Introduction to Issue 34

19 Dec 2013 Bulletin: Issue 34 - Habitability Resource

In this issue of Alert! we are focusing on Habitability. In Issue No. 11 of Alert! we define Habitability as: Comfortable, clean (and cleanable) and convivial accommodation, washing & toilet facilities, mess rooms, group meeting and exercise areas.....

First impressions can have a lasting effect on anyone when joining a ship; our front page story tells of a seafarer who’s first impressions of the ship that he was about to join was of one that was not well looked after both externally and internally. The accommodation and sanitary facilities were simply not acceptable, as was the ventilation, which ultimately led to the untimely death of this seafarer.

In this issue of Alert! we are focusing on Habitability.

The purpose of Regulation 3.1 of Title 3 of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) - Accommodation, Recreational Facilities, Food and Catering - is to ensure that any accommodation for seafarers, working or living on board, or both, is safe and decent (www.ilo.org/global/standards/ maritime-labour-convention).

In Issue No. 11 of Alert! we define Habitability as: Comfortable, clean (and cleanable) and convivial accommodation, washing & toilet facilities, mess rooms, group meeting and exercise areas.

In the Centrespread of Issue No. 18 of Alert!
we offer the Good guide to seafarer health,
safety and wellbeing
, in which we highlight
the importance of providing adequate and comfortable accommodation, galleys, mess rooms and recreational spaces, having due regard for

the variations in the size, shape and gender of the seafarer, and for the various environmental stressors such as noise, heat and vibration. 

But it is also important that working spaces should be comfortable, clean (and cleanable) and convivial, because it is the whole ship environment that affects the way in which crew members work, rest and play. To this end, the ship must be designed with the seafarer in mind and it is incumbent upon the ship operator to provide acceptable standards for the workplace and for habitability.

Standard A3.1.18 of MLC 2006 is of vital importance:

The competent authority shall require frequent inspections to be carried out on board ships, by or under the authority of the master, to ensure that seafarer accommodation is clean, decently habitable and maintained in a good state of repair. The results of each such inspection shall be recorded and be available for review.

The key to ensuring the highest standards are maintained onboard is through regular inspections by the Master, but he must also take early follow- up action to rectify any defects or deficiencies.

Perhaps if this had been done on Rakesh’s ship then he might still be alive today...

Issue No. 11 of Alert! and its associated centrespread and video can be downloaded from: http://www.he-alert.org/index.cfm/bulletin/Integration

Issue No. 18 of Alert! and its associated centrespread and video can be downloaded from: http://www.he-alert.org/index.cfm/bulletin/Health-and- wellbeing