In an unique interview to SAFETY4SEA, Kunal Pathak, Loss Prevention Supervisor, Asia at Gard P&I Membership, highlights that the {industry} wants to alter mindset, switching from the standard blame tradition to security studying via incidents and human errors.

In that regard, a change in the best way audits, inspections, investigations and vetting surveys are being carried out would assist. Thus, as an alternative of specializing in failures, we have to spend money on coaching and supply seafarers with higher medical assist. Kunal additionally says we nonetheless have a protracted option to go in enhancing seafarers’ well being and wellbeing, reminding that we have to try for preserving our seafarers protected, joyful and motivated always.


SAFETY4SEA: What are at the moment the {industry}’s key loss prevention challenges? Do you see any alarming developments/ points?

Kunal Pathak: Actually, cargo-related fires proceed to be a scorching subject and a big problem for the {industry}. Errors and misdeclarations can result in catastrophic fires, with extreme penalties each for individuals and the surroundings. Including to the chance image can also be the growing transportation of electrical autos and lithium-ion batteries. We additionally see a continued problem with container stack collapses. These incidents have triggered substantial {industry} losses over the previous couple of years, to not point out the numerous environmental side related to those incidents. Final, however not least, our loss prevention group is especially targeted on seafarers and the way we are able to enhance their security and well-being. The strains of Covid are nonetheless recent for a lot of, and in Gard, we’ve got seen a rise within the variety of psychological sickness circumstances and suicides amongst crew over the past three years. That is an alarming development, exhibiting that we nonetheless have a protracted option to go in relation to enhancing seafarers’ well being and wellbeing.


S4S: In your view, has the {industry} been profitable in enhancing its security efficiency? The place ought to ship operators give attention to to additional improve security tradition onboard?

Okay.P.: Total, sure. Security efficiency has improved rather a lot over the previous many years, and for instance, we’re experiencing considerably fewer main oil spills right now than we did some years in the past. This comes right down to a lot of issues together with higher vessels, higher operational programs, tighter laws, improved coaching, extra consciousness. On the identical time, there is no such thing as a room for complacency – extra stays to be executed. Personally, I’ve been notably targeted on the significance of seafarer wellbeing and the way that in flip has a big impact on the chance of accidents. Organizational tradition, management and psychological security are all essential components right here. The {industry} must mature to the purpose the place we’re able to studying from incidents and “human errors” moderately than the standard blame tradition prevalent in our {industry}.


S4S: Are you happy with {industry} stakeholders’ response on the problem of crew welfare till right now? What are your ideas to maneuver ahead?

Okay.P.: Issues have improved, however we’re actually not there but. Protected, joyful and motivated crew members are important for working a profitable maritime operation. Nonetheless, we all know that many seafarers proceed to face very difficult and unsustainable working circumstances throughout the globe. As talked about, we additionally see a worrying development in relation to seafarers’ psychological well being. In Gard, we’ve got seen a necessity for higher medical assist for seafarers, each bodily and mentally. That’s the reason we launched an industry-wide well being app this 12 months, the Mariners Medico Information, which is tailor-made and designed particularly for seafarers, and which additionally contains psychological well being. The well-being of seafarers has largely been neglected or at the very least under-communicated within the {industry}, and it’s nice to see that that is now progressively beginning to change.


S4S: With the vitality transition and altering applied sciences in delivery, are there any points referring to crew welfare that want further care?

Okay.P.: Within the years to come back, we’re more likely to see adjustments to the vessel’s propulsion programs, gasoline sorts, and even operational parameters to adjust to the environmental laws. Customary coaching of the crew would solely be a place to begin as they may expertise vital security and operational challenges throughout their time on board vessels. We have to be conscious of the truth that basically, crew on board containers or bulk vessels don’t require the identical degree of security consciousness because the crew on tankers. This distinction in information or security consciousness may shortly grow to be a problem, as extra dry cargo vessels progressively shift to alternate and high-risk fuels, akin to LNG, methanol and even ammonia.


S4S: What are the important thing actions that may make a step change in {industry}’s efficiency throughout a zero-emission future?

Okay.P.: My private want is that we feature out an intensive security examine of all the longer term fuels which might be anticipated to be adopted in our {industry}. This security examine needs to be performed by impartial professionals with experience and understanding of the fuels – not by foyer teams. When taking a look at gasoline security, we even have to contemplate how we are going to deal with the gasoline after a casualty, as this is usually a problem when offering salvage or port of refuge to a vessel that has been in an incident.


S4S: What wants to alter to boost {industry}’s profile and appeal to the longer term abilities?

Okay.P.: A actuality verify can be a fantastic begin. Like each different {industry}, we’ve got issues that work and issues that don’t work. Working extra proactively with media and public relations is one factor. Media performs a big position in how the {industry} is portrayed, particularly how they cowl maritime accidents. I believe we may do extra to enhance the {industry}’s “picture” and basic attractiveness. Secondly, I believe we each may and may do extra to draw extra girls to the maritime {industry}. Organizations like WISTA do a fantastic job to assist and promote girls in delivery and maritime professions. Lastly, I believe we even have to just accept that engaged on ships just isn’t for everybody. We should always nurture and assist our current expertise pool earlier than we count on any massive adjustments within the {industry}’s profile. Phrase-of-mouth travels far, and for potential seafarers, we’d be higher identified for our deeds moderately than our phrases or guarantees throughout our hiring campaigns and seminars.


S4S: If you happen to may change one factor throughout the {industry} out of your perspective, what this could be and why?

Okay.P: I want to change the best way we feature out our audits, inspections, investigations, and vetting surveys. By these inspections, we’re continuously on the lookout for a fault on board the vessels in order that we meet our KPIs on the variety of findings per inspection. In Gard, we’re but to see a correlation between the variety of findings and the vessel’s probability of getting an incident. When our inspectors are continuously on the lookout for one thing unsuitable on ships and amongst seafarers, we lose our skill to foster a optimistic and cohesive maritime {industry}, hindering our collective aspirations in direction of security and well-being at sea. As a substitute of sending inspectors on board to search out faults, I consider the {industry} can go a great distance if they’re prepared to find out how regular work occurs on board vessels and spend money on coaching and supporting the seafarers as an alternative.


The views offered hereabove are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially replicate these of SAFETY4SEA and are for info sharing and dialogue functions solely.