Focus on social interaction during this year’s work environment inspections

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The Transport Agency published a report in autumn last year describing stressed work conditions on many ships, in particular on ferries. This year the Agency’s work environment inspections will focus on systematic work environment management, discrimination and harassment.

The Transport Agency’s report, Sjömännens arbets- och levnadsvillkor (Seafarers’ working and living conditions) gained a lot of attention when it was published on 30 September last year. According to the report, every third seafarer has such a high perceived workload that they have no energy to do anything after work, and almost as many say that the pace of work is constantly high. Just over one in five say they do not have enough time to do their tasks during scheduled working hours. The report also shows that discrimination and harassment appears to be more commonplace at sea than at workplaces ashore. On the grounds of this report, the Transport Agency has decided that systematic work environment management (SAM) will be one of its inspectors’ areas of focus in 2020.

“The regulation on organisational and social work can be seen as a clarification of how the employer, within the framework of systematic work environment management, should prevent and manage risks associated with the organisational and social work environment. These relate to workload, the organisation of working hours and discrimination,” says Christina Östberg.

The high workload revealed in the report does not surprise her, though.

“In fact, our report shows essentially the same situation as research reports have indicated in the past, but this type of occupational injury is not often found in the reports that we receive. The report paths that we have are marine accident reports and occupational injury reports, which generally concern accidents and incidents that result from a sudden event. This sort of survey is good feedback for us when checking the organisational and social work environment in the marine sector.”

Linda Sundgren, text

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