Mapping the Occupational Health and Safety Challenges Arising from Employment-Related Geographical Mobility (E-RGM) Among Canadian Seafarers on the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River
Their high-level of mobility makes ships a working environment temporarily disconnected from land-based society and services. The findings indicate that as a result of this disconnection, seafarers have to sacrifice to a certain extent their individual rights to ensure the overall safety of the ship. In addition, high-level E-RGM increases workloads on ships. Seafarers are not only required to navigate safely in narrow seaways, locks and canals between the lakes, but are also responsible for cargo discharging, and obliged to control and manage potential pollutants on board. Long working hours, shift works and the motion of ships can cause significant fatigue for the crew. Fatigue is reported to be a prominent cause of accidents and injuries among seafarers. Finally, new technologies are speeding up cargo operation in ports and strict security measures have reduced the chance for seafarers to take shore breaks, which further intensifies the isolation and fatigue suffered by seafarers.