ABS, partners urge new standard for maritime injury reporting

The following is text of a news release from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS):

(HOUSTON) — ABS, the American Club, and Lamar University are calling on industry to advance the cause of safety at sea with more comprehensive reporting requirements for injury and near-miss reporting.

The call follows an industrywide project analyzing more than 12,000 injury records with a financial cost of $246 million and a further 100,000 near-miss reports from the ABS and Lamar Mariner Safety Research Initiative (MSRI) and nearly a decade of data from the American Club.

The research offers unprecedented insight into the nature of accidents at sea, but inconsistent data along with a lack of consistency and comprehensiveness have led the American Club, ABS, and Lamar to urge industry to adopt a comprehensive new standard for maritime injury reporting.

“Nothing is more important to ABS than the safety of the men and women working at sea. This project offers a deeper insight into how and where seafarers are being injured and also highlights what industry can do to take our understanding of safety to the next level,” said Christopher Wiernicki, ABS chairman, president and CEO.

The research reveals how injuries sustained while lifting or in slips, trips/falls are the most frequent incidents at sea, with more than 1,300 incidents in this study’s dataset. According to the American Club data, these incidents cost in excess of $85 million for the six-year period studied. The average cost per incident exceeds $65,000: lifting incidents averaged $48,000; falls and trips averaged $88,000; slips averaged $56,000. Looking at costs and anatomical locations, the two most costly body locations were the head and neck, averaging just over $100,000 per incident followed by the back and torso at $66,000.

“Shipping is currently navigating through a digital era in which asset owners are increasingly able to use the power of operational data to predict potential failures," said Joseph Hughes, the Shipowners Claims Bureau’s chairman and chief executive officer. "As those capabilities grow, the industry would be well counseled to also get ‘smarter’ about how it compiles and uses its safety data.”

“This industry, academic, and class partnership provided valuable insight into the financial impact of injuries across the maritime industry. This is another tool to help provide better solutions to help prevent the occurrence and reoccurrence of maritime injuries. We all believe that this partnership will help improve the welfare of the maritime industry’s most valuable asset: its seafarers,” said Dr. Brian Craig, Lamar University, dean of engineering and co-director of the Mariner Safety Research Initiative.

To download a summary of the report, click here

By Professional Mariner Staff