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Working environment and health in the Norwegian fishing fleet - challenges and health promoting factors

Unfavorable exposures for workers in the fishing fleet, such as a cold, noise, heavy lifting, inconvenient working hours, long work days and excessive strain are factors that may negatively affect health and work participation. Combinations of these exposures are often found on board fishing vessels. Moreover, workers on fishing vessels deal with constant and often unpredictable vessel movements, vibration and exposure to airborne particles of biologic origin (bioaerosols). There is a lack of knowledge about the interaction between work, working environment and working health in the fishing fleet.

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The main objective of this project is to study the interaction between work, work environment and health of fishermen in the Norwegian fishing fleet. We aim to provide knowledge about which work-related factors might affect health and work participation negatively, and which factors might promote good health, foster job satisfaction and participation in working life.

The project will answer the following research questions:

  • What is the prevalence of sick leave, hospitalization and disability among workers in the fishing fleet, and which diagnoses and symptoms are found? (register studies)
  • Is there an association between exposure to harsh environmental conditions at sea and working health? (field,- and laboratory studies)
  • How do fishers describe their own health status, and how do they perceive the interaction between work, working environment and health? (survey including 1000 fishermen)
  • In what ways do workplace-related factors in fishing affect workers health status, job satisfaction and sense of belonging? (personal interviews)

Health promoting measures will be suggested based on an integrated analysis, combining data from all work packages.

The project has engaged a group of international experts and an industry reference group that will act as advisors during the project period.

Key Factors

Project duration

01/07/2013 - 01/07/2016