London P&I Club Advocates Old-School Approach to Identifying Problems
The London P&I Club says its Ship Inspection Programme has revealed a frequent failure to observe basic onboard procedures, with potentially costly consequences for owners and operators.
In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club says, “With increased commercial pressure on the master of a ship, some simple and potentially ‘old-school’ habits often fall by the wayside. For instance, we consider that one of the most useful tools for maintaining a quality operation and safe working environment is the weekly captain’s rounds.”
The club cites examples of issues that may slip past the daily team, but be spotted by the master. These include an untidy paint locker with opened and part-used tins of paint lying around, presenting a fire risk, mooring ropes left uncovered on mooring drums, open to degradation in sunlight, and a perished rubber gasket on the engine room escape hatch.
The club says, “Many findings identified during a ship inspection are easily detectable by the ship’s officers and crew. It is relatively rare that findings are latent. The master is the overseeing eye, carrying enhanced responsibility for all shipboard activities, coupled with a motivating role as the ship’s focal point.
“Not all ships’ operational programs allow for regular ‘Sunday Routines’ but, when an opportunity exists, an hour spent touring the ship with the chief officer can enable the master to detect housekeeping issues as they develop. The experienced eye of the master can not only detect these issues at an early stage, but can also help the chief officer populate the weekly job list.”
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