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FOR DECEMBER: QUESTIONS Marine Murmurs


Each month The Marine Professional asks you, its readers, to share your views on issues affecting the industry


RESPONSE OF THE MONTH: WINS A COPY OF THE WÄRTSILÄ ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SHIP TECHNOLOGY


Companies should never even know if it’s a hunch or an educated guess. Many of us are paid for what we know as much as what we do, one man’s hunch is another’s reminder of something they have seen earlier or elsewhere.


Shipping companies do not like anything that costs money. My last employer ignored SOLAS. Anyone who raised matters related to safety or compliance suddenly found themselves without shifts for the next month. Concerns about asbestos were brushed aside. My experience of the offshore oil and gas industry is that despite platitudes towards safety and fatigue, the name of the game is cost control.


Mel Atack, retired marine engineer


I would not dream of acting on a hunch; only on facts. Companies should penalise those engineers who base their actions purely on hunches.


James Main, retired marine engineer


Shipping companies generally penalise. In my recent experience the fashion is for shore staff to micro-manage [those on ship], which leads to an atmosphere of mistrust.


Michael Emery, chief engineer


It largely depends on the safety culture within the organisation. I have experience-


Companies instead need to be encour-


aging all their staff to use their brains and making sure they are not hamstrung by too many overly written and complicated procedures and micro-management. Mike Hudson, chief engineer


working as a marine engineer on ships with two companies operating at opposite ends of the scale. On my first ship, the processes and


planning were non-existent and ship staff were encouraged to make decisions predominantly on their own. This worked well in some sticky situations, however there were circumstances when adequate process or shore-side help could have saved a lot of time and money. My second stint was with a company


that operated with strict control, was highly organised, had good ship-to-shore commu- nication, and encouraged staff to follow


Discussion: What kind of marine data should be made transparent to most benefit the industry?


Poll: Should NGOs be given greater status at IMO?


Share your views via our online poll


( http://bit.ly/1GWG364 ), or send feedback directly to the editorial desk at marine@caspianmedia.com. Deadline for submissions is: 4 December 2015


Do shipping companies penalise engineers for acting on their hunches?


SOPs. However, this created an enigma where staff were not utilised to their full cognitive abilities and they started to depend heavily on shore assistance, even for trivial matters. There needs to be a balance between the two extremes.


Muhammad Usman, fuel specialist


Companies do not care as long as the cargo arrives on time and it does not cost them too much on spares or people. They talk a good game of safety first but in reality [the industry] is the bottom of the pile


John Martin, marine engineer


The role of the superintendent must change. Full responsibility should be given to each ship and its officers/crew to operate the ship as a profit-loss business. Until this happens, it will remain as a heads-down organisation. This works in shore-based organisations and even in the offshore industry, so why not marine?


Richard Stuart, project director


Poll results: Should IMO’s global sulphur cap be postponed until 2025?


Total votes: 79 In favour: 30 Against: 49


YES: 38% NO: 62%


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