This year the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) department is having a major focus on health, with initiatives to inspire and support employees to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing and create heathy habits. The first initiative of the campaign kicked off this week with all employees receiving a message, literally, in a reusable water bottle.
Messages in bottles, were sent by shipwrecked sailors who were stuck somewhere. The idea behind the message from HSE is about getting un-stuck from unhealthy habits and patterns and creating new healthy ones. It’s also a practical reminder to stay hydrated by using (and re-using) the bottle.
The information inside the bottle included a QR code to access a video and pdf version of a simple physiotherapist-designed exercise program to help people get and/or stay fit. The program requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, such as in an office, a hotel room, or while away offshore.
Employees were also invited to share their health ‘tips and tricks’ in a competition to win prizes. By sharing what they do to stay healthy, they get the chance to win a fitness watch, pair of on-ear headphones, or a pair of training tights.
In the message, the HSE team expressed their “sincere hope that we can inspire each other to build healthier habits”. It concluded by saying: “Thank you for taking care of yourself and each other!”
Dorthe Ulsø, Director of HSEQ, explains why HSE has chosen to focus on this topic and why employee health – including mental health is so important to Semco Maritime:
“Safety is one of our five core values. It is so central to everything we do, that we say, ‘safety is part of our DNA’,” explains Dorthe Ulsø. “Health and safety are intrinsically linked. If someone is not doing well – either physically or mentally, it can be difficult for them to be 100% focused on the job, that’s when accidents are more of a risk. At Semco Maritime, we care about our employees and their safety is our top priority, that is also why we want to support employees to be in the best health possible.”
“If someone has a health challenge, such as a bad back, they are more vulnerable – it could make them less aware of themselves, their surroundings and their colleagues while they are working,” says Dorthe Ulsø. “We want to take care of our employees by helping them reduce, or if possible, eliminate any health concerns.”
When ‘safety’ was added as a core company value in 2019, Semco Maritime conducted interviews with a wide range of employees to find out what safety meant to them and how this value could best be incorporated into the workplace. Many people said that for them ‘mental health’ was also an important element of health and safety because stress and other mental or emotional challenges can reduce their capacity to be fully present and aware in the workplace.
“At Semco Maritime, our understanding of mental health is not only about the individual,” elaborates Dorthe Ulsø. “We know that if someone in an employee’s family is not doing well, it will impact their mental wellbeing also, especially (but not only) if they are offshore for two weeks and not able to physically be there to help. That’s why we have resources (such as a dedicated social worker) to support the families of our employees as well as our employees themselves.”
The health and wellbeing of employees is a priority at Semco Maritime and that is reflected in this campaign. Following the ‘message in a bottle’, employees will continue to receive interactive health resources approximately once each quarter.
“At Semco Maritime, we care about our employees’ health. We hope that all of our staff will be inspired by our health campaign and will join us in creating new healthy habits – both physical and mental,” concludes Dorthe Ulsø.