In the survey «Maritime safety», which was conducted in 2023, as many as 27 percent stated that they had been bullied and/or harassed in the last 12 months.

What does psychosocial working environment mean?

It mainly has to do with security, inclusion, the way we talk to each other as colleagues and how we are doing at work. There are many factors affecting the psychosocial working environment, but the general working and living conditions on board are key.

Some find it challenging to start the work to prevent bullying and harassment. The NMA aims to facilitate and help companies and vessels that would like to work on this subject. It is always best to start early, before there are issues in the psychosocial working environment. It is much more difficult to fix a poor working environment than to prevent it.

Our request to the maritime industry:


  • Contact the NMA for guidance. Send an e-mail to, and put «Focus area 2024» in the subject field.
  • Implement the «Be a buddy – not a bully» campaign. Contact the NMA for guidance.
  • Use and implement the plan that can be generated through Arbeidsmiljøhjelpen (only available in Norwegian). Contact the NMA for guidance.
  • Order coursed and material from dedicated advisers at the Norwegian Maritime Authority ( We offer training for HR departments, crew managements or others that are responsible for the working environment on board vessels.
  • Please contact the NMA if you are interested in arranging a course for a crew conference or other events where a large number of crew is gathered.
  • Please contac the NMA if you are interested in arranging a course for different seafarers' organisations that would like competence development, and/or that would like to offer a course to their members on board vessels.


Often, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) releases extensive checklists related to the current focus area. In 2024, there are three items on the checklist concerning the psychosocial working environment, and two of these are legally based and could be subject to orders to rectify.

The third item provides guidance on the focus area. Here, reference is made to the available course, as well as insights and tools for shipping companies when embarking on the process of improvement.

We have created a poster containing a checklist and useful tips which our surveyors will provide during their onboard visits. The poster comprises the most important information for both shipping companies and vessels. Please feel free to print and distribute the poster on board even if you have not had a visit from a surveyor.

Tools for the focus area work

In the menu on the right hand side, you can find links to relevant websites and tools. Psychosocial working environment was presented as focus area for 2024 during the Safety at Sea Conference in September 2023. Most of the speakers had been invited with the new focus area in mind.

You can watch two of the presentations here:

The Norwegian Maritime Authority has translated books and leaflets for the psychosocial working environment. You will be able to order these form this website when they are ready.