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RR364 - Offshore sickbay consultations in relation to age, job factors, and self-reported health

The work reported here had two main aims. First, the frequency and nature of offshore sickbay consultations in relation to personal and job-related factors (including age, job type, job level and shift work) was examined in data relating to 1944 sickbay consultations. Second, the correspondence between health information derived from self-report survey data and that recorded in sickbay consultation records was analysed in data from 342 individuals.

Four diagnostic categories were derived from the sickbay records: musculo-skeletal, gastric, respiratory, and skin/wound. Respiratory and musculo-skeletal disorders were the most frequently recorded (28.5% and 23.0% of the total respectively). Illness accounted for 78.0% of consultations, accidents for 15.3%, and ‘other’ reasons for 6.7%. Job type was strongly predictive. Construction personnel had high consultation rates for accidents; maintenance personnel were most likely to seek consultation for illness. Gastric problems were particularly associated with production jobs, and musculo-skeletal problems with administrative jobs.

Examination of self-reported health data in relation to consultation records showed a significant correlation between total consultations and total health scores, but the correspondence within specific diagnostic categories was not strong. For musculo-skeletal problems, however, the correlation between number of consultations and self-report scores was highly significant.

This report is an updated version of one originally produced in 2000.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19