A tool for the Crew

Much is written of The Human Element at sea (see links).  ID2 (GB) provides a tool that lightens the load on seafarers in their task of feeding data ashore in ever increasing volumes.  It is also about that same tool providing clarity of purpose and priority of what is expected in order to discharge duties to safely operate the ship to company standards.

Top level crew will see their time is better used, and rational reaction to accidents is promoted by good information on what is being done including real time records of completion of compliance.

Crew will be using familiar and current technology to complete their work.  Investment in this technology demonstrates the value the crew are held in and frees them to learn and rest.

Best Practice

The pressure on seafarers to provide evidence of safe behaviour and completion of tasks in ever greater volumes on a wide range of subjects is past an acceptable level.  Seafarers have absorbed this pressure because there has been no change in technology to relieve it and it appears to be a cost effective way of doing it – we challenge this idea.

The technology on offer is a step toward easing that pressure and at the same time achieving better data and information.

The technology is delivered as a service to carry digital data between PDAs or tablets on board the ship and a web site ashore.  The Apps sit in the tablets – there is no data on the ships’ server – and link ashore.  The Apps are configured to specific purposes and customised to client specifications, for example, the Safety Management System under the ISM Code rules.

Authentication of actions

Observations within SIRE reports continue to highlight the non-availability of key equipment, such as the Emergency Fire Pump, at the time of the inspection although “reports indicated that this was checked and found operational prior to entering the port of inspection less than 12 hours ago”.

Casualty investigation reports highlight the misuse, non-use and abuse of important checklists / reports including the completion of such reports / checklists after the incident in an attempt to mislead the investigation team.

An Owner will be able to have the utmost confidence that all operational requirements, as described within the Safety Management System, are being uniformly implemented.

ID2, through innovative applications of digital documentation, can provide tablet based checklists customised to an Owner’s specific needs to authenticate who does what, where and when.  The benefit of such checklists is thus retained whilst ensuring the avoidance of the “tick box mentality” to complete a checklist.

Various communication methods can be used between the tablet and the shore management team to provide a dynamic “real time” monitoring and involvement.  Such involvement, for example, could be within the work permit process requiring the on-board preparation of the risk assessment aligned to a request to carry out the work which then requires the agreement of the shore management before the work can proceed.  Using the ID2 digital documentation there is an authenticated and complete record maintained which identifies the individuals’ contributions.

The technology is provided as a Software Service; that is to say the customisation of documents and data capture; provision of the platform to connect to the ship; the collection web site for the data to ‘land’ in ashore are all treated in an ongoing service and support relationship.

Challenge to use of PC’s on board

This subject is in sharp focus – largely because there has been no development of tools to lighten the spreading burden on crew.

In an industry where the capital cost of the ship is huge, crew costs are the largest operating cost and the actual and consequential cost of a casualty are crippling, this is an innovation whose effect is disproportional to the cost, to the benefit of all.

The desktop computer is the tool of an office; an App in a pocket device is the tool of an operational team – the crew.  Bizarrely the desktop computer that did make such a difference is now a block to innovation.  The innovation is one that removes all ‘paperwork’ or clerical tasks required in a desktop; is available in situ to show information and collect digital data whilst moving about.  The data are all auto managed on closing the App.  This is a completely different technology which brings together the opportunity to contemporaneously share documents (think Permit to Work) and see information / pictures that assist in carrying out operations and communications.

There are four elements to the cost of this service:

Development and customisation to configure the App; charged at £600 per day
Provision of the App Handling Service – to present and capture data in each tablet; charged as an annual per vessel licence
Support of the software on board. Under the licence fee
Storage and management of the data. Under the licence fee
Data transmission is done through the vessels’ own system – cost to vessel.

More information

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