The marine industry is extremely complex, typically characterised by high start-up costs combined with dynamic market conditions. Shipowners, having their financial capital tied to the shipping fleet, are relying on swift assistance and fair compensation in case of damage. Preventative work is however just as valuable, and this is common knowledge at The Swedish Club.
The very best insurance is in many respects the pursuit of on-going preventative work. The Swedish Club, one of the major players in marine insurance, is continuously analysing and understanding the various elements of risk. The knowledge is distributed through courses and educational programmes tailored by the club, and statistics are used to evaluate possible risks at sea.
Naturally, The Swedish Club seeks to minimise the number of accidents at sea and preventative work has a central role in this pursuit.
Loss Prevention Officer Joakim Enström is evaluating risks based on global shipping trends and statistics. He explains that, a lot of the work revolves around predicting the most common accidents and foreseeing the risks of global shipping and its development. “We compare statistics and reports collected from all over the world, and so we can pay attention to trends fast”.
When communication fails
Through his previous role as a Chief officer, Joakim Enström has gathered a lot of hands-on experience. “Although there is a great deal of preventative work being done today, accidents still occur”, he says. “Often it is about the right information not reaching the right person at the right time. We see that most accidents, large and small, occur due to lack of communication. This is especially true for navigational claims”.
The Swedish Club has identified which factors contribute to the communication not working and shares its knowledge with the members so that they can work even more preventative. But this requires a greater effort on a global scale.
“Making mistakes at sea can become a very expensive matter, which in the worst case can mean loss of life. The consequences for the person being held accountable can be much more extensive than capital loss. Depending on the extent of the events, it can even lead to pollution and even imprisonment. Therefore, the preventative work is so important”, Joakim Enström explains.
Since shipping is global, there are often many different nationalities involved. It is of the utmost importance that those involved can communicate with each other, regardless of nationality and cultural background.
A solution to a global problem?
Evaluating risks, such as communicational errors, has become more important than ever. One way to reach out is to offer educational programmes that are easy to grasp and widely available. This is something that The Swedish Club has been working on since the early 1990s through the course Maritime Resource Management, MRM.
During the years, the course has been further developed within The Swedish Club Academy under the leadership of Martin Hernqvist, who also designed the very first MRM-course. More or less, the MRM is operated on the same basic principle as it was when it was launched, namely, to prevent accidents by focusing on communication, teamwork and bridging cultural barriers.
The Swedish Club has very successfully built up a network of trainers within MRM. As a result, the course is now is offered in over 35 countries and since long compulsory according to regulations from the International Maritime Organisation.
For more information on The Swedish Club’s Loss Prevention work, please visit the company website.