Federal agencies Worker health and wellness Transportation

Study identifies bad health habits among maritime workers

Photo: SolStock/iStockphoto

Washington — Maritime workers are more likely to report smoking and binge-drinking, among other habits and conditions, according to a recent study conducted by NIOSH.

Researchers reviewed 2014-2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. They compared weighted averages for 10 health-related conditions or behaviors between maritime workers and all other U.S. workers. The maritime industry encompasses workers in various jobs, including shipyards, commercial fishing, marine terminals, seafood processing, marine transportation and commercial diving.


The researchers found that the maritime workers were 39% and 28% more likely to report smoking and binge-drinking, respectively. In addition, these workers more often reported having diabetes, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as being overweight/obese.

The researchers suggest that the findings can be used to inform future health research related to maritime workers to improve safety and health in the industry.

The study was published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)