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Seafarers Hospital Society partners with Ocean Technologies Group to improve seafarer physical health.

Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) has developed a new physiotherapy video to empower seafarers to avoid work-related injuries through exercise. As part of their ongoing collaboration with Ocean Technologies Group (OTG), this video will be freely available to seafarers with access to OTG’s Ocean Learning Platform.

Repetitive strain injuries and musculoskeletal issues, often caused by heavy lifting, are common long-term health issues reported by seafarers. The risks of experiencing a work-related injury are high and accessing treatment while at sea is difficult. Preventative exercises are a vital means to help avoid injury caused by the physical demands and repetitive nature of work as a seafarer.

SHS has created a new video, led by a trained physiotherapist, to demonstrate exercises designed to reduce seafarers’ risk of developing common injuries associated with the demands of their physical jobs. The exercises require no specialised equipment and can easily be performed in small spaces such as ship cabins.

This new resource, entitled Fit and Healthy at Sea, will be freely available to seafarers who have access to OTG’s Ocean Learning Platform (OLP) via a company subscription. Seafarers can also access the video free of charge directly via Ocean’s self-service platform:

Sandra Welch, CEO, Seafarers Hospital Society, said: “Seafarers work in a challenging and physically demanding environment, which puts them at high risk of developing a work-related injury. Furthermore, life at sea can make it difficult to get treatment or keep up with regular physiotherapy appointments. We hope that seafarers and companies will utilise our Fit and Healthy at Sea training title to stay healthy and avoid preventable workplace injuries. We thank Ocean Technologies Group for their support in sharing this valuable resource with seafarers around the globe.”

Kuba Szymanski, Chair, Seafarers Hospital Society, added: “Seafarers’ health and wellbeing is not necessarily at the top of everybody’s priority list. This video gives us the opportunity to be pro-active and to try to make a real difference in the lives of our seafarers.”

In 2021, SHS provided almost 600 physiotherapy sessions to seafarers. Statistics show that a significant portion of these pertained to back injuries, which accounted for 54% of treatment sessions. This was followed by knee injuries, which comprised 26% of sessions, and upper limb or neck injuries which comprised 22%. However, many symptoms associated with these injuries can be reduced or prevented with simple, regular exercises. 

Raal Harris, Chief Creative Officer, Ocean Technologies Group, said: “This important material is not only an effective resource for the individual, but can be used via our platform as part of a wider e-learning strategy to promote good health and wellbeing for seafarers.”

Catherine Logie, Director of Direct to Consumer Services, OTG, added: “Seafarers’ careers can be jeopardised if they are unable to work due to musculoskeletal injuries like back, knee and neck pain. Maintaining your fitness and flexibility can be hard on board a ship with restricted exercise options. The stretches demonstrated in this video from a physiotherapist are effective and easy to integrate into your daily routine to help prevent injury. We are very pleased to offer this resource to seafarers free of charge.”

Fit and Healthy at Sea’ will be available to shipping companies through OTG’s Ocean Learning platform, while individual seafarers can access the training through OTG’s self-service platform. The Fit and Healthy at Sea video adds to existing free SHS physiotherapy resources for seafarers that can be accessed here.