Tough onboard environment challenge for rehabilitation

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The Stena Line HR department works to prevent accidents as well as helping those on sick leave back to work. ”It can be a difficult situation, though. The onboard environment is tough in many ways, and not everything can be changed or adapted,” says Camilla Åsviken at the shipping company’s HR department.
When someone becomes ill on board, it is a matter for their immediate superior in the first instance. In cases of long-term sick leave, the HR department may also become involved. The shipping company in turn has close cooperation with the occupational health services.
”There are doctors, work environment engineers, physiotherapists and other experts who know us well and know what work on board is like. For example, they can send out an ergonomist to make an investigation of someone’s work situation and give advice on how to reduce the strains involved,” says Camilla Åsviken.
Try to adapt
She adds that it is not always possible to find solutions that work. A shipboard environment is often both physically and mentally demanding.  Some jobs are worse than others and include heavy lifting work, monotonous tasks, a high pace and long working days.
citat2”We try to adapt the work and relocate people as much as possible, keeping in mind our obligations as an employer, but it is not always easy. We have a streamlined organisation and work that must continue, at the same time as all our employees must have a good working environment, both physically and psychologically.”
”Two of the more difficult groups to work with are those that often take short-term sick leave and those with psychological problems,” says Camilla Åsviken.
”We are trying to coach our managers on board to work at preventing ill-health, which includes the psycho-social environment. Victimisation and insults are very difficult to deal with, though, and ultimately they are about the individual’s experience.”
Increase in psychological ill health
”Stena Line has the same tendencies as the rest of society, meaning that sick leave on psychological grounds is on the increase, while sick leave on physical grounds continues to be common. Successful rehabilitation and return to work require long-term planning and a gradual return. Other success factor
s are close cooperation between manager and employee and involvement from the union, the HR department and the occupational health services,” says Camilla Åsviken.
Stena Line has shown a great deal of commitment in the field of health issues for several years and works constantly to develop processes with the aim of streamlining rehabilitation work. Last year a health strategy was launched within the organisation and health issues are a part of the company’s work environment policy.
”We try to notice signals of ill-health among employees. If we can arrange early intervention and make some changes to the work situation, we have better chances of making the crew feel good and enjoy their work on board.”
Wellness and lifestyle
To show that our organisation values its work with wellness and lifestyle, there is a gym on board all ships, as well as one next to the office ashore.
”We have a person who works practically full-time with wellness and lifestyle issues, and we believe this is an investment that pays off, both for the employees and for the company,” says Camilla Åsviken.

  Linda Sundgren

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