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Intendenturens arbetsmiljö. // Working conditions for service crew on passenger ships

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Cecilia Osterman
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The service crew is a vital part of the customer experience on board passenger ships, but also has important duties in the safety organization in case of emergencies. Yet, they are not always recognized as seafarers and have received less attention in research that addresses occupational safety and health in the maritime domain. This study explores the occupational safety and health for the service crew working on Swedish passenger ships. The purpose is to analyze causes of work-related ill-health, investigate and identify important aspects of the physical, organizational and social working conditions. The study has adopted a mixed methods approach, including survey questionnaires, register data on reported long-term sick leave, and field visits on board. Key findings show that service crew on passenger ships report the highest levels of perceived exertion. They also have the highest rates of long-term sick leave lasting 60 days or more. Most diagnoses are related to musculoskeletal and psychological disorders. Important factors in the shipboard work environment include high physical load and strenuous working postures, poor workplace design, long working hours, limited time for recovery, and the perceived mental and emotional load that comes with unclear boundaries between work and recreation and the social interaction with customers and colleagues. The most prominent health promotive factors to reduce the perceived exertion are appropriate manning, time to rest, working with managers that attend to problems and experiencing good working relations with other departments on board.
Gesa Praetorius
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This paper presents findings from three workshops focused on the physical, organizational and social work environment of service crew working on board Swedish passenger vessels. The first workshop aimed to identify underlying causes of long‐term sick leave among employees in the service department, and potential measures that can be taken to reduce ill‐health. The second and third workshop explored knowledge of available methods to identify occupational safety and health risks, and suggest health‐promotion strategies at individual, team and company levels. A total of 58 persons from the Swedish maritime cluster participated in the workshops. During the workshops, open and structured brainstorming was used to create affinity diagrams to systematically summarize the identified causes, risks and strategies. Although the results presented in this article stem from a research project focused on Swedish passenger vessels, many of the findings may be transferable to an international maritime setting towards a deeper understanding of seafarers’ work environment and working conditions.
Gesa Praetorius
added a research item
This paper presents findings from a study concerning the work environment on board Swedish passenger vessels. The study explored work-related expe-riences of personnel in the service department (hotel, restaurant, catering, shops) based on individual and group interviews, observations, survey data and social insurance statistics concerning sick leave longer than 60 days. The results of this paper are based on ten semi-structured individual and group interviews with 16 respondents. The respondents were HR personnel from six shipping companies and crewmembers working onboard. The results show that in the HR personnel’s perception, healthy work envi-ronments are often associated to individual personal health activities, such as access to a gym or healthcare, lectures or other measures directed towards the individual seafarer. Aspects of the organizational and social work envi-ronments were barely mentioned as stressors or as contributing factors to an increasing number of sick absences. The interviewed crewmembers, howev-er, highlighted the need for both organizational and social measures to foster healthy work environments. The need for employee participation within the organizational design and decision-making processes, including methods on how to conduct risk assessments prior to physical and organizational changes and follow up their consequences were emphasized. Thus, to create safe and sustainable work environments on board, more attention needs to be directed towards including shipboard personnel in the physical and organizational de-sign of their own work environment rather than promoting a healthy lifestyle through measures directed towards the individual worker. Keywords: Participatory ergonomics, occupational safety and health, em-ployee participation
Cecilia Osterman
added 6 research items
