STCW 2010: Manila amendments - Hours of rest


Published: 11 November 2014

Safe voyages rely on alert, healthy and well rested seafarers crewing the vessel. Both common sense and regulation dictate that seafarers need a minimum of rest every day.

STCW 2010 - Hours of rest

Members will have heard and read a lot about the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, and in particular the requirements for hours of work and rest (as this is something PSC inspectors in contracting states have focused on).

It needs to be remembered that the STCW 2010 are broadly similar to the provisions of the MLC with respect to rest provisions (they differ on possible exceptions) and may apply where the MLC does not (despite the significant ambit of the MLC it is not ubiquitous). The STCW Convention is more widely ratified than the MLC at this time.

In the attached article, Brookes Bell set out the terms of the STCW 2010 regulations on hours of rest.

Loss prevention advice

The Association knows from many past cases that the difference between a safe journey and a major accident often comes down to the "human element". People, more than anything, determine whether an accident happens. As our understanding of the causation of accidents develops, an area where the airline industry has made great strides, it becomes clear that it is not enough to say "someone made a mistake".

That "mistake" will have root causes, which can go back to things like inadequate training before joining a ship, insufficient shore side support or a poor management of crew on board the vessel.

Good rest is extremely important to a human beings ability to function well, especially when faced with a demanding situation like working on a vessel. Long periods of insufficient rest, including poor sleep, will lead to fatigue which will lead to illness and accidents.

The Association has previously advised on these matters.

It is also worth noting that MoUs have recently launched a campaign on this very issue.

The Association would also recommend members consult with the publication "The Human Element".

For further information, members are asked to contact the Association.

The Association is grateful to Messrs. Brookes Bell for their contribution to this update.