The Club produces a wide range of guidance, often in association with specific industry experts, which offers information and support on a wide range of relevant topics and specific risks that our Members may be exposed to.
The Club is frequently notified of claims related to personal injury of crew, passengers and third parties on board vessels. Mindful of the changes under English law to the compensation for future loss of earnings or future care of said parties, the Club wishes to draw Members’ attention to preventative measures which can be implemented to mitigate against such claims.
With the growing threat of cyber attacks on vessels and operators, a strong cyber security plan is an essential part of any vessel management system. The Club has a range of guidance available on how to ensure vessels are well prepared to prevent attacks.
Cyber security on board
The Club has produced the following articles to assist Members with improving their cyber security plans and raise cyber awareness on board vessels:
- ISM Cyber Security
- Cyber Security Guidelines for Vessels
- Cyber Guidance for Crew
- Cyber Security on Tankers (OCIMF– Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA))
- Webinar: Maritime Cyber Security
- Infographic: Is Your Vessel Cyber Secure?
Secure State Cyber
Secure State Cyber has been specialising in information and cyber security since 2005. Its mission is to create security for everyone within the digital space. Its consultants are specialists in information security and come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, including civil engineering, computer systems, law with speciality integrity protection, cognitive science, civil economics and computer networking.
In collaboration with Secure State Cyber, the Club has released a series of short FAQ articles identifying common cyber risks on board and what actions Members can take to ensure the security of their vessels.
- Cyber risks on board passenger vessels
- Crewmembers’ responsibilities for maintaining security of IT systems on board
- The importance of antivirus software and contingency planning for vessels
Be Cyber Aware at Sea
The Club is proud to support Be Cyber Aware at Sea – a global maritime and offshore industry initiative to raise awareness of cyber threats to international shipping ports and offshore operations.
For more information or if you require further assistance, please contact the Loss Prevention team.
Entry into an enclosed space is a critical operation which, if not carried out diligently, can seriously jeopardise the safety of the personnel involved. According to the International Group of P&I Clubs, there were 83 deaths in enclosed spaces during the 2015 to 2019 policy years.
The resources provided below have been produced by the Club to assist Members and crew with preventing such incidents from occurring.
Resources from the Shipowners’ Club
- Sample Entry into Enclosed Spaces Risk Assessment Form
- Enclosed Space Entry Booklet
- Enclosed Space Entry Poster
Resources from The International Group of P&I Clubs
Full Enclosed Space Entry Animation
External pressure to get a job done can and does lead to fatal accidents. Fully assess the risks involved and do not undertake a task unless there is sufficient time and resources to complete it safely.
Do not rush safety related tasks, rush a safety-critical job or miss safety critical steps due to time pressure.
Procedures, practices and equipment
Best practice and safety equipment are provided to keep you safe on board; don’t take your safety for granted no matter how experienced you are. Always comply with the correct safety protocols.
Everyone is responsible for safety; it’s essential you speak up and stop the job if you think something is unsafe.
Nobody knows how they will respond to an emergency. It’s vital to rely on the training you have received; don’t die by neglecting your own safety.
Preparation and communication
Everyone involved needs to be confident of what is happening, that they are experienced enough to do the job and what the emergency responses are; don’t presume every task will go without incident.
During 2020 the Club has noted an increase in Members laying up vessels within their fleet compared to previous years. To assist Members with the process of placing vessels into layup and the subsequent reactivation process, the Club has produced a number of guidance pieces.
- What steps should a prudent shipowner take when placing vessels into layup
- What steps should prudent shipowner take when bringing their vessels back into service after a long period of layup
- Reactivation of vessels after a period of layup
For as long as there have been vessels at sea, piracy has posed a threat to shipowners and their crews. Piracy hotspots and piracy methods have changed over the years, with the advice available to shipowners and masters needing to evolve in order to keep pace.
Industry-leading organisations, including the International Group of P&I Clubs, have pooled together to develop the Best Management Practice (BMP) guides, which are used extensively throughout the industry and feature advice on: conducting risk assessments, implementing ship protection measures and reporting piracy incidents. The latest version of the BMP guidance can be found here.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre page is also a useful source for Members, and provides masters and their crews a live piracy map and report as well providing the contact details for:
In addition, the Club has produced its own piracy guidance, which includes piracy FAQs and advice specific to different geographical areas.
Club piracy content
- Surge in Piracy Attacks
- Piracy FAQs
- Humanitarian support of seafarers and their families in cases of armed robbery and piracy attack
- Piracy in Southeast Asia
- Reporting Guidance for vessels transiting the Arabian Gulf (AG), Straits of Hormuz (SoH) and Gulf of Oman (GOO)
- Best Management Practices for West Africa
- Global Counter Piracy Guidance
- IMB Piracy & Armed Robbery Map
- IMSC Bridge Reference Cards
- Industry Update Following Incident in the Persian Gulf (January 2021)
- Maritime Global Security
For more information or if you require further assistance, please contact the Loss Prevention team below.
Working on board a ship often exposes seafarers to a variety of work-related accidents and incidents. In most cases, these may have been easily avoided had a proper risk assessment been undertaken. The Club has identified some routine shipboard tasks which have given rise to avoidable claims and, on the basis of these, will be publishing monthly sample risk assessments to advise Members on how to mitigate such claims.
While the Club acknowledges that many Members already have a formal risk assessment process in place these examples, which are provided for guidance purposes only, will be of benefit to those who may not have the shore side management infrastructure in place and therefore may not have access to such procedures. The Club emphasises that this guidance is not to undermine or replace the company’s safety management policies or any applicable statutory regulations.
