Q1 What do you do to promote loss prevention across the industry?

The American Club is part of the International Group of P&I Clubs which basically ensures about 90% of the world’s tonnage for third party liability. Obviously loss prevention is a high priority for the Club and for the International Group. The International group does not only serve as a pool mechanism where we can provide cover into the billions for third party liability such as oil pollution and cargo liabilities and casualties. One of the even most important functions that the IG has is that it accesses a platform; it is actually a mechanism for sharing resources among the Clubs so that it can also act as an industry voice.

Basically, it provides a route for the ship owners to voice their concerns and also for the Clubs to be able to analyze the information that we have from claims and from casualties and identify the types of risks and the types of issues that we need to bring to the attention of our members and also to the global shipping industry. Then we are able to feed that kind of information to various organizations across the globe in order perhaps to either make opposition known on various regulations that are coming into play that could affect loss prevention or even suggest measures that could be taken for future loss prevention or better mechanisms.

Q2 Are there any projects that you are working on right now regarding loss prevention?

Actually, the American Club beyond being a member of the IG has loss prevention as a top priority. For that reason, we have a special department in New York which extends into the claim departments globally and we also have a number of projects featuring e-learning tools for both seafarers and ashore personnel that provide additional training and education for issues related to safety and regulatory developments. All of those tools are accessible either through CDs or even through the internet. There is also a mechanism for the companies to track the training of the ashore personnel and the crew onboard to see how they are progressing. We update these tools constantly so that we ensure that we have all the latest information and all the latest regulatory aspects.

We also have a very rigorous pre embarkation medical examination system. The American Club, basically, took it on data and tried to figure out what was going on in terms of illness and accidents and put into a global system including approved clinics in deferent parts of the world where the ship–owners can have their crew checked before they get on board, to make sure that they are actually fit for duty and also to avoid any fraudulent documentation be initiated in relation to the health of the seafarers. Beyond the fact that we want to prevent fraud, we want to prevent less illness at sea. We want to make sure that people that are at sea are able to be there and will be able to last for the termination their employment contracts.

Beyond that, we also have constant best practices and guidance such as “Welcome to the US” and ‘Welcome to China” guides, guidance on bulk cargo’s carriage, loading, green cargoes, steel cargoes, sanctions and piracy. Basically, the list is endless. As far as we are concerned, loss prevention is a working progress and we are dedicated constantly to stay on top of what our membership needs and what they need to stay on top of shipping and be safe about it.

Q3 What are your suggestions to industry stakeholders to enhance effectiveness of loss prevention best practices?

The best advice that we can give is what we do ourselves which is providing tools and mechanisms for education and training. Our members have to stay on top of what the latest information regulatory aspects and compliance require, making sure that everybody, from the crew to ashore personnel, are fully up to data of what they need to do to run their ships efficiently. Because the only way to make sure that you are efficient is making sure that you have the latest information.

Q4 What is the main message for Posidonia this year?

I think that we are probably going to one of the longest running recessions, not only in shipping but globally. The main message this year is one word “resilience”. The shipping industry is a sector that is not subject to ads and popularity but a sector that arises out of necessity. It is a necessity for the world’s economy. The stakeholders have always managed to find the way to be innovative and creative. They have always managed to find opportunity whether it’s up or down and to make sure that they can also create opportunity and sustainability. The Greek shipping industry actually is the perfect example of that no matter what. The Greek shipping industry manages to stay on top even in more than the longest running recessions we have seen.


Above text is an edited article of Dorothea Ioannou, Global Business Development Director, The American P&I Club video interview at at Posidonia 2016, June 6-10, Metropolitan Expo, Athens

You may view her video interview by clicking here

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.

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