Anthropologists prevent work injuries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch

Abstract

When I was a girl growing up in Denmark, I would occasionally skip school to visit cultural history museums. I would walk through the exhibitions and imagine what it would be like to be a little girl in, say, the plague-infected Europe in the 12th century. As I grew older, I found that I also wanted to change the social world and make it fairer. That is how I found myself engaged in safety research in the maritime industries, tasked with investigating issues that would help prevent seafarers’ work injuries.

International shipping is one of the world’s most globalized industries. A shipping crew will consist of seafarers of different nationalities, living and working together, but on very different terms. On a Danish ship for example, the Captain might be Danish and employed directly by the shipping company on a permanent contract. He will be at sea for up to three months and then home three months with full pay. His ratings, though, are likely to be from a Southeast Asian country, such as the Philippines. They will be employed by an agency only for the duration of the contract, usually 9 months. When they go home, they are without income and job until their next contract. They are ‘able bodied’ seafarers who perform manual tasks such as chipping rust or handling ropes, in which work injuries are more likely to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat Anthropologists Do
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Bidrag til håndbogen: https://www.routledge.com/What-Anthropologists-Do/Strang/p/book/9781350099340

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