Health and safety

Nautilus backs 'stable crewing' research findings

31 January 2019

Back-to-back rotations for seafarers will help to improve the safety and efficiency of ship operations and the wellbeing of crews, Nautilus told a meeting at the International Maritime Organisation.

Speaking at a conference to discuss the results of a major research project investigating the effectiveness of stable crewing policies for senior officers, professional and technical officer David Appleton welcomed the results of the Solent University study.

Researchers conducted in-depth analysis of the benefits of having a system in which the top four roles onboard return to the same ship on a regular basis, with input from shipping companies, managers and seafarers.

Project leader Dr Kate Pike said the study had shown that such policies can improve retention rates, enhance morale and motivation, increase accountability, and raise standards of record-keeping and planned maintenance.

'Being able to work with the same people throughout the assignment with the knowledge that you will work with them again on the next assignment means a great deal,' said Andy Hill, managing director of MOL LNG (Europe).

'We must not forget that seafarers are human beings and humans beings don't like constant change,' Mr Appleton added. 'It takes a lot of mental energy to adjust to constantly changing teams, which can add to fatigue and the stress of the job.

'If you work in a stable team, you have a sense to belonging and pride in your work as well as the benefit of knowing when you will be going home,' he pointed out.


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