It must be safe and secure to work as a seafarer on a Danish ship. Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Morten Bødskov, made that clear in October 2023, when he asked the Danish Maritime Authority and the social partners to come up with new measures to curb bullying and harassment in the Danish merchant fleet.
This happened in the wake of the publication of an investigation into bullying and harassment on Danish ships conducted by the Centre of Maritime Health and Society at the University of Southern Denmark. The study showed, among other things, that there are major challenges with harassment and bullying on Danish ships.
The industry and the Danish Maritime Authority will implement the following measures to ensure a safe working environment at sea:
- The social partners and the Danish Maritime Authority will launch a campaign making it clear that bullying and harassment are completely unacceptable and that everyone has a responsibility in that regard.
- Launch of a best practice scheme, including effective and visible whistleblower and complaint mechanisms.
- The Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service will actively support the industry's efforts, including through a consultant with expertise in psychosocial working environment.
- A focus on preventing bullying and harassment from passengers on municipal ferries.
- A service check of the rules on psychosocial working environment at sea.
- Strengthening education in psychosocial working environment and prevention of bullying and harassment.
- Tougher penalties implying that a seafarer, convicted of e.g. violence, can be denied the right to serve on Danish ships.
- The framework for and supervision of management companies responsible for the technical management of the ships must be strengthened.
Going forward, the Danish Ships Inspection Council must annually take stock of the implementation and effect of the measures.
Read more about the initiatives here (in Danish)