30 May 2023

Employee safety and mental health top priority in IMarEST survey

  • 72% of respondents considered employee safety and mental health a high priority
  • 70% of respondents considered compliance with environmental regulations a high priority
  • 67% of respondents considered cyber security a high priority

Employee safety and mental health, compliance with environmental regulations, and cyber security, emerged as the top priorities in the annual membership survey of Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). Members were asked to rate environmental, personnel and technological priorities for the next three years.

Stephanie McLay, Chair of the IMarEST Seafarer Mental Health and Wellbeing special interest group, says of the findings relating to personnel priorities: “The results reflect a growing realisation among employers that to have an effective workforce they need to focus on employee safety, physical health, and mental health. This is not just about doing the right thing for employees; it’s also vital to safeguard vessel safety. Improving someone’s wellbeing, does not necessarily mean big gestures and large investments; a little really does go a long way, so we encourage more employers to act today.”

Top among the other priorities in the personnel section were training (66%), employee continuing professional development (63%), working conditions (62%), and equality, diversity, and inclusion (61%).

In the environment category, the number one spot was held by compliance with environmental regulations of all kinds (70%). However, the shift to a low carbon world accounted for many of the priorities in this category with the energy transition accounting for four of the top five environmental priorities for the period 2023-2026. This included emissions reduction (66%), energy transition (65%), decarbonisation (63%), and working towards net zero (63%).

Jennifer Gómez Molina, Co-Chair of IMarEST’s Technical Leadership Board. “In this net zero and decarbonising world - to be successful and excel in your field, you need to showcase that you are making an impact in these areas.”

In the technological field, 67% of respondents cited cyber security as their top priority for the years 2023-2026. This was followed closely by new IT system development and implementation (66%) and legacy system management (66%).

Jennifer adds: “Cyber-attacks are coming thick and fast across every sector, threatening our infrastructures and livelihoods. The concern here is how quickly they are developing to be as evasive and disruptive as possible. How we tackle and address these concerns has to be built into our ways of working, the products we produce and services we provide.”