Good reasons for a safe work environment

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Work environment management on board should primarily be carried out with a preventive aim. Risk analyses must be carried out, deviations reported and deficiencies taken care of before accidents happen. Although we certainly work far more proactively now compared to ten or twenty years ago, there are still incidents and accidents that could have been prevented. One problem in this context is that actions to improve the work environment are still seen by some as a cost rather than an investment. And clearly, putting a price tag on a prevented accident that would possibly never have happened is not an easy task. Even if the effect of health and safety actions can be difficult to calculate in pure costs, there are plenty of good reasons to make this type of investment. Primarily, of course, it is about everybody’s right to avoid sickness or injury due to their work, but research also indicates a number of advantages with health and safety investments that have financial connections. People who enjoy their job and feel secure are more loyal to their employer, more inclined to do that little extra work and less interested in changing their workplace. Shipping companies with good reputation should also find it easier to recruit staff and a healthy work environment means less sick leave. Cargo owners who are aware of the risks involved, mainly in the oil industry but other sectors too, are starting to put requirements on the work environment onboard, which is quite understandable. A good work environment and safety go hand in hand, and it is difficult to argue against the fact that managing a good work environment is far cheaper and more value-adding than having to manage an accident.

Linda Sundgren
Editor of SAN News

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