Seafarers and managing their health at sea


The experiences and prospects of someone working away at sea are considered to be adventurous, exciting, and lucrative. However, their job role is quite challenging and hectic too. That's why the seafaring community often encounters the various health problems that were the subject of a previous blog and which can seriously impact their physical and psychological health.

In order to avoid and or reduce such common health issues, we look at five effective measures that could be undertaken and practiced in order to ensure better welfare and well-being of the seafarers.

Work pressure needs to be balanced:

In many cases, it has been discovered that seafarers experience tremendous work pressure. Due to the long working hours, hectic work schedule, and minimal rest, they face various health issues, starting from stress and fatigue to deterioration of their physical health and well-being.

Work life balance at sea is key. Research studies and reports have already highlighted the growing levels of stress, distress, and fatigue among the seafaring community. That's why it's important to promote a positive work culture and behaviour.

By reducing the excessive work pressure and promoting a healthy work-life balance, the seafaring community will feel more motivated, relaxed, and focussed. Consequently, the instances of their common health issues reduce.

Knowledge is Power:

The master & senior crew should research and be aware of any outbreaks of illness, epidemic and pandemic diseases before docking in a specific port.

Due to the nature of their job, seafarers need to travel around the entire world and visit many international ports. That's why the seafaring community often gets exposed to various epidemic and pandemic diseases, for example, cholera, yellow fever, malaria, and tuberculosis etc.

Advance knowledge and awareness of a potential issue may help overcome this problem, but seafarers should also be medically checked and vaccinated prior to visiting the infected ports.

By using these preventive measures, the spread of infectious and contagious diseases can be avoided.

Quality of life for seafarers needs to be improved:

This is another effective measure that helps the wellness and well-being of the seafaring community. To improve the quality of life for seafarers, it's important to promote a healthy work-life balance. Apart from that, it should be further ensured that seafarers are offered enough rest and sleep.

To boost their morale, some fun, engaging, and interactive activities need to be arranged frequently. Such activities will make them feel more unified and motivated.

Self-awareness and personal health:

Self-awareness is vital when it comes to avoiding and handling health hazards. And, it's also not an exception for the seafaring community. Once onboarded, seafarers should be provided adequate training on the common health issues and how to tackle such situations in a timely manner.

Additionally, they should be encouraged to follow a proper fitness regime. Their fitness regime should include the necessity of practicing regular workouts and maintaining a healthy diet.

Needless to mention, self-awareness is a proven and meaningful way to avoid various health issues that are mostly faced by the seafarers.

Finally:

Seafarers should be encouraged to regularly visit a physician or medical supervisor so that a disease doesn't turn to a permanent disability

Certain health issues (especially Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Musculoskeletal Disorder, and CVD) may turn into a permanent disability if they are not treated on time.

That's why seafarers must be encouraged to regularly visit a physician for periodic health check-ups. In this way, a potential disease can be easily detected and treated so that it doesn't cause a long-term impediment or disability.

Mayfair, we care.