Working for the Environment and Against Safety: How Compliance Affects Health and Safety On Board Ships

This paper explores job conditions that influence health and well-being in the specific context of workers fulfilling environmental protection requirements on board ships. The aim is to understand how environmental compliance might compromise health and safety in the workplace. High-involvement work practices are known to affect occupational health and well-being adversely through increased stress. However, the nature and extent of job stress attributable to the activity of environmental compliance has not been previously examined among workers performing the task occasionally and as non-specialists. A case study using qualitative semi-structured interviews was implemented. Forty-one interviews including 34 ship crews and 7 managers were conducted at a UK based global shipping company and aboard two of its ships. Thematic analysis was incorporated to analyze the data. Five thematic categories reflecting job conditions which ship crews and their managers described as potentially influencing the work experience associated with environmental compliance emerged from the interviews: (1) design of tasks, (2) management style, (3) interpersonal relationships, (4) career concerns, and (5) physical conditions. On balance, the paper concludes that environmental compliance does appear to influence the health and well-being of ship crews in negative ways, in particular by inducing job demands which add to the heavy workload and long working hours that ship crews are already faced with. Understanding the impact of compliance on longer term health is essential.


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  • Accession Number: 01599855
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 2 2016 10:49AM