U.K. Chamber President urges step change in shipping safety

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, President of the U.K. Chamber of Shipping

JUNE 16, 2017 — Speaking in Edinburgh, Scotland, yesterday, Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, President of the U.K. Chamber of Shipping, called for a step change in shipping safety.

“Our shipping industry has a fatal accident rate 20 times that of the average British worker and five times that of construction,” he said. “Let me give you an example … in the last 10 years globally, there have been 60 seafarer fatalities and 145 serious injuries from testing of lifeboats alone!

“These are unacceptable statistics and we need to work together to make a significant step change improvement in safety. That is why, at the U.K. Chamber of Shipping, we are working relentlessly to improve the safety performance of the industry. I encourage each and every one of you to be part of the U.K. Chamber’s new safety forum. You can find it on our website. People from across the industry sharing best practice, sharing their experiences, learning from one another. That is how we create a safer culture on board our ships.”

Dr. Henderson also reiterated the industry’s commitment to the environment and to young people seeking a career in shipping.

“Our commitment to a better environment is why the UK Chamber has taken a strong and proactive position working with our friends at the IMO on ballast water, emissions and cleaner oceans. We are making progress, but we need to do more and quicker. The oceans are important…take care of the oceans as if your life depends on it…because it does. Likewise we need to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions because shipping’s contribution is currently at around 3% of the world’s total and, if unchecked, could rise to 17% by 2050. We need our collective leadership to address this…we need action now.

“And our commitment to young people is stronger than ever, which is why we have been campaigning hard for a revitalized support for Maritime Training. Many shipowners want UK seafarers and many young people want a career at sea, but the cost of training has become prohibitive to job creation. By increasing Government support, we can train at least an extra 1,200 new seafarers each year, perhaps more. In return, companies will guarantee cadets their first job… giving them a head-start in developing their careers.”

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