smoking and asbestos exposure are potential confounders.
In this study, the authors investigated mortality and cancer patterns among a group of individuals accidentally exposed to methyl chloride 32 y earlier. This group of 24 persons had survived the immediate intoxication, which had occurred on a trawler during a fishing trip. The authors selected a reference group, which contained five times as many individuals as the study group, from registers of crews, and they controlled for age, occupation, social class, and lifestyle factors. The authors established a record linkage through personal identification numbers with the national death register and cancer register, thus securing 100% follow-up. The Mantel-Haenszel point estimate (M-H) was 2.2, and the 95% confidence interval (CI) was 1.3-3.1 for all causes of death. There was an excess of deaths from cardiovascular diseases (M-H = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.2-3.8). This excess mortality was more prominent among deckhands who had been subject to higher exposure; risk ratios (RRs) were elevated for all causes of death (RR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.0-5.7), as well as for cardiovascular diseases (RR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.0-14.4). In addition, the authors noted elevated risks for all cancers (M-H = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.3-5.6) and for lung cancer (M-H = 2.7, 95% CI = 0.1-52.6). The authors concluded that exposure to methyl chloride may have contributed to the risk of cardiovascular disease. Investigators need to conduct further studies on groups exposed to methyl chloride to refute or confirm this result.
Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading cause of mortality, disability and posting from a ship among seamen. As shown by analysis of case records of 124 seamen who died suddenly of myocardial infarction, IHD lethality on board the ship is much higher than on land. The greatest number of myocardial infarctions and IHD deaths occur on sailing month 3 and 4, within month 1 after returning home. Specific features of myocardial infarction in seamen are the following: absence of typical history, high incidence of painless forms and postmortem diagnosis, rare hospitalization, relationship with low exercise tolerance and inability to reach submaximal heart rate at bicycle exercise. Coronaroangiography performed after myocardial infarction detected stenosing atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries in 95% of cases.
Fall injuries constitute a significant problem in commercial fishing and such injuries have hitherto not been the subject of closer analysis.
The distribution and the characteristics of 582 occupational injuries among commercial fishermen are described by using data from an emergency department for the period 1990-1997, recorded in a special registration system.
Consistent with other investigations, injuries from falls made up 25% of all injuries; they were the cause of 28% of all contusions, 32% of all fractures, 61% of all sprains and strains, 40% of all injuries to lower extremities, and 62% of all injuries to the chest. The proportion of fall injuries in different age groups was U-shaped and constitutes around 40% for men both under 20 years and over 50 years of age, and around 20% for those between these ages. Frequent types of injury mechanisms other than falls and slips were: getting caught (22%), contact with objects or persons (28%), foreign body (9%), and cuts (9%).
Use of proportionate data gave a detailed description of injuries from falls and slips, showing important areas for prevention. To avoid a possible misclassification of fall injuries in future studies, it is recommended to include an extra specific variable: whether falling or slipping preceded the crash phase of the injury or not.