The Journey from Health and Safety to Healthy and Safe

Exploring the factors that influence physical and psychological health in safety-critical industries

Bajorek Z, Lucy D, Bevan S  |   | Institute for Employment Studies | Apr 2020

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The wellbeing of seafarers has a direct impact on their work and safety performance, and shapes their experience of life at sea. Equally, seafarers’ health and wellbeing is influenced by the conditions in which they work. Despite efforts to promote positive work conditions through initiatives such as The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006, there is a view that:

■ companies require further information and understanding of how to improve the health of their seafarers;

■ companies are not fully aware of the links between poor health (physical or psychological) on both safety and operational performance; and

■ whilst interventions to improve health and wellbeing exist and are being implemented, they are fragmented, not aligned and therefore not optimally used.

Advances in shipping are being made in the technical space, using data and sophisticated analytics to identify ‘weak signals’, as precursors to major safety incidents.

The purpose of this research is to increase understanding of the factors affecting psychological and physical health in the seafaring community. This information will be used to identify data and interventions that could unlock the potential of health to improve safety at sea.