The MCA is pleased to announce the launch of the Wellbeing at Sea Tool, a new digital initiative designed to support the health and wellbeing of seafarers.

As part of MCA’s ongoing commitment to safer lives and safer ships, cleaner seas, this new tool has been developed to help the industry address the increasingly pressing issue of welfare at sea.

Seafarers work in unique environments, the characteristics of which can have a negative impact on their well-being and mental health. Research shows that poor employee well-being is consistently linked to higher rates of accidents and errors, lower productivity, and increased absenteeism.

Long periods at sea, isolated environments, noise and vibration, and separation from loved ones are just some of the challenges seafarers face on a regular basis. Coupled with a workplace that includes inherent hazards, the importance of creating a strong safety culture cannot be underestimated.

The Wellbeing at Sea Tool is a digital survey which, when completed, provides seafarers with personalized practical wellbeing advice. Anonymous data collected during the survey is then shared with managers, allowing them to prioritize areas for improvement and identify best practices.

Created by the Human Element team in partnership with TSO, Snap Surveys and the wider industry, the survey questions were initially developed by asking 197 seafarers 70 questions about their well-being, mental state, physical state, working conditions and organizational culture.

After identifying the issues most relevant to overall well-being, a shortlist was created covering seven key areas: overall well-being, bullying, harassment and discrimination, diversity and inclusion, physical health, fatigue and burnout, and organizational support.

Ahead of the launch, four maritime organizations tested the tool on board. Thousands of seafarers from Seatruck, Fleetship, DFDS and Seacat Services trialled the digital survey, giving their views on the format, layout, ease of use and value of use.

Feedback from the trial was overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of respondents following the pilot survey agreeing that the wellness advice was helpful and that the emails were a useful reminder of the advice.

Cathy Ware, director of UK Maritime Services, said:

Unfortunately, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. The fact that seafarers still don’t feel able to talk about it or access services speaks volumes about how far we still have to go in terms of reducing this taboo.

That’s why we launched our Wellbeing at Sea tool. By identifying stressors and problems at an early stage, we hope the tool will help reduce stress among seafarers, which is a contributing factor to mental health problems.

We will announce the launch of the Wellbeing at Sea tool in an industry press release, which will be supported by social media posts from the MCA and UKSR channels. We encourage everyone to share these posts with your network so we can let as many sailors and the companies that work for them know about the welfare support available.

A company microsite has also been created where you can direct anyone interested in finding out more about the tool, its features, pricing and more.

website: https://www.wellbeingseatool.com/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mca-launches-digital-wellbeing-at-sea-tool-to-support-seafarer-health-and-wellbeing

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