Work and health: A comparison between Norwegian onshore and offshore employees

Work. 2011;40(2):125-42. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2011-1214.


Objective: The effect of work-related variables on self reported health complaints were examined among Norwegian onshore and offshore oil workers. Differences in work and health perceptions were also examined as part of the paper.

Participants: Employees working onshore and offshore in the maintenance and modification division of a large contractor company took part in the study (N=414, response rate 47.1%).

Methods: The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey. A questionnaire was distributed to onshore personnel while at work - in cooperation with the personnel safety representative - and sent to the home addresses of the offshore personnel.

Results: Offshore workers perceived significantly more hazards associated with the work and experienced less control over the work pace compared to onshore workers. Onshore workers experienced significantly more pressure at work and their work tasks as more repetitive. Differences in health perceptions were identified in terms of job type in the onshore and offshore groups respectively. Different work-related factors influenced the self-reported health complaints among onshore and offshore workers.

Conclusion: Workers in different work environments and in different job types encounter different type of threats to employee health, indicating that job type must be taken into account when studying the relationship between work-related factors and employee health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Extraction and Processing Industry*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Health
  • Petroleum
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*


  • Petroleum