- Implementing risk assessments
- Risk assessment form
- Passenger vessels risk assessment
- Mooring operations risk assessment
- Fishing operations risk assessment
- Container operations risk assessment
- Bunker operations risk assessment
- Oil tanker operations risk assessment
- Tug and barge towing operations risk assessment
- Heavy weather precautions risk assessment
Entry into enclosed spaces risk assessment:
Instilling a healthy Safety Culture can have many benefits for Members, regardless of the size of marine operation concerned.
The Club recognises that vessels each present unique challenges and as such has created the following resources for specific vessel types.
Members often seek advice from the Club on carriage requirements and general risks associated with certain cargoes. As a starting point, we recommend Member referencing the cargo specific Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and the BMT Cargo Handbook.
Members should also ensure that the vessel in question is statutorily allowed to carry the given cargo and that the relevant statutory codes are consulted and complied with together with any industry issued guidance and best practices. If specific information regarding carriage and usual practices for a particular port/country are required, Members can contact the Club’s local Correspondent.
For further assistance, the Member can also contact the Club’s Loss Prevention department.
The Club has produced and shared the following resources to assist with the prevention of incidents on board fishing vessels.
- Fishing vessel safety booklet
- Risk assessment
- Refrigeration on fishing vessels
- Recommendations for crews on fishing vessels
- Guidance for fishing vessel owners operating in the vicinity of subsea cables
- Subsea Cables – Preventing and minimising claims against fishing vessels
- ‘SAFE by Design’ – Safety posters for fishing vessels
- Severe injury from exposure to ammonia
- Regular inspection of life saving appliances
- Abandoned fishing vessel with subsequent loss of life
- Carbon monoxide poisoning on fishing vessels
Fire poses a threat to all vessel types, regardless of their size or operation, and has the potential to result in severe injuries or the unfortunate loss of life and significant damage to or loss of a vessel. The Club has produced several fire prevention initiatives that may assist Members and their crew.
Seafarers and shore personnel continue to be injured or killed during mooring operations. In the five policy years to 2021, the International Group Clubs were notified of 858 injuries and 31 fatalities during mooring operations. The ISM Code, the safe working practices of Merchant Seafarers (COSWP) and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) Mooring Equipment Guidelines have helped to tackle technical aspects of mooring operations.
- Navigation Books series
- Importance Of Proper Passage Planning
- Pilotage poster – Commit to safe navigation
- Infographic: Effective communication during pilotage operations
- Caution on the unauthorised and incorrect use of ECDIS
- Guidance on the safe navigation of the Hidrovía
- GPS potential performance issues
- Yachts: Weather forecasts, safe passage and safe berths
- Interference with maritime radio reception by onboard equipment
- Bridge lookout
- Investigating the effects of bridge alarms
Shipping is considered the most energy-efficient mode of cargo transport and is well regulated through The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and equivalent local regulations.
Despite this, local and international shipping activities still have a significant impact on the environment and the necessity for best practices is extremely important. Between policy years 2020 to 2021, there were 150 pollution incidents equating to a cost of over US$5m.
The Club has a range of guidance available to assist Members on the journey to minimise their impact on the environment, helping them to contribute to a sustainable shipping industry. There is also useful guidance available from a number of industry organisations, which the Club shares below for ease of reference.
The guidance covers the prevention and control of the following aspects of marine pollution:
Crew health and wellbeing
Recognising the importance of health and wellbeing, the Club has been working with The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) since 2016 on raising awareness of a variety of guidance and initiatives created for seafarers.
In 2021 the Club and ISWAN created a new app, ISWAN for Seafarers. The app is available to download for free from Google Play (for Android devices) and the App Store (for iOS devices).
ISWAN for Seafarers is a native app meaning it does not require an internet connection after the initial download and hence addresses the issue of lack of or poor/expensive internet connectivity. Seafarers can therefore access free, confidential and multilingual support at any time while at sea or ashore.
The app also provides a wealth of useful information and resources specifically for seafarers, including ISWAN’s Good Mental Health Guides and other self-help health materials, access to ISWAN’s Seafarer Centre Directory, and guidance on topics such as contract issues, abandonment, and bullying and harassment.
The information distributed under the SHIP initiative helps seafarers stay safe and healthy when travelling and on board, giving guidance on eating healthily, staying fit and taking care of physical and mental wellbeing.
- Maintaining a healthy diet on board
- Maintaining fitness on board
- Food safety on board
- Maintaining a healthy weight on board
- Protecting your skin on board
- Maintaining dental hygiene
- Maintaining mental wellbeing
- Advice for safe sex
- Malaria prevention
- Advice for safe travel
- Multilingual questions for medical assessments
The Club recognises that fatigue can lead to preventable incidents and it is important that steps are taken to help prevent it from affecting seafarers.
- The Martha Report
- Understanding Fatigue
- Using Wearable Technology to Study and Manage Fatigue, in partnership with Safr
- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Managing Crew Fatigue Guidance, June 2022
- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Fatigue Guidelines, March 2020
- 1/Circ.1598 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines on Fatigue
For seafarers, living and working on board vessels presents a unique challenge. While the life can be an interesting and varied one, harsh weather conditions, increased isolation, lack of access to facilities and the pressures of the job can all take their toll both physically and mentally. As a Club, we recognise the importance of ensuring seafarers are healthy and happy in their work.
The Mission to Seafarers continues to undertake the Seafarers Happiness Index, a survey which acts as a guide to the wellbeing of those on board ships and allows us, as an industry, to address the issues faced on board and improve the conditions for people working at sea. The latest Seafarers Happiness Index can be found here.
Across the world many countries and companies have implemented measures to reduce the transmission of health risks such as COVID-19 and Monkeypox.
You can keep up to date with global health information here.
Seafarers needing additional support can find helpful advice and details of people they may contact in the following places:
Other helpful resources