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Journal Article


Rapisarda V, Valentino M, Bolognini S, Fenga C. G. Ital. Med. Lav. Ergon. 2004; 26(3): 191-196.

Vernacular Title

Il rischio rumore a bordo dei pescherecci: alcune considerazioni sulla


Clinica di Medicina del Lavoro, Università di Messina, Italy.


(Copyright © 2004, PI-ME Editrice)






Recent legislation regarding the safety of workers aboard fishing vessels requires the appointment by ship owners of a Reference Physician in charge of health surveillance, preventive inspections and related tasks. As maritime workers, especially fishermen, have always been excluded from legal protection of occupational health, there are no exhaustive data on the incidence of their occupational disease. Several epidemiological studies of fishermen have evidenced a high prevalence and incidence of occupational conditions, among which noise-related hypoacousia. We report data of a phonometric survey conducted aboard six fishing vessels carrying a crew of less than six fishing in the mid-Adriatic. Measurements were performed during fishing and navigation aboard five vessels fitted with a fixed-pitch propeller and during fishing only aboard one vessel fitted with an controllable pitch propeller. Measurements were conducted: 1) in the engine rooms; 2) in the work area on deck; 3) at the winch; 4) in the wheelhouse; 5) in the mess-room and kitchen; 6) in the sleeping quarters. Results show that the equivalent sound pressure level in the engine rooms consistently exceeded 90 dBA on all vessels. The speed of the vessels fitted with the fixed-pitch propeller is 3-4 knots in the fishing phase and around 10 knots during navigation to and from the fishing grounds; noise emission is lower with the former regimen because of the smaller number of engine revolutions per minute. Our survey demonstrated considerably different noise levels in the various areas of vessels. One key element in workers' exposure, the tasks assigned and the environmental working conditions is of course the type of fishing in which the vessel is engaged. Further phonometric studies are required to assess the daily level of exposure per crew member, which represents the reference for the noise-related risk of each subject. Knowledge of the sound pressure levels in the work environment and the length of daily exposure of each crew member will allow to assess the level of occupational exposure and consequently enact the proper prevention and protection measures by the Reference Physician.

Language: it


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