Levin, Jeffrey Lynn (2018-08). Commercial Fishing Occupational Safety and Health in the Gulf and Agricultural Occupational Safety and Health in Graduate Medical Education. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Background-The commercial fishing work sector continues to experience one of the highest occupational fatality rates in the U.S. There are regional differences in distribution of these events relative to fishery type, geography, and other variables such as cultural factors. Methods-Over the last decade, the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education has been exploring these factors and developing interventions through engagement of a vulnerable population of commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico and forming strategic partnerships with numerous stakeholders, most notably the U.S. Coast Guard. This has involved a variety of quantitative/qualitative methods including focus groups, surveys, a community trial with quasi-experimental pretest/posttest intervention design, and development of a social media campaign to enhance adoption of personal flotation devices (PFDs). Results-Shrimp is a major fishery in the Gulf and earlier studies showed more than 80% of these fishermen are Asian, mostly Vietnamese. Culture plays a significant role in attitudes/beliefs among Vietnamese shrimp fishermen of the Gulf, and may influence behaviors that are risk factors for fatal and non-fatal injuries. In particular, commercial fishing industry leaders are able to influence behaviors and practices among fishermen. Over the last decade, safety tip cards, interactive CD instructional tools for vessel sound signaling and Mayday calls, and signage for a variety of safety concerns have been developed and disseminated. Statistically significant changes in attitudes/beliefs have been noted. Presently, identifying and assessing barriers to use of lifesaving PFDs (including heat stress), preferences of commercial fishermen for various PFD designs, and development of a social media campaign to promote use on deck are underway. Conclusions-Culturally appropriate training and awareness measures combined with recognizing normative influences can favorably alter attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral intent related to workplace safety in this population. Relevance to Public Health--Environmental health science represents one of the five core disciplines or competencies in public health and includes occupational health. This doctoral dissertation focusing on the commercial fishing work subsector addresses all three areas of essential services in public health, namely, assessment, policy development, and assurance. It has also formed an integral part of workforce development in the occupational medicine arena.
  • Background-The commercial fishing work sector continues to experience one of
    the highest occupational fatality rates in the U.S. There are regional differences in
    distribution of these events relative to fishery type, geography, and other variables such as
    cultural factors.
    Methods-Over the last decade, the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health,
    Injury Prevention, and Education has been exploring these factors and developing
    interventions through engagement of a vulnerable population of commercial fishermen in
    the Gulf of Mexico and forming strategic partnerships with numerous stakeholders, most
    notably the U.S. Coast Guard. This has involved a variety of quantitative/qualitative
    methods including focus groups, surveys, a community trial with quasi-experimental
    pretest/posttest intervention design, and development of a social media campaign to
    enhance adoption of personal flotation devices (PFDs).
    Results-Shrimp is a major fishery in the Gulf and earlier studies showed more than
    80% of these fishermen are Asian, mostly Vietnamese. Culture plays a significant role in
    attitudes/beliefs among Vietnamese shrimp fishermen of the Gulf, and may influence
    behaviors that are risk factors for fatal and non-fatal injuries. In particular, commercial
    fishing industry leaders are able to influence behaviors and practices among fishermen.
    Over the last decade, safety tip cards, interactive CD instructional tools for vessel sound
    signaling and Mayday calls, and signage for a variety of safety concerns have been
    developed and disseminated. Statistically significant changes in attitudes/beliefs have been
    noted. Presently, identifying and assessing barriers to use of lifesaving PFDs (including
    heat stress), preferences of commercial fishermen for various PFD designs, and
    development of a social media campaign to promote use on deck are underway.
    Conclusions-Culturally appropriate training and awareness measures combined
    with recognizing normative influences can favorably alter attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral
    intent related to workplace safety in this population.
    Relevance to Public Health--Environmental health science represents one of the
    five core disciplines or competencies in public health and includes occupational health.
    This doctoral dissertation focusing on the commercial fishing work subsector addresses all
    three areas of essential services in public health, namely, assessment, policy development,
    and assurance. It has also formed an integral part of workforce development in the
    occupational medicine arena.

publication date

  • August 2018