9 - Crew in van going to pier

Health, safety and wellbeing

Our focus is the continuous improvement of health and safety management systems and employee behaviors.

The group’s variety of ongoing initiatives to maintain employee wellbeing and a healthy and safe work environment were particularly critical during the year.  The focus was on physical and mental health and safety, working conditions including working from home, employee assistance program, safe social activities, employee engagement surveys and opportunities for personal development.

During the year, there were zero work related fatalities. The lost time injury frequency (LTIF) and total recordable case frequency (TRCF) rates were within targets on shore and on vessels, sickness absence was in line with previous years, and no occupational disease cases were recorded.

Health and safety metrics



Onshore (exposure 8 hours a day, 5 days a week)



Exposure hours

9 222 182

9 094 979

Lost time injury frequency rate



Total recordable case frequency rate



Safety observations



Sickness absence



Seafarers on vessels (exposure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)



Exposure hours

35 570 856

29 683 152

Lost time injury frequency rate



Total recordable case frequency rate



Safety observations



Sickness absence



In 2021, our health and safety targets will be for LTIF rate not to exceed 0.40, and for TRCF rate not to exceed 2.80 on vessels and 1.00 onshore.  

Target 2020

Result 2020

Target 2021

LTIF onshore not to exceed 0.50


not to exceed 0.40

TRCF onshore not to exceed 1.50


not to exceed 1.00

LTIF on vessels not to exceed 0.50


not to exceed 0.40

TRCF on vessels not to exceed 2.80


not to exceed 2.80

Response to COVID-19 onshore

The health, safety and wellness of our employees is the number one priority in our COVID-19 response.  Through 2020, we have responded globally and locally to the situation with communications, site risk assessments, business continuity planning (BCP) and situation reporting in place for our business units and local emergency response teams. At the end of the year, approximately 60% of employees are working from home in response to COVID-19 measures.

During our annual engagement survey, employees responded that they feel well taken care off; have received sufficient and timely information; have experienced the company taking sufficient measures to reduce risk of infection; and have been able to keep motivation despite most working from home.  

In 2021, we will continue to apply appropriate COVID-19 response measures and wellness activities for our employees. 

Supporting the industry response to COVID-19

In the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ships Service made public a port restrictions information map that was maintained twice daily by our network of offices. An additional tool for crew change was added during the year. These services have been well recognised by our customers, partners, and the industry as a trusted source of information during a very dynamic situation.  Wilhelmsen Chemicals were also quick to respond in Norway, converting production lines to accommodate for the high demand of both for hand sanitizer and surface disinfectors.  Wilhelmsen companies and employees have also responded to several charitable causes during COVID-19. 

Response to COVID-19 for seafarers

In the initial stages of the pandemic, crew change moved rapidly from being operationally challenging, to a humanitarian crisis.  During the year, Ship Management conducted crew changes where possible, when risk mitigation conditions were met, and according to international and local guidelines.  Management has also been active in raising awareness of the need for seafarers to be recognized as key workers, to enable the safe and unhindered movement of seafarers to and from their workplace. 

In addition to crew health, safety and wellness focus and activities onboard, the CEO & President has been doing personal calls to speak with crew that are onboard every week to gauge the crew morale and seek feedback from crew on how we can support them better during this difficult time.  This interaction has been very well appreciated by the crew and valuable to the management.