Shipping companies protect seafarer health against COVID-19, survey reveals

A new joint survey by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Federation reveals that shipping companies are taking strong measures to protect the health of seafarers and the general public from COVID-19.

Measures being taken include the provision of information, training and equipment along with hard surface disinfection. Other measures include physical segregation of seafarers from visitors to the ship and the segregation of seafarers from the general public.

Information and training

An overwhelming number of companies (95%) have provided, and the vast majority of seafarers (92%) have received, COVID-19 information which includes measures of infection control and precautions. A similarly large proportion of companies have provided training on shipboard plans and procedures, such as training videos, posters and information sheets. Companies have also overwhelmingly (93%) developed specific plans and procedures for companies.

Isolation and disinfection

All respondent shipping companies (100%) have made arrangements for the isolation of seafarers showing COVID-19 symptoms and 99% of companies have made arrangements for the care of seafarers isolating with COVID-19 symptoms. Measures for disinfection and cleaning to control COVID-19 transmission has been arranged by 99% of respondent companies.

Visitors to the ship

About 91% of respondent companies have developed procedures and instructions to ships to restrict or limit the number of visitors coming aboard ships. About 93% of companies have developed special procedures around requiring visitors to ships to wear personal protective equipment and about 91% of respondent companies have arranged for additional personal protective equipment to be provided to visitors as necessary. About 80% of shipping companies require visitors to their ships to be screened for COVID-19 and 77% require visitors to complete a specific COVID-19 questionnaire, health self-declaration (or similar) prior to coming onboard the ship.

Protections for seafarers

About 83% of respondent companies require seafarers to have their body temperature checked and recorded daily while onboard ship and 89% require seafarers to wear a face mask when visitors are onboard ship in port. About 73% of respondent companies have decided to suspend shore leave.

The ICS survey was completed by 83 companies, operating approximately 1775 ships. Seafarers indicated the ship type on which they serve: bulk carrier/general cargo (17%), tanker (15%), container (15%) passenger ship (11%), chemical/LNG/LPG (7%), other (36%). ITF survey was completed by 538 seafarers.
Source: Shipping Australia

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