The Right Tools for the Job

Any professional knows the importance of having the right tools to do the job, and being at sea is no different. However, the responses to the Seafarers Happiness Index have raised a number of concerns about not just the right tools, but the quality and even levels of equipment and supplies onboard.

We have received multiple responses from seafarers who are frustrated by shipowners who are seemingly making savings when it comes to ordering spare parts and tools. Now, everyone likes a bargain, but in trying to limit spend, it seems that often ships are being provided with non- original equipment manufacturer (OEM) equipment.

SCRIMPING ON SPARES

Time and again, seafarers bemoaned the fact that scrimping by their employers was making the job harder. There were even some suggestions that fake equipment was provided to the vessel. Now, this is perhaps more likely to have been from a dodgy supplier, than a foolish owner. However, the net effect on safety, operations and of the standards onboard are the same whoever is responsible.

Seafarers also stated that there seem to be increased refusal of orders, and offices ashore are pushing back on the spend. Budgets are budgets, and in times of tight freight rates, perhaps some degree of conservatism on spend is needed. However, if it is bad enough to get seafarers to open up online about it, it would seem such budgetary cuts need a rethink.

TOO TECHNICAL

At the other end of the spending spectrum, there were some seafarers who expressed concern that companies were investing in new technology, but there was a lag in providing training and support to operate new systems properly.

This seems to be particularly the case when it comes to navigation equipment – and there were many seafarers who expressed concern about maritime cyber security. They complained that often they are made to feel that they are part of the problem, but that they are not supported adequately to become the solution.

The cyber security issue is a serious one, there were a number of seafarers who felt that advice and guidance from ashore was simply too technical and did not address the issues which crews themselves can actually address. So, it seems that some kind of balancing act is needed as we tackle cyber issues onboard.

 #28Days #Seafarers #Shipping Also check out the Mission to Seafarers website to learn more that the charity does to address many of the issues raised across these challenges facing shipping. https://www.missiontoseafarers.org/

The Seafarers Happiness Index needs the support of those at sea, and of the shipping industry. So if you would like to be a part of driving positive debate and change – complete the survey or share your thoughts with us. https://www.happyatsea.org/survey

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