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Toolkit launched to monitor seafarers' health

29 February 2024

Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) has launched a key performance indicator (KPI) toolkit to help maritime organisations track regulatory compliance and year-on-year impact on seafarer health and welfare.

SHS CEO Sandra Welch presented the toolkit at the society's recent Sustainability at Sea conference. It marks a new strategy by SHS which is promoting the integration of a 'culture of care' into the 'fabric' of the global maritime industry, as part of its ongoing efforts to improve crew health.

The toolkit evolved from the findings of a research study into seafarer health conducted by the Society with the Yale University Maritime Research Center. It provides various ways companies can measure and demonstrate their commitment to their seafarers' health, and psychological wellbeing, and to assure a job applicant that their health will be safeguarded. 

While SHS provides the survey mechanism, the goal is not to track any of the information shared, or individually captain the process of data-gathering with each organisation, or judge the outcomes recorded. Instead, it has instituted an anonymised survey process.

While it will be up to individual maritime organisations to decide how best to use and share the results of this introspection, SHS suggests that sharing could be with crew members and their trade union representatives, with insurers, or as part of negotiations on chartering or on crew agreements. They could also be published as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) achievements or used as a badge of merit in the recruitment of crew.

For organisations happy to share anonymised data with SHS, the Society plans to create a repository for assessments for aiding knowledge sharing and ongoing collaboration for refining the standards for best practice.

The SHS has also ensured the structure of the KPI toolkit complements other commercial and regulatory regimes to avoid conflicting requirements and ease adoption.