Canadian marine operations software provider Helm Operations Software rolled out its Helm CONNECT Work Rest software to help companies combat crew fatigue
This crew management tool is designed to help operators ensure proper rest time compliance across their fleets by allowing them to efficiently manage onboard work schedules from a single screen.
The company estimates 75% of liability loss is caused by human error, primarily linked to fatigue. And despite regulations including ILO 180 and IMO’s STCW 2010 Manila Amendments, Helm developer Steve Robertson believes ensuring careful management of crew shifts is difficult given the nature of work on vessels and in ports.
Mr Robertson, who helped lead the development of Helm CONNECT Work Rest alongside product manager Shawn Verhagen said, “Vessel and port operations are highly complex, and crew often pick up additional work or participate in drills that delay or temporarily reduce their rest time.”
“This makes tracking rest time and forecasting who is allowed to work a difficult task with significant repercussions, including increased risk of injuries, casualties, and liability, as well as increased oversight from regulators.”
In addition, he believes the industry’s existing tools are often not up to the task. “During our research, we found that many companies still depend on paper logs or complex Excel sheets to manage work rest. Even in 2021, much of the industry is still using tools from 1984,” all of which risks non-recording or poorly tracked periods putting crew safety at risk.
Helm chief executive Nolan Barclay identified a gap in the market for advanced software as shipping continues its industrywide digitalisation. “What we’re seeing both in the US and in the shipping market globally, is the reliance on paper and legacy software-based approaches is causing the maritime industry to lag behind many other industries, with significant consequences for shipping companies and operators. Our vision for Helm CONNECT has always been to move the maritime software market from simply serving as systems of record to systems that actively optimise and simplify workflows for crews and operations managers.”
Mr Verhagen added that the Work Rest tool is easy to use. “The beauty of modern software that is we can take these surprisingly complex and difficult tasks, and turn them into a simple, visual workflow that ensures compliance in just three clicks. It’s a process that every mariner can do quickly, easily, and safely.”
As such the system incorporates direct feedback from captains, crews, and regulators.
The Work Rest module is one of several new products launched by Helm Operations, as it eyes expansion into larger markets and serves more complex fleet operations.
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