An industry-wide survey on maritime workers’ well-being during COVID-19, led by Lloyd’s Register in collaboration with the UK Chamber of Shipping, the Mission to Seafarers and Safety at Sea, has uncovered key insights which may be used to improve the safety and well-being of maritime industry workers keeping global trade moving during the pandemic.

The online survey launched on 25 June, the “Day of the Seafarer”, was conducted to understand the efficacy of COVID-19 measures put in place, to assess how the maritime workforce has been supported during this challenging period and to gather insights about the level of care and welfare provided in order to share findings with the entire industry.

Key survey findings

Recognition and value

Overall survey results indicate that many providing essential services in the ocean economy are feeling undervalued. When asked whether they agreed with the statement ‘I feel valued in my role’, only 8% of seafarers strongly agreed, and just 13% felt they were performing an essential role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Some of the key lessons for the maritime industry include acknowledging the importance of seafarers as essential workers and supporting crew morale."

Joanne Stokes

Global Human Factors Manager, Lloyd's Register

Mental and physical well-being

When asked to rate support on mental and physical well-being during this pandemic: with 1 being poor and 10 excellent, the mean result was 6.29, suggesting that while a lot of companies have provided ample support during the pandemic, there is still room for improvement. There were marked differences in support for seagoing versus land-based employees and serious concerns were also raised over seafarer mental health, communications and disease management, with key findings including:

  • 75% of seafarers stated the pandemic meant they were not receiving regular visits from shoreside personnel.
  • 62% of seafarers felt their health and safety was not being balanced appropriately with operational demands.
  • 54% of seafarers felt they were not being actively helped to manage stress and fatigue during the pandemic.

More information can be found in the full press release:

Crew safety and well-being

"The challenge now is for the international community and industry to take steps to avoid a serious mental health crisis and potential safety incidents."

Canon Andrew Wright

Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers