Eilif Dahl, Arne Ulven, Alf Magne Horneland: Crew accidents reported dur...

Start2008Eilif Dahl, Arne Ulven, Alf...

Study objective

To register and analyze data from all crew injuries reported to the medical center of a cruise ship with a median crew of 630 during a three-year period and to determine high risk areas, equipment and behavior.


All crew injuries reported to the medical center aboard were registered on a standardized form at first visit. An injury was classified at follow-up as ‘lost time accident’ (LTA) if it caused the victim to be off work for more than one day and/or to be signed off for medical attention (medical sign-off).


During 3 years, 361 injuries (23% women) were reported aboard. Thirty percent were LTA. The marine department accounted for 14% (deck 5%; engine 9%), the hotel department for 79% and contractors for 7% of the reports. Filipinos comprised half the crew, reported 35% of the accidents, and their rate of serious injuries were lower than non-Filipino crew (p<0.01). Hotel crew had a higher rate of LTA occurring during work than marine crew (p<0.05). The dancers’ rate of serious injuries was higher than other hotel crew (p<0.05) and marine crew (p<0.01). The upper extremity was the most frequently injured body part (51%), open wounds the most common injury type (37%), and galleys the most common accident location (30%). Less than one in ten reported injuries caused medical sign-off.

Key message

Well-equipped, competent medical staff aboard can after crew injury effectively reduce time off work, as well as number of referrals to medical specialists ashore, helicopter evacuations and ship diversions, and medical sign-off.

Corresponding address
Professor Eilif Dahl, MD, MHA, PhD, Division of Surgery, Rikshospitalet HF, 0027 Oslo, Norway.
Phone: (47) 22 56 23 24; fax: (47) 22 56 31 12; cell phone: (47) 959 21 759;
e-mail: eilifdahl@hotmail.com