Idwal adds crew welfare to vessel inspections

Idwal’s senior marine surveyor, Thom Herbert, told Seatrade Maritime News that as a former seafarer, the inclusion of crew welfare issues in Idwal’s inspections was one of his passion projects.

A total of 12 new questions have been added to the company’s ship checklist with a focus on objective questions to make the results harder to ignore and focus on areas where any problem has a clear solution . The questions ask for details of amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi, gym facilities, onboard training facilities and access to bonded stores, whether additional rest periods are available and access to catering services.

After six years at sea on oil and gas tankers across Africa and Venezuela, Herbert said he had first-hand experience of the challenges seafarers face and the tasks they are asked to perform. .

“Internet access has made a huge difference at sea, and within that there is a huge difference between having access, having measured access and not having access at all. Seafarers can be well paid, but not always enough to compensate for the sacrifices of being away from home. Internet access helps create a bridge between home and the sea,” said Herbert.

Answers to the 12 new questions form part of the Idwal score, an overall rating the company gives to a ship based on more than 500 data points from inspections run through an algorithm. Idwal’s clients are often commissioned by hedge funds, banks and other large corporations seeking to assess the risk profile of assets in sale and purchase transactions. Portfolio risk analysis is also offered for larger fleets.

Given their client base, Herbert said the approach to crew welfare had to be focused: “We can’t just raise the issue, we have to prove it and come up with a solution.”

Many of the new questions relate to issues repeatedly raised in the Mission to Seafarers Seafarers Happiness Index, a project for which Idwal has become a sponsor. The latest edition of the index showed seafarer happiness at an all-time low as the pandemic and war in Ukraine escalated, making navigation more difficult and strained relations aboard many ships.

The company found the pandemic increased demand for its services as owners and managers relied on Idwal’s network of inspectors to carry out inspections while travel restrictions prevented their own inspectors from visiting. the boats. “We have a network of more than 350 surveyors spread all over the world. Using locally based surveyors ensured there were minimum limitations in place with regards to Covid restrictions. This not only allowed us to inspect ships that Super Stewards could not travel to, but also ensured that a minimal carbon footprint was generated for each,” Idwal said.

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