Barriers to personal protective equipment use among international seafarers: a UK perspective

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Working at sea remains one of the most dangerous occupations and the workplace is geographically mobile, operating in internationalised, de-nationalised and national waters. This paper explores the barriers associated with the use of personal protective equipment by those who work at sea. One-hundred and six seafarers of various nationalities completed an online questionnaire. The findings revealed that seafarers found various items of personal protective equipment to be ill-fitting, with women seafarers particularly likely to experience equipment which does not fit correctly. Participants also reported issues associated with the availability of well-fitting personal protective equipment, compounded by their geographically remote mobile workplaces. This paper serves as a benchmark, highlighting the experiences of those who work at sea prior to the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention amendments on personal protective equipment and shows the clear need for such regulation given shipping companies prioritisation of profit over worker safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-542
Number of pages16
JournalWMU Journal of Maritime Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023

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