ISSN 2083-6473
ISSN 2083-6481 (electronic version)




Associate Editor
Prof. Tomasz Neumann

Published by
TransNav, Faculty of Navigation
Gdynia Maritime University
3, John Paul II Avenue
81-345 Gdynia, POLAND
www http://www.transnav.eu
e-mail transnav@umg.edu.pl
Seafarers’ Wellbeing or Business, a Complex Paradox of the Industry
ABSTRACT: The research is an insightful exploration into what contributes to the deterioration of seafarers’ wellbeing. It unveils the determinant factors and their impact on wellbeing, further exploring the perception and awareness levels of the maritime society on the issue. Moreover, the effectiveness of main regulatory instruments to address seafarers’ wellbeing is analysed and discussed. Qualitative methodology based on semi-structured interviews and content analysis was applied. Twenty-six active seafarers of different nationalities and working on different types of vessels, one pilot and 11 influential maritime stakeholders of the industry were interviewed. The literature review shows that wellbeing can only be fully understood when considering its physical, mental and social dimensions, and emphasizing its significance the workplace. However, the study indicates that despite high awareness of such dimensions and determinant factors of wellbeing, the psychosocial working conditions provided by shipowners onboard ships are not in full compliance with a holistic view of wellbeing. Moreover, shipping companies lack promotion and training on awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues onboard ships and how to handle them, as the existing safety management system is based on incident and accident reduction principles. Results expose excessive workload and lack of sleep (as a result of reduced manning) as major contributors to fatigue further causing deterioration of seafarers’ wellbeing. Other revealed factors include long contracts, lack of shore leave, unavailability of recreational facilities and internet connection, lack of onboard socialising, fear of job loss and stress/anxiety. The regulatory instrument MLC 2006 sets out basic seafarers’ rights but does not fully capture their wellbeing to its fullest. Seafarers’ wellbeing is unlikely to improve unless awareness of the concept of wellbeing is installed within the SMS and all of its dimensions are well addressed in future amendments of the regulatory instruments.
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Citation note:
Tetemadze B., Carrera Arce M., Baumler R., Bartusevičiene I.: Seafarers’ Wellbeing or Business, a Complex Paradox of the Industry. TransNav, the International Journal on Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation, Vol. 15, No. 4, doi:10.12716/1001.15.04.14, pp. 817-824, 2021

Other publications of authors:

M. Baldauf, R. Baumler, A. Ölçer, T. Nakazawa, K. Benedict, S. Fischer, M. Schaub

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