CΑRING FOR YOUR SHIPPING COMPANY'S
MOST VALUABLE ASSET - THE SEAFARER
It is common knowledge emanating from long standing experience, that the well-being of the seafarer should be one of the first priorities of any shipping company. It is not only a matter of corporate responsibility, but it is also sound business practice.
The seaman leads a very difficult and secluded life, that puts a hard strain on his mental and physical resources. He is deprived of most aspects of life, that people ashore consider as perfectly natural and, invariably, take for granted. He is away from his family and loved ones for extended periods of time. He experiences stress, imposed by ever rising demands of increased productivity and efficiency, ever more stringent regulation and ever more complicated technology, that he is required to master at an ever accelerated pace.
Furthermore, and regrettably, an ever larger number of states, as a result of increased security and regulatory frameworks, treat the seafarer, frequently as a potential criminal. Unfortunately seafarers are being facing restrictions to come ashore at most port of calls. In recent years they have, to top all the above, being facing piracy threats, that directly endanger their lives. Added to these usual and omnipresent perils of the sea, the risk of accident due to human negligence and hazardous cargoes, constitutes today’s seamen life.
All this invariably results in a feeling of exclusion and frustration leading to mental and physical health problems. Consequently, the seafarer’s motivation, productivity and loyalty are driven exponentially down. If this is considered together with the well documented shortage of seafarers and the aggressive drive of most companies to recruit competent staff, then the effort to retain qualified and well-trained seafarers, is of paramount importance.
In this effort to recruit and more importantly retain these seafarers, there is probably no better way than to make them feel appreciated and valuable by taking care of their health, all other parameters being equal.