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Nautilus International has backed the recommendations of the Solent University Effective Crew research – and has urged the industry and regulators to take advantage of the benefits stable crewing could bring…
Speaking as part of an expert panel discussing the results at the International Maritime Organisation, Nautilus professional and technical officer David Appleton welcomed the way in which the Effective Crew study had examined often neglected 'human factor' issues.
'When we talk about the benefits of one policy versus another, we hear a lot about the cost benefits,' he pointed out. 'But one thing that needs to be considered is that seafarers are human beings and the ship is their home as well as their place of work for considerable periods.
'Human beings don't like constant change,' he continued. 'It takes a lot of mental energy to adjust to constantly changing teams, which can add to fatigue and the stress of the job, as well as increasing social isolation.
'If you work in a stable team, you have a sense of belonging and pride in your work, as well as the benefit of knowing when you will be going home.' Mr Appleton said stable crews would also help to promote cohesion, cooperation and teamwork onboard. ‘We have seen how mentoring can help seafarers, and that is a relationship which requires trust,’ he added. ‘Building that sort of relationship takes time, and you don’t get that when you are working with people for just short periods. But with stable crews, you can develop this over time.
It takes a lot of mental energy to adjust to constantly changing teams, which can add to fatigue and the stress of the job