Clear communication for better work environment and increased safety at sea

A collision at sea can have devastating consequences for the people on board and the environment, not to mention the economic consequences. Even if ships move relatively slowly, it takes a long time to stop a ship, something that requires the crew to plan several steps ahead. Cooperation and communication are two factors that affect safety at sea. When ships meet, the crews may need to talk to each other in order to navigate safely, and since seafarers can work all over the world, the conversation often takes place in a language other than the crew members’ first language.

In addition to affecting the safety, language issues can affect the organizational and social work environment. A person who does not “get through” to their interlocutor may experience an increased level of stress, and there are several common reasons for this. Lack of language skills, an unusual dialect, and disturbing noise, as well as the possibility that the other speaker simply does not understand what the conversation is about are some examples that can create misunderstandings. This can be very stressful, both for the recipient that misunderstands and the speaker that is misunderstood.

When you who are trying to make yourself understood you could try to adapt your language. Avoid overly advanced language and keep the conversation simple. If you have a lot to say, it is better to divide this into several short messages, and give the recipient time to repeat the most important information. In that way, the recipient is given time to absorb the information, and you will get a receipt of how your intended message has been received.

The project was funded by the Swedish Transport Administration and Stena Rederi.

intendenturens arbetsmiljö

Would you like to know about our other projects?

We want our research to be used. You are welcome to read about and make use of the material we have produced!