Det här projektet undersöker arbetsmiljön för intendenturpersonalen på svenska passagerarfar-tyg. Bakgrunden till projektet ligger i upptäckten att intendenturpersonal ombord passagerar-fartyg år 2010 uppvisade en betydligt högre upplevelse av utmattning, jämfört med andra per-sonalgrupper. Utmattningsupplevelsen indikerades med ett utmattningsindex bestående av ett flertal upplevelseaspekter rörande trötthet och stress i arbetet. Passagerarfartygens intendentur-personal har även rapporterat högre ohälsotal än andra personalkategorier i svensk sjöfart. Projektet innefattar en jämförelse av svenskregistrerad sjöpersonals upplevelser av utmattning fördelat på ombordfunktioner och fartygstyp vid mellan 2010 och 2015, samt förhållandet mel-lan arbetstillfredsställelse, motivation och utmattningsupplevelse inom intendenturen år 2015. I projektet analyseras även Försäkringskassans sjukskrivningsstatistik för åren 2011–2014 med avseende på sjuktalen för långa sjukskrivningar över 60 dagar och diagnosfördelning för inten-denturpersonalen, samt om det möjligt att göra en analytisk koppling till upplevelsen av utmatt-ning. Genom intervjuer och observationer med chefer och medarbetare ombord och iland un-dersöks vilka fysiska, organisatoriska och sociala faktorer som upplevs vara av betydelse för arbetsmiljön. Det övergripande målet är att identifiera friskfaktorer för att minska risken för utmattning och ohälsa som kan leda till långa sjukskrivningar och lämna välgrundade rekommendationer för branschen. Resultaten visar att passagerarfartygens besättning rapporterar högst utmattningsupplevelse både 2010 och 2015. Intendenturpersonalen är också klart överrepresenterade i sjukskrivnings-statistiken och sjuktalen, vilket kan kopplas till upplevelsen av utmattning. Enkätundersökningen 2015 visar att intendenturpersonalen rapporterar mest negativa upplevel-ser av arbetssituation, kamratskap och ledarskap jämfört med andra avdelningar. Det är dock en generellt motiverad yrkesgrupp med hög arbetstillfredsställelse. Friskfaktorer som visat sig lindra utmattningsupplevelsen (bemanning, vila, ledarskap, relationer till andra avdelningar) stärker personalens motivation att arbeta till sjöss Ökad delaktighet hos intendenturpersonalen i arbetsmiljöarbete och arbetsplatsens utformning kan minska de negativa och höja de hälsofrämjande effekterna av förändringsarbete ombord. Den sociala arbetsmiljön är en viktig del av arbetet till sjöss och omfattar även den lediga tid som tillbringas ombord. Arbetsmiljöarbete bör därför omfatta åtgärder som bryter ner gränser mellan avdelningar, skapar sammanhållning och en gemensam identitet för intendenturen och besättningen i stort.
This paper presents findings from a workshop focused on the physical, social and organizational work envi-ronment in the service department on board Swedish passenger vessels. Twenty-seven maritime profession-als participated to provide input to potential causes and measures for long-term sick leave. During the work-shop, an affinity diagram was created to systematically order the input of the respondents. The results show a wide range of causes and potential measures across multiple organizational levels. Unclear leadership, ambiguous or high demands with limited decision latitude, as well as aspects of work organization, i.e. manning, pressure for effectiveness, and extensive working hours were identified as important contributors to long-term sick leave. Although the findings are based on a workshop with Swedish maritime profession-als, the results may be transferable to the international maritime sector to gain a deeper understanding of how to create, organize and promote a safe and efficient work environment.
Ongoing research has indicated important effects on seafarers’ occupational commitment due to gender and family situation. In this study, these findings have been elaborated further by controlling for the effect of perceived work content. Statistical analyses were employed, using a survey material of Swedish seafarers collected from a national register in 2010. The results showed that the effect on occupational commitment of having children at home is strongly positive and statistically significant for women. However, the significance was dependent on the level of satisfaction with the job content. It was suggested that the seafaring occupation could be viewed as a cooping strategy, although only appropriate if the job content is agreeable. Another important family effect was, as expected, the positive effect of having a relative working, or having worked, at sea. This effect was, however, only significant for male seafarers in the age group below the early 40’s. It was concluded that this effect is mainly emotionally driven and not particularly influenced by the actual job content. The results further showed that working in the catering department comes with a strong negative effect on commitment to the seafaring occupation for women. This effect, however, lost its significance after control for job content. It was concluded that the effect of satisfaction with job content on occupational commitment is generally important, with the exception of women, without children, working in the catering department.