Tapiit Live, the only maritime technology business providing livestreamed, interactive training at sea, has launched a bullying and harassment course, designed for seafarers to help instil ashore and on-board cultures that promote positive communication and supportive communities.

The course, which is tailored to each organisation’s structure, policies and requirements, details what bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment are, and how such behaviours impact individuals, perpetrators, groups, onboard safety and operations. It also provides practical guidance on what to do if problematic behaviours are witnessed, or situations need to be escalated.

The Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) organisation summarises the extent of the issue of bullying and harassment in maritime environments:

‘The issue is far from uncommon. It remains a clear and present danger to all workers at sea… Seafarer support is critical and should not be solely based on membership of a union, or access to welfare entities… While bullying and harassment may be often viewed as being rife in the realm of front-line workers, the reality is that is spans the entire supply chain.’ 

Tapiit Live courses are livestreamed, and where on-board facilities allow, are fully interactive, enabling course attendees to interact with the course tutor as though in a ‘real’ classroom. Time is allocated at the end of each class to enable one-to-one discussions and support.

A Designated Person Ashore (DPA) in a company that operates a fleet in the LNG sector, says the course is being rolled out to the business’ 650 seafarers to support a proactive approach to mental well-being:

“We were impressed by how well the crew responded to Tapiit Live’s mental well-being course and sought to build on this positive momentum. This additional training will inform on the procedures that are in place to help, and demonstrates management will not stand for any form of bullying and harassment.”

The DPA adds that the course fully articulates the impact of bullying and harassment: “The way someone is treated has a direct impact on the way they behave, communicate and perform their roles,” she says.

“Especially onboard where people work for long periods in close proximity, bullying and harassment can create challenging and unproductive environments that can be damaging to onboard safety. Conversely, a positive working environment increases productivity, improves staff well-being and ultimately supports employee retention.

“The feedback has been very positive, with the interactive element especially useful. Seafarers can join from all over the world simultaneously, whether ashore or onboard,” she adds.

“Following the pandemic, it is more important than ever to look after crew well-being and instil a positive culture.”

One of the Captains working for the same company as the DPA says bullying and harassment must be addressed in his industry: “Throughout my career it has not always been easy, and everyone will have experienced bullying and harassment at least once,” he says. “The course was good, included helpful learning points and as opposed to e-learning, the live streamed format was useful.”

Richard Turner, Tapiit Live CEO, says the interactive, livestreamed nature of the course is a world first and is what makes it so successful:

“Our technology delivers the ‘virtual’ classroom that is so fundamental to engagement. We know that training can be little more than clicking buttons for the seafarer and ticking boxes for the organisation. By creating live conversations, we encourage the thought and debate that is essential to engagement. And through engagement we make an impact and change behaviours – ultimately to the benefit of maritime cultures and environments,” he explains.

“The course has been created using extensive seafarer experience to understand current cultures and issues, work-place psychology to make clear, for example, the fine line between playful teasing or joking and bullying, and leading-edge technology that is the backbone to our offering.”

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