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Yale Maritime Research Center

Risk Factors for Injury and Illness in Seafarers

Walking along the port with loaded cargo ship in the background

There are approximately 1.5 million seafarers worldwide (oceangoing). It is estimated that 90% of global commerce relies on water transportation. Seafarers are an isolated workforce with unique health risks and limited access to medical care. They can be considered labor migrants, moving from port to port and contract to contract. Seafarers are mostly from developing nations and are an aging workforce.

The goal of the Yale Maritime Research Center is to understand the total worker experience in the maritime transport industry. This includes multiple domains, including health at work and at home. Seafarers come from diverse backgrounds and ship environments have various occupational and organizational structures. We seek to investigate all factors related to optimizing the work experience for this vital sector. This work will enable a safer and healthier work environment, to the mutual benefit of seafarers and ship owners.

For information, collaboration, or other queries, contact

Project Director: Rafael Y. Lefkowitz, MD MPH
Director of Research: Martin D. Slade, MPH

Selected Publications:

Lefkowitz, R. Y., Slade, M. D., & Redlich, C. A. (2015). Injury, illness, and work restriction in merchant seafarers. American journal of industrial medicine, 58(6), 688-696.

Lefkowitz, R. Y., Slade, M. D., & Redlich, C. A. (2015). Risk factors for merchant seafarer repatriation due to injury or illness at sea. International maritime health, 66(2), 61-66.

Related Links

Dr. Lefkowitz and Director of Research Martin Slade on board a cargo ship