To assess environmental risks of fatal incidents in the maritime work-site and guides for possible prevention.
All casualties at the work-site in the years 1960-1999 among 25 525 seafarers employed on board Polish vessels were identified according to the ICD-10 classification. The main measure of risk: mean fatality rate per 1000 employees/year was calculated for external and internal causes of death. The impact of the maritime work environment was analysed.
668 seafarers died on board 405 Polish vessels, and 66 percent of deaths were from external causes. The mean fatality rate 1.17 per 1 000, was five times higher for external (drowning, missing, other accidents ) than for internal causes ( circulatory system diseases): 412 deaths from accidents and 29 from disease.
Despite modernization of the fleet, the environmental risk factors have strong impact on the mortality. The highest-risk groups were Baltic fishermen, seamen, deck crew, under 40 years of age.
The risk of casualties in maritime industry exceeds the acceptable level of 1 death per 1000 employees per year. Prevention should concentrate on maritime catastrophes and work-related accidents.
maritime environmental hazards, work-related accidents, prevention measures
Dr Bogdan Jaremin, MD, PhD. Clinic of Occupational and Internal Diseases, Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland
Address for correspondence:
Dr Bogdan Jaremin,
Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine,
Powstania Styczniowego 9 B, Gdynia 81-519,
Phone: 0048-58-9698 591,
Fax: 0048-58-622 3354,