The psychosocial work environment is being examined at Stena Line. Issues relating to well-being and cooperation are being included in systematic work environment management (SAM).
”We are making progress, but the work requires that there are a couple of people on each ship who think that these issues are important and who drive them forwards. Nothing happens by itself and in our company there is quite a big difference between the ships,” says Bo Lindgren, technical manager at Stena Jutlandica.
After having participated in the training of all the shipping company’s senior officers and safety officers in SAM and the psychosocial work environment, Bo Lindgren can say with certainty that there is a great deal of interest in these issues.
”We saw a pattern in our course evaluations. Everyone was positive, but thought that one day was not enough,” he says.
“One question that many people wanted to talk about was the safety officers’ right to participate in the planning and execution of reorganizations that affect the crew,” explains Bo Lindgren.
“We have just made such changes without the safety officers being involved, and there was a lot of talk about this. ”
Bo Lindgren has been committed to work environment issues for many years and has been a driving force in the establishment of systematic work environment management in the shipping company, which has earned him the SAN annual work environment prize. At present he is working with the introduction of psychosocial issues in systematic work environment management. And that, he says, is best done through actions.
”Not just more paperwork”
”You must show people that this is not just more paperwork, that things really are happening. Everyone must feel that they are being listened to, that what they say will be taken seriously and will lead to change.
But managing problems onboard that stem from social relations and feeling ill at ease is often difficult,” says Bo Lindgren. ”Sometimes you have to take outside help. On one occasion we had support from the Swedish Transport Agency, and on another occasion we hired an external consultant. ”
“The problem with psychosocial issues is that officers are often involved and are part of the conflict. It is difficult for them to deal with the situation themselves.
Another important factor in the success of this sort of work is support from the onshore office,” he says.
“If you don’t have the management with you, it doesn’t matter how much you struggle on the ships, nothing happens in any case. But we are lucky to have a DP [designated person] who thinks that these issues are important, as well as a good human resources department.”