Seafarer wellness needs to be a priority for all maritime industry leaders. Maintaining health and wellness for seafarers not only improves productivity and morale, but also makes more likely that crew members will re-join or be loyal to certain shipping companies. Taking a job on board a ship could mean being away from your home for months at a time. This is a choice made by those that join a crew but there are issues that tend to arise from a lack of connectivity while on board. There are many ways to improve crew wellness while on board, including the transparency of operations and aspiring for innovation in monitoring moral. One of the most recent changes that has resulted in improved crew wellness is technology. Access to internet connection allows for a serious boost in a crew member's welfare, as this gives them access to the shore.
Connected with Family
This is one area that many seafarers struggle with while being on a ship for a long period of time. Crew isolation is a serious risk as remembers that feel isolated have a lower morale. Internet access is generally provided on ships but can have limited scope and often at a cost to access. Is this fair? Many studies would indicate that this is not only unfair but at the detriment of the employer. Engine cadet Zypert Barcelo highlights the issue using his recent experience as an example.
Connected with Companies
Connectivity while at sea doesn't stop with families and communities. There has been some concern that seafarers are alienated once on a voyage, not being able to contact the agent that they dealt with during the hiring process to discuss any issues that may arise while on board or simply planning their next voyage. Having an outlet to the outside world while at sea allows for crew members to feel more comfortable while on board.
Access to proper training is a way to guarantee crew member wellness. Health and safety initiatives are always improved when crew members have the best possible training. Consistency in training can be achieved through innovative technologies such as e-training. Companies like Martide offer e-training for crew members so that they can remain knowledgeable in changing technologies on board and stay safe against any mishaps that might occur. Crew members perform better when they are kept safe and healthy both physically and mentally.
Technology is helping to improve crew wellness through multiple channels, whether it be providing entertainment and social interaction with the shore, or by providing training to keep crew members knowledgeable in order to stay safe. Any contributors to crew member wellness and it should be embraced wholeheartedly by leading maritime companies.