Journal of Health and Medical Sciences
Published: 22 July 2020
Combined Effects of Fatigue Indicators on the Health and Wellbeing of Workers in the Offshore Oil Industry
Rachel McNamara, Andrew P Smith
Cardiff University, UK
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Keywords: Psychology, Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology, Fatigue; Combined Effects
Offshore workers are exposed to a unique combination of factors that may impact negatively on well-being. This paper describes results from a survey of fatigue, health and injury amongst seafarers and installation personnel working in the UK sector of the offshore oil industry. Potential stressors and fatigue related variables (e.g. noise, working hours, and shift) were considered in terms of their combined effects on subjective outcome measures. Median splits of these variables were summed to create a 'total fatigue indicators' score. A quartile split of this variable was entered into a series of analyses of covariance (ANCOVA), co-varying age, education and socio-economic status (SES) and stratifying for occupational group (i.e. seafarers or installation personnel). Total fatigue indicators demonstrated a linear effect on depression, cognitive failures, social functioning, lack of/poor quality sleep, fatigue, and the home-work interface. Effects were more pronounced amongst installation personnel than seafarers. This is possibly due to fundamental differences in shift systems between the two groups of offshore workers. No significant effects were observed for injury frequency, prescribed medication or smoking and alcohol consumption. Results suggest that exposure to a combination of stressors has a significantly greater negative effect on health than any of these factors in isolation.
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