Seafarers’ Work/Rest Hours and Ships’ Manning Workshop

From 16-17 April, with generous support from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and Lloyd's Register Foundation, the World Maritime University (WMU) delivered a workshop addressing the pressing challenges of seafarer work/rest hours and safe manning. More than 20 stakeholders from across the maritime sector, including industry leaders, regulators, and active seafarers, engaged in rigorous discussions on the implementation challenges of seafarers' work/rest hours and the challenges of manning certificates reflecting real onboard workloads.

Critical discussions revolved around stakeholders' shared experiences and varied perspectives, aiming to forge a unified approach to these longstanding issues. The workshop highlighted critical insights and set the stage for future actions, including crafting a comprehensive report, developing a targeted roadmap with identified challenges and solutions, and proposing actionable steps forward.

The workshop supports WMU’s commitment to advancing maritime safety and seafarers' welfare and marks another significant step in addressing the decades-long research into fatigue factors impacting seafarers. The insights gathered will bolster ongoing projects and future initiatives, reinforcing the University’s dedication to improving industry standards and enhancing the lives of seafarers.

The workshop builds on WMU's Culture of Adjustment Report findings released in 2020. This research underlines systemic failures in implementing the regulatory regime for seafarers’ work and rest hours. This issue has been further investigated by WMU researchers including in "Adjustment of Work-Rest Hours Records in the Shipping Industry," comprising 12 primary sources, it demonstrates the widespread adjustment of work-rest hours records. Another study "Seafarers vs. Port State Control: Decoding Work/rest Compliance Data Disparity," reveals a significant disparity in work/rest compliance rates between PSC (90% to 99.3%) and seafarers (11.7% to 16.1%).

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