Occupational health

There are two occupational health services established for shipping and fishing, respectively

Read more and self-services

Sea Health and Welfare is an organization under the Danish Government who helps seafarers and shipowners to a safe work environment on board the ships. They assist with counselling and hands-on tools to all surrounding the seafarer’s work life.

The Safety Organization on board ships

When working on a Danish-flagged ship, it is a requirement that there be a safety organization as soon as there are five persons on board including the master.

If you are a rating, you must choose a safety representative, or you can be chosen as a safety representative on board by your colleagues. If you are a supervisor, you can be appointed by the management on board to join the safety organization. How many members there must be in the safety organization depends on the size of the crew.

The purpose of safety work on ships is thus to promote, secure and maintain a good, safe and healthy physical and mental working environment. It is called the "safety organization", safety groups and safety committees, but it is not only the safety culture and preventing accidents that you should contribute to, but also improving the working environment in general.

Although it is the shipping company and the master who oversee the working environment and are responsible for keeping it stable, the law also requires that you, as the chosen safety representative or designated supervisor in the safety organization, make your contribution. It has been proven that the best solutions are found, where employees are involved in both work environment solutions and the introduction of these solutions.

The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service

As part of the Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service (Sea Health and Welfare), there is a service who assist seafarers to secure a safe and healthy work environment on board merchant ships above 20 gross tonnage. The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service cooperate with the safety organization on board the ship and assist the safety organization to create a safe work environment. The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service cooperate with the relevant authorities and share relevant information.

The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service is allowed to participate in the safety organization’s meetings without the right to vote. If there is no safety organization on board the ship, the Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service is allowed to contact the shipowner, master and crew in order to create a safety and healthy work environment on board. The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service also assist seafarers from vulnerable groups to perform medical examinations with their consent.

Fishing Occupational Health Services advice on occupational health and safety on board. They encourage fishermen’s safety, preventing accidents at work and whose purpose is to maintain a healthy and safe working environment.

As part of the Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service, there is a service who assist fishermen and shipowners to secure a safe and healthy work environment on board fishing vessels. The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service cooperate with the safety organization on board the ship and assist the safety organization to create a safe work environment. The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service cooperate with the relevant authorities and share relevant information. The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service also assist fishermen and shipowners with the preparation before a survey from the Danish Maritime Authority.

The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service is allowed to participate in the safety organization’s meetings without the right to vote. If there is no safety organization on board the ship, the Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service is allowed to contact the shipowner, master and crew in order to create a safety and healthy work environment on board. The Danish Fishermen’s Occupational Health Service also assist fishermen from vulnerable groups to perform medical examinations with their consent.

Last updated: 12 December 2020