Qualifications of Safety Trainers

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There are numerous careers to be had in the maritime industry, whether onboard or by the shore. But aside from those jobs, you can also be a part of the people who are instrumental in instructing and training the future of the industry. But to do this, you have to fulfill the following criteria so you can become a qualified safety trainer.

Certification

As per Item No. 5.1 in STCW Circular No. 2014-04, you need to have a certificate of completion and certificate of proficiency as a result of taking up the necessary courses. This also applies to possible refresher courses once said certification of completion (COC) and certification of proficiency (COP) have expired. If the courses you’re teaching require you to operate machinery for simulations, you must be authorized to operate said machines as well. Having this is tangible proof that you are cleared to be an instructor and have the adequate knowledge to be imparting lessons to aspiring seafarers.

Experience

In the same item, it is also stated that you need to have experience both inside and outside the training program. Specifically, you must have at least 6 months of teaching experience within the last five years of a relevant program to the course you want to teach. You must also have field experience and knowledge related to said course so you can become a certified instructor. Not to mention that trainees are more likely to listen to you if they know that you know what you’re doing.

Characteristics of a good instructor

Last but not the least, a good safety trainer must also have the basic characteristics of a good instructor. You must be patient, have adequate interest in the subject, and be a great communicator. While the criteria above are there to legalize and legitimize your being an instructor, this last part is necessary in order for you to be an effective one.

If you want to become a safety trainer in the future, make sure to remember the items above so you know what to fulfill. That way, you can impart relevant knowledge for future maritime professionals to come.

The Values of STCW Courses

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Maritime centers have various courses that aspiring seafarers can take in order to prepare them for their careers. One classification is called the STCW courses, also known as Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers. Said programs cover several lessons, all involving survival and first aid. Why exactly are these courses important in the grand scheme of things? Let’s look at the values they teach below.

Quick Thinking

Because all of the courses under this category all deal with saving lives, the value of quick thinking is instilled in the trainees. In all of the situations these teachings can be applied in, they are often unexpected, life-or-death, and require immediate action. A one second delay could make all the difference between survival and otherwise, so taking these courses is important in developing one’s disaster response.

Camaraderie and Teamwork

As much as these programs teach an individual how to respond to emergencies, they can be ineffective without the effort of everyone onboard. That’s why these STCW subjects also teach its trainees how one can work together with their colleagues. By doing this, disaster response is quicker and can save more lives.

Value of Life

As expected in training courses that all deal with survival and emergency response, they teach trainees the value of life. No one knows when anything untoward will happen, especially in a high risk occupation such as seafaring. With this, it’s best if aspiring maritime professionals are taught the value of preserving and cherishing life in all these STCW subjects. This gives them more incentive and attachment to their crewmates and colleagues in the future.
The values stated above are the reasons why STCW courses are not just a must for seafarers, but also a requirement before they get their certification. Do keep these in mind the next time you’re gunning for a seafaring position so that you know which lessons, both practical and life-related, to remember in your career.

How To Practice Better Health Protocols At Sea

Even with vaccines underway, it may be a long time before the world is truly rid of COVID-19. It has become a regular part of our everyday life that offshore safety training courses in the Philippines should consider including COVID-19 prevention measures as part of the curriculum. But for now, here are guidelines you can use as reference.

Clean and disinfect regularly

This is a must for every nook and cranny of the ship. From common areas to specialized areas for certain personnel to living quarters, each place on board must be cleaned regularly to prevent germs and viruses from spreading. This extends to your living quarters and personal belongings such as gadgets and wallets, which may come in close contact with your body.

Practice mask-wearing and social distancing

The need for masks and social distancing extends to sea work, where you interact with other people on board or from a different port. Make sure to follow social distancing protocols as much as possible. Avoid meeting with people outside of your circle while docked at a port. This lessens the chances of catching the virus and infecting your crewmates.

Monitor symptoms and self-isolate

If you feel symptoms similar to that of COVID-19, have the initiative to isolate and monitor your symptoms accordingly. Inform everyone in your crew so they can steer clear of you. Get yourself tested and request for a single occupancy cabin with a private bathroom if possible. Letting your crewmates know your condition will help them report to authorities much quicker.

Employing proper health practices even at sea can help in lessening the spread of the virus among seafarers. We must do our best to minimize their risk and exposure—not only to the virus but also to other diseases.

Maritime in 2021

With the pandemic nearing a year since it had begun, it has affected a lot of industries in the world. One of the most affected ones is the maritime industry, with lockdowns forcing professionals to not go out and stay at home, or to stay isolated until they can be repatriated. Because maritime trade is such a big deal in particular to the economy, it has definitely caused waves that may not be beneficial.

That being said, let’s look at the possible future of maritime this year.

Status of maritime trade

Maritime trade may have declined by 4.1% last year because of the pandemic, but the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that they expect it to make a comeback by 4.8% this year. It added, though, that it is dependent on the recovery of world economic output, and that the trajectory of recovery overtime remains to be seen. Despite this, they stressed that the role of maritime trade is important in maintaining normalcy (as best as possible) amid the pandemic.

Environment-related trends

Despite COVID-19 being the main focus, sustainability and environmental-consciousness should still be given importance. This is why there are many trends that focus on maintaining said sustainability efforts. Initiatives such as reducing carbon and sulfur emissions, using shore-to-ship power, and more can be done in order to prevent pollutants from harming both the environment and the people. In an era where public health is a major concern, the industry must do whatever it can to reduce the health risks involved in its operations.

Technology

Efforts to make everything more remote have already been done prior to the start of the pandemic. Back then, this was mainly for convenience’s sake, a way for professionals to process their requirements at the comfort of their home. But in the age where staying at home is encouraged and social distancing a must, we may be seeing more digital solutions that allow seafarers to process requirements, connect with their fellow professionals, and more while keeping safe from the pandemic.
As it’s still the start of the year, it may be hard to predict what will happen in the next 12 months. These are all just projections based on the data and the previous initiatives the industry has spearheaded. However, a for sure thing is that no matter what aspect of the industry there is, from operations to maritime training in the Philippines, expect major adjustments as we move towards a new normal as we know it.

Renewable Energy During