SHS spotlights evolving seafarer and shipping industry needs

The Seafarer Hospital Society’s maritime KPI toolkit will be unveiled at its upcoming conference focused on changing regulations, training and upskilling, recruitment and retention, DEI and ESG, and health and welfare for maritime workers.

London, 24 January 2024: Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS) is addressing maritime’s goals of embedding greater resilience, collaboration and sustainability across the supply chain by bringing together industry leaders, experienced healthcare providers, HR and crew management specialists, and young cadets at an in-person conference. Titled ‘Sustainability at Sea: Why Seafarers’ Health Matters,’ the event will take place on 16 February 2024 at London’s Trinity House, and launch SHS’ key performance indicator (KPI) toolkit  to help organisations track regulatory compliance and year-on-year impact on seafarer health and welfare.

The event will feature an opening address by Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security of the United Kingdom, in addition to a presentation on key findings from ongoing research into seafarer fatigue by The Department forTransport (UK).

Sandra Welch, CEO of the Seafarers Hospital Society, said “The maritime industry is increasingly turning to benchmarking and data-led solutions to demonstrate value and progress to a wide variety of stakeholders — and crew capacity and resilience underpins these endeavours and our wider global supply chains. Benchmarking the health and welfare of maritime workers will ensure that our industry is tracking its successes, proving value and identifying gaps so that these can be addressed. In addition to benefiting organisations and their workers, collecting this data will increase transparency, clearer communication and greater collaboration between stakeholders.”  

With panels offering a mix of high-level oversight of industry issues and practical methods to support the health and welfare of maritime workers, discussions at the Sustainability at Sea event will consider key issues for the sector. These include what the future of the maritime workforce looks like, ongoing challenges and opportunities when developing new recruitment hubs, creating and implementing good workplace policies and company cultures, supporting the physical and mental health of maritime workers, and best practices when it comes to advancing maritime worker careers.

Speakers sharing their insights will include representatives from the International Maritime Organisation, The International Chamber of Shipping, the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International, Intermanager, HFW, Inmarsat, Ocean Technologies Group, The Nautical Institute, TogetherAll, and more.

The event is free to attend and open to press and members of the maritime industry.

Register to secure your place here.


‘Sustainability at Sea: Why Seafarers’ Health matters’
16 February 2024 at 9.30 – 17.00 at Trinity House (London)

9.30 – 10.00 Coffee and Registration

10.00 – 10.10 Welcome Address
Sandra Welch (CEO, Seafarers Hospital Society)

10.10 – 10.30 Opening Remarks
Nusrat Ghani, Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security of the United Kingdom

10.30 – 10.40 Introduction for the Event
Richard Clayton

10.40 – 11.00 Keynote: ‘Improving and Protecting the Health of the Industry’s Most Important Asset – Its People’
Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary-General at InterManager and Chair at SHS

11.00 – 11.45 Industry Panel: Supporting Seafarers and Building a Resilient Industry

Panel description: The maritime industry has faced significant challenges over the last four years, spanning a pandemic, rising geopolitical risk and economic instability, while regulatory pressure drives the transition to decarbonised and digitalised operations. With much of our industry’s success resting on the resilience of seafarers and port workers, our speakers will explore:

  • What the future of the maritime workforce looks like
  • What the impact of legal mechanisms and incoming wage laws will be in a commercially tense environment
  • How to manage safety and security during ongoing geopolitical risk
  • How to ensure seafarers have sufficient skills to comply with regulations
  • Challenges and opportunities when developing new recruitment hubs
  • When should companies go beyond regulatory mandates to support maritime workers


  • Tim Springett (UK Chamber of Shipping)
  • Jan de Boer (international Maritime Organisation)
  • Danny McGowan (Nautilus International)
  • Dave Watkins (CHIRP)
  • Sandra Welch (Seafarers Hospital Society)

Moderator: Michelle Chance (HFW)

11.45 – 12.30 Supporting Seafarers: Healthcare, Mental Wellbeing & Financial Systems

Panel description: Seafarers are encouraged to develop resilience and ensure good physical and mental health. However, they often face unique constraints when attempting to access services that could provide them with support — whether due to difficulty making and keeping medical appointments, fear of stigma, isolation while at sea, or financial difficulty/ instability. Our panel of experts will provide practical experience of assessing these gaps and finding solutions that address the specific needs and constraints of maritime workers.


  • Marc Evans (The Fishermen’s Mission)
  • Caroll Elliott (SeaFit)
  • Evangelia Maragou (Shout) 
  • Shaunna Carden (TogetherAll)
  • Ceri Summers (FairWinds)
  • Teresa Walshe & Michael Edwards (SAIL)

Moderator: Steven Jones (Sustainable Shipping Initiative and Seafarer Happiness Index)

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch & Networking

13.30 – 14.15 Industry Panel: Creating Cultures of Care for Maritime

Panel Description: As the lifeblood of the shipping industry, seafarers ensure that vessels are safe, compliant and efficient. Their skills underpin a company’s ability to remain agile and respond to market changes, making it vital that seafarers are supported in developing and advancing their careers. Creating the right company cultures, implementing guidelines and mechanisms of redressal, and ensuring good communication are all key to advancing our industry and supporting its people. This panel will discuss:

  • Best practices when it comes to advancing maritime worker careers
  • Enhancing transparent recruitment and employee engagement
  • How to support the mental and physical health of seafarers
  • Creating and implementing good workplace policies and company cultures
  • Addressing sexual harassment, bullying and abuse in maritime workplaces


  • Ondrilla Fernandes (International Chamber of Shipping)
  • Raal Harris (Ocean Technologies Group)
  • Peter Broadhurst (Inmarsat)
  • Debbie Calvaldoro (Port Skills & Safety)
  • Kathryn Neilson (Merchant Navy Training Board)

Moderator: Heidi Heseltine (Diversity Study Group)

14.15 – 14.40 Launch of SHS Best Practice KPI Toolkit
Sandra Welch, CEO of Seafarers Hospital Society and Dr Tim Carter, Seafarers Hospital Society

14.40 – 15.10 Panel Discussion & Open Floor: Key KPIs to support maritime workers


  • Alison Kay (Trinity College)
  • Alastair Evitt (InterManager)
  • Dr Tim Carter (Seafarers Hospital Society)
  • Kuba Szymanski (InterManager)

Samira Nadkarni (Intent Communications)

15.10 – 15.30 Keeping Up With the Cadets: Hearing from the Next Generation


  • Maritime cadets (Southampton & Glasgow)
  • Steven Gosling (The Nautical Institute)

Catherine Logie (Ocean Technologies Group)

15.30 – 15.55 Key Findings on Seafarer Roster Patterns and Fatigue
Sophia Ridden (UK Department for Transport)

15.55 – 16.00 Thanks & Conclusions
Richard Clayton

16.00 – 17.00 Networking and drinks reception