Preventing PTSD Among Maritime Workers

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is associated with any major trauma that causes significant post-incident stress reactions. It’s most commonly associated with veterans, but anyone who has experienced a personal trauma can have PTSD. Maritime workers who have experienced accidents in their line of work are at risk of developing PTSD.

How can you help your employees prevent these occurrences?

Signs of PTSD

Most often, the symptoms of PTSD manifest after the traumatic incident. Symptoms can come and go and be triggered by stress. The most common signs include:

  • Reliving the event through nightmares, flashbacks, or memories
  • Avoiding situations that can cause memories to surface
  • Increasing negative beliefs or feelings
  • High anxiety

Causes of PTSD in Maritime Workers

PTSD is caused by intense physical and emotional trauma. Survivors of violent attacks or people who have experienced war are most commonly associated with PTSD, but countless traumatic occurrences can cause it. For maritime workers, common causes of PTSD include:

  • Being on a sinking ship
  • Falling overboard
  • A collision
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Hypothermia
  • Accidents
  • Experiencing assault

Safety and Prevention

While it seems like the easy solution is to prevent traumatic events from occurring aboard seafaring vessels, this can sometimes be easier said than done. A mind toward safety is always necessary, but accidents can happen, and the fallout can be severe. While you should focus on preventing trauma-inducing events, you also need to be prepared to handle the aftermath if something does happen.

PTSD Assistance and Treatment

For workers who have been diagnosed with PTSD, it’s essential to provide continued support. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better the possibility of recovery. Providing resources through mental health providers and extended leave to employees are just a couple of things you can do if your employees are experiencing PTSD.


What else do you need to know about managing your marine workforce? Call Hutco today.