Alert! 18 - Look after your people... and they will look after you


Look after your people ...and they will look after you

As most shipboard systems depend on some level of human involvement, the human link is a potential frailty that needs to be managed, monitored and nurtured. Healthy, happy, well trained and motivated mariners are essential to the safe running and commercial efficiency of any ship. (Alert! Issue No. 4)

We read so much about the plight of seafarers who's working and living conditions are well below the norm, and where health and safety are not high on the employing company's agenda. There may be instances where morale aboard the ship is high, due to the leadership of the master and his senior officers, but where there is little loyalty to the company because of their failure to promote a 'company' culture, or adequately provide for the health, safety and wellbeing of their seafarers.

Article IV of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 - which is featured on page 2 of this bulletin - emphasises the rights of every seafarer to a safe and secure workplace that complies with safety standards; to fair terms of employment; to decent working and living conditions on board ship; and to health protection, medical care, welfare measures and other forms of social protection. The shipowner or shipmanager has a duty, therefore, to provide a safe and secure working environment, decent working and living conditions and fair terms of employment for their seafarers.

It takes good management and direction from the top to create and maintain a safe and secure working and living environment, by encouraging a safety culture and greater security awareness through good ergonomics, safe working practices and the provision of protective equipment, together with proper physical security.


Staff Author