The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP Maritime) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) so that the two organisations can work closer together to help improve seafarers’ safety and welfare.
ISWAN regularly hears from seafarers about unsafe working practices and in future will offer to assist seafarers to complete the initial report to CHIRP highlighting unsafe working practices. This will be particularly helpful for seafarers whose first language is not English. Ray Barker, Head of Operations at ISWAN, reports that: ‘We have always worked closely with CHIRP but this MoU will ensure that CHIRP and ISWAN are not only supporting seafarers in their own area of work but also looking out for them in other ways. We believe that through our daily contact with seafarers we will be able to increase the number of reports to CHIRP, particularly from seafarers whose first language is not English. Through CHIRP’s investigation and reporting processes we are confident that these reports will lead to safety improvements in the maritime industry’.
CHIRP is regularly told by seafarers about personal and employment problems and will now ask them if they want to be put in contact with ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp team. If so, a SeafarerHelp officer will contact the seafarer to offer assistance with personal and employment problems, as well as emotional support and counselling if necessary. Captain John Rose, Director of CHIRP Maritime, said ‘We are very pleased with this MoU because it brings together two organisations whose sole interests are to improve the lives of seafarers all around the world. Working in partnership with likeminded organisations is a great pleasure and together we can achieve more for the benefit of seafarers than we can on our own.’
By working together in this way, CHIRP and ISWAN will help to ensure that seafarers’ safety and welfare are given a high priority.