The benefits of port welfare committees

Port welfare committees offer many benefits to seafarers and other members of the community.

The benefits to seafarers

The men and women who live and work at sea are often away from their families and friends for many months, working long hours at demanding jobs, landing at foreign countries for short periods of time. But these rare port visits are an important chance for seafarers to receive care, to communicate with their families, to see a doctor, to seek legal advice or to visit shops. Port welfare committees ensure that essential services are available to seafarers at ports, making the hard work of seafaring a little bit easier.

Port welfare committees can also support serving or retired seafarers and their families who live near the port. They may need the same kind of support as those seafarers who have travelled from abroad. In addition, local seafarers may need help with family issues or unemployment, sickness or disabilities.

The benefits to port authorities

Improved safety – with a PWC in place, seafarers can be encouraged to travel to and from their ships to the port (and beyond) in a safe manner.

Compliance with the ISPS Code – by liaising with ship visitors and explaining the importance of the ISPS Code to seafarers, the PWC can improve levels of compliance.

Forward planning – PWCs help port authorities to plan things like the location of facilities and services, especially in new or developing ports.

Continuity – PWCs ensure that visitors to port receive a reliable, consistent level of care in the same location, which can prevent seafarers from wandering in and around the port.

Better relationships – ports can demonstrate their concern and care for seafarers by supporting the work of the PWC. The PWC can also improve working relationships between seafarers and port workers by combining facilities and services.

Joint problem solving – PWCs make it easier for port authorities to solve problems that arise. PWCs give port authorities an obvious contact when they need to address issues regarding seafarers.

The benefits to welfare agencies

The work of protecting seafarers is shared – welfare agencies can work together with the port welfare committee and port authority

Improved compliance with ISPS – welfare agencies can maintain security while still gaining access to the port and ships.

Improved services for seafarers – by working together in a coordinated manner, the welfare of seafarers can be safeguarded.

Better co-ordination – by coming together within a port welfare committee, organisations can reduce wasted efforts and avoid duplicating services or facilities.

Improved safety – port welfare committees enable better communication between welfare agencies and port authorities, which means important messages regarding port safety reach more seafarers.

The benefits to unions

The work of protecting seafarers is shared – union representatives can work together with the port welfare committee and port authority.

Better co-ordination – by coming together within a port welfare committee, organisations can reduce wasted efforts and avoid duplicating services or facilities.

Focussed responsibilities – union representatives can focus on doing their jobs while welfare agencies and port authorities take care of the rest.

The benefits to ship owners

Safety – seafarers who are cared for and healthy are likely to be safe and effective.

Productivity – seafarers who are happy and secure are more likely to work hard and remain productive.

Retention – seafarers who feel valued and respected by their employers are more likely to stay.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Leave a comment