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RR376 - Health and well-being in the offshore environment

This project was designed to assess health climate offshore and to evaluate its impact upon the health behaviour, organizational citizenship behaviours, safety behaviour, organizational commitment and accident involvement of offshore workers on the UKCS. The Offshore Safety Division of the UK Health and Safety Executive’s Hazardous Installations Directorate sponsored the study.

Phase 1 was a survey of approximately 2000 offshore employees on 31 installations in the UK sector undertaken using a Health at Work questionnaire, incorporating measures of health and safety climate, employers’ commitment to health, risk-taking behaviour and employees’ commitment to the organisation. The survey found evidence to suggest that positive health management practice is associated with good risk investment.

Phase 2 investigated the hypothesis that the support provided by the operator, supervisor and workmates both in general and regarding the health of employees helps to build a positive perception of health climate. This in turn, impacts upon organisational citizenship behaviours, health behaviours and organisational commitment. These positive organisational activities may also have an impact on accident involvement.

A sample of 703 offshore workers on 18 installations on the UKCS responded. The data indicated that investment in employee health may help build perceptions of organisational support, which have strong relationships with organisational commitment, and also safety behaviours and organisational citizenship behaviours. The role of supervisors in supporting employee health is also highlighted.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

Offshore medics completed a separate questionnaire, which indicated that many were actively involved in health surveillance, education and promotion, despite the demands on their time from unrelated activities.

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Updated 2010-03-19