Description

There are many professions in which employees are located in remote locations. International maritime workers make up one such occupation. They are a vulnerable, underserved and neglected population of approximately 1.2 million people with high rates of disease and injury. During their typical nine month deployments, they live in relative isolation with no health care professional on board. To understand the root causes of disease and injury among this remote workforce, strategies to collect information, analyze data, and report results and recommendations have been developed. These strategies, which include gathering of data through an alliance of companies involved in seafaring, have yielded initial results as to the predictors of serious illness and injury on board vessels requiring the repatriation of the employee. These same methods should be applicable to other isolated international workforces.

 

International Occupational Health Research on an "Invisible" Workforce

There are many professions in which employees are located in remote locations. International maritime workers make up one such occupation. They are a vulnerable, underserved and neglected population of approximately 1.2 million people with high rates of disease and injury. During their typical nine month deployments, they live in relative isolation with no health care professional on board. To understand the root causes of disease and injury among this remote workforce, strategies to collect information, analyze data, and report results and recommendations have been developed. These strategies, which include gathering of data through an alliance of companies involved in seafaring, have yielded initial results as to the predictors of serious illness and injury on board vessels requiring the repatriation of the employee. These same methods should be applicable to other isolated international workforces.