Well-being is defined as a state of being “comfortable, healthy, or happy”, which can be easily disrupted however by outside influences, such as family and relationship problems, depression, loneliness and financial issues. Subsequently, seafarers who are struggling with well-being issues could be more vulnerable to illness or injury.
Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the medical term for symptoms caused by vibration damages that may occur in the fingers, hands and arms due to the use of vibrating tools or machinery. Previously, it was known as ‘vibration white finger’, however the name is changed to HAVS to reflect additional symptoms.
There is no single thing that can cause chest pain and other disorders of the heart, but there are several risk factors that contribute to it. For a better heart heald, people working at sea and all people as well, coming from all ages, are advised being physically active, managing conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression, managing their weight and avoiding social isolation.
During our life there will be many times when we feel stressed, such as when the pressures or demands of life get on top of us. However, it is important to remember that stress is not only normal but essential for survival and can be beneficial to us. Moreover, there are ways that can help deal with stress effectively.
Foodborne disease outbreaks on ships, caused by consumption of contaminated food and drink, are of concern because of their potentially serious health consequences for the crew, resulting also in high costs for the companies and the industry.
Last year, the findings of a key industry report by ‘Project MARTHA’ were presented, identifying growing levels of fatigue, particularly among Masters and Watch Keepers and noting that motivation was a major factor in fatigue experienced by seafarers.
Seafarers are usually exposed to several stressors due to their demanding working environment. Specifically, they are confronted with mental, psychosocial, and physical stressors. The different duties onboard, separation from family, loneliness on board, fatigue, multi-nationality, limited recreation activity, and sleep deprivation are among the contributory factors of stress at sea.
AMSA and two universities recently surveyed 1026 seafarers visiting Australian ports. More than 20% reported that they felt strain due to being away from their family, and a considerable number of respondents reported that they work more than 69 hours per week. AMSA issued a safety awareness bulletin discussing possible risk factors and solutions.
Mental health and wellbeing are issues playing out regardless of whether they are ashore or onboard. The way a crew member may experience life onboard with other seafarers, himself or his workload is thus related to him or her as individual, multi-dimensional human being.
A unique strain of listeria has caused the world’s largest documented listeriosis outbreak, with over 550 cases reported since the start of 2017, in South Africa. Crews are advised to check ready-to-eat meat products and use diluted bleach to clean areas where the meat products may have been kept.
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