RightShip is the world's leading maritime risk management and environmental assessment organisation, with the mission to improve the safety and environmental sustainability of the maritime industry.
Recently, Rightship has partnered with Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) to drive positive change for seafarer welfare around the globe. And in April,it launched the new Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS).
We interviewed with Mr. Sau Weng Tang, Head of APAC, RightShip and Mr.Luke Fisher Project Lead, DBMS to give details of above issues as well as RightShip's inspection priorities and development trends in the future.
Xinde Marine News:We have learnt that RightShip collaborated with Human Rights at Sea, would you please give some introduction about this and does that mean seafarers welfare will be a critical assessment criteria in RightShip ?
Sau Weng:Under this agreement, we will be uniting to raise awareness of the implementation and accountability of human rights provisions throughout the maritime sector with local, national and international stakeholders and regulators, and the wider industry.
This agreement makes RightShip the first commercial maritime industry organisation to officially engage with Human Rights at Sea, bringing the organisation's substantial safety, environmental and seafarer risk management expertise to the forefront of the partnership.
One of RightShip's core aims is to support the safety, security and welfare of seafarers and to aid them in their role in the facilitation of global trade. Seafarers already face significant burdens and mental pressures as a result of their day-to-day role. This isn't helped with the feeling of isolation and physical separation away from their loved ones. It is ship owners and operators' interests to ensure that they are looking to support the welfare and wellbeing of their crew. If they do not, there could be a significant risk to vessel's operational safety, productivity and the environment as well.
With our role in the industry in supporting improved transparency of management practices, we will ensure that the industry will know where abuses are occurring through RightShip tools and services. This will allow the industry to decide and determine the commercial impact of human rights and poor approaches to seafarer welfare.
Xinde Marine News:RightShip launched the new Dry Bulk Management Standard ( DBMS ) in April, would you please give us a brief introduction?
Luke Fisher:The Dry Bulk Management Standard was kickstarted by RightShip and is a result of a collaboration between a significant number of members of the sector who held a common passion and vision for improving safety standards within dry bulk.
The standards published at the beginning of April 2020 on the DBMS website are still in their draft format, and developing standards further and refining them will be an iterative process that is dependent on members of the sector collaborating further and provide their feedback.
It is clear that there is an obvious need for improved safety standards within the dry bulk sector. In the last ten years, there have been more than 2,000 incidents on dry bulk vessels and more than 200 seafarers have lost their lives. Hundreds more have been injured, leaving a great deal with life-changing injuries that often mean they can no longer work at sea. Not only do these incidents result in an incalculable social and economic cost to mariners and their families, but they are also costly to the owners and operators and the wider supply chain.
While the statutory regulations that support safety in the dry bulk safety do an adequate job, there is very little in the dry bulk sector that allows members of the sector to attain excellence beyond base compliance. The voluntary DBMS programme is designed to allow ship managers to measure their Safety Management System (SMS) against agreed industry standards. This will ensure an operator's policies align with industry best practice to both advance their performance and attain high standards of health, safety, security and pollution prevention.
Improving safety standards is an ongoing and constant area of focus for the dry bulk segment. The DBMS takes lessons learned from other sectors that have developed an extremely rigorous approach to safety, for example, tanker operators and their OCIMF standards. By allowing bulk managers to see their benchmarked performance, they will be able to identify areas that need improvement beyond basic compliance, and set themselves on a roadmap towards better standards.
Xinde Marine News:RightShip's inspection priorities and development trends in the future.
Sau Weng:The shipping industry is facing a significant amount of pressure in its vital role as the key supply chain partner of the global economy, while also focusing on improved sustainability, welfare and safety. To help the industry adapt to this new way of working and face up to its challenges, RightShip will continue to listen to stakeholders, customers and industry partners.
When talking about global trends that have been impacting the shipping industry, it is important to remember the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and how this unprecedented global humanitarian emergency is shaping our industry. RightShip's CEO, Martin Crawford-Brunt, has already called on the industry to maintain its rigorous approach to safety as we deal with the short and long term social and economic impact.
The impact of COVID-19 has been stretching the legal and regulatory framework that helps keep ships and crew safe to its limit, as ports, yards and class societies have had to abide by tightening public health measures. At RightShip, we are adapting to the current situation by ensuring that risk assessments are performed that remove dangers to inspectors and crew, and inspectors are issued with the necessary personal protective equipment. Furthermore, in order to help the shipping industry to continue to operate safely, we are looking at case by case extensions of valid inspections based on a risk modelling methodology.
Xinde Marine News:As the head of APAC, please talk about RightShip's development plan, especially the future development in China
Sau Weng:At the heart of the APAC region, China is a key player in the global maritime industry. I am joining RightShip to help steer customer engagement in the region. China has a dynamic and influential community of ship owners, operators, managers, financials, insurance and shipyards.
As Head of APAC, I will be responsible for steering all of RightShip's APAC operations, with a focus on leading regional customer engagement and providing best-in-class solutions for customers across the region. I am honoured to be one of Rightship's key members in the region to help improved shipping standards and fostering meaningful relationships to ensure a safer, more sustainable and more environmentally focused global maritime industry.
On May 11th,RightShip announced the launch of its new Safety Score, heralding a new era for safety and due diligence in the shipping industry. The launch of the new Safety Score comes as RightShip responds to industry feedback that called for more transparent methods of assessing vessels. The new Safety Score provides a metric that is explainable, transparent and only includes factors which are in the control of the operator, to help support improved safety across the entire maritime sector.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Xinde Marine News.
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