International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Publications has released the ‘Global Health Emergency Guide: Helping Shipping Companies Prepare, Act, and Recover.’

According to ICS, this is a comprehensive resource to help shipping firms and personnel prepare for, respond to, and recover from global health catastrophes.

The guidance is based on crucial lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and other global health events that have had a substantial influence on shipping operations.

It provides a step-by-step action plan that can be effortlessly integrated into a company’s safety management system (SMS) and crisis management plan (CMP).

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The guide reportedly features extensive insights from global agencies, shipping companies, crews, medical professionals, and welfare organisations.

These combined perspectives ensure that companies are well-equipped to prepare for, act on, and recover from global health emergencies, thereby maintaining operational continuity and safeguarding the well-being of their crews.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to the maritime industry, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive health emergency preparedness.

“This guide reflects on the industry’s collective response to the pandemic, incorporating best practices and lessons learned to better equip companies and crews for future health crises. Our goal is to provide a roadmap that will help safeguard the health and wellbeing of seafarers and ensure operational continuity in the face of global health threats.”

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ICS noted that each section of the guide (before, during, and after an emergency) is supported by a handy toolkit containing over 30 checklists, posters, templates, and forms.

These tools aim to help companies practically implement protocols into their SMS and CMP, ensuring they are well-prepared to manage and mitigate the impact of global health emergencies.

Earlier this year, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) advocated for direct communication with seafarers to address the recruitment and retention issue in the maritime industry.

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