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Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) lobbies for a culture of care for seafarers

All stakeholders in maritime urged to work together to create a culture of care for crew

A collaborative research conducted by SHS, Yale University and Lloyd’s Register Foundation reflected the need for seafarers to feel safe, accompanied with a sense of belonging was glaring.

A facet of crew welfare
SHS’ research with Yale University and Lloyd’s Register Foundation revealed the crew needed to feel safe and have the freedom to express themselves. Dr Martin Slade, Director of Yale University Maritime Research said: “Seafarers need to feel safe and be able to express themselves without fear of reprisal. They need to be looked at as people; not just a source of profit. They are at their highest risk of suicide onboard, upon completing their voyages, and also after leaving the ship. So the culture of care needs to be holistic – onboard and onshore, involving not only the crew but their families as well.” The analysis noted shipping companies will need to create a culture of care if they are to adequately address seafarers’ health and welfare needs.

Sandra Welch, Chief Executive Officer from SHS stressed, “Seafarers are people, not just resources, and we need to see them that way. The industry must develop a culture of care that respects them as individuals, enhances their well-being and improves job satisfaction. It should not be just a pipe dream, but achievable and materialised. We are asking the shipowners, charterers and others in the industry to join us in progressing these ideas and make them a reality.”

Dr Slade called on stakeholders to pick the low-hanging fruit and collectively make a difference to the lives of seafarers. He said: “Our research showed that there is significant potential to improve the health and well-being of seafarers but changes are needed to all aspects of the working environment. Some of those changes could be made quickly, at low cost and with minimal disruptions. Potential benefits include: increased retention rates, reduced training and operating costs, and fewer accidents and injuries. That is a win-win for all.” Some of the recommendations from Dr Slade included promoting healthier diets, more activities onboard to combat isolation and boost well-being.



Crewing Online News Team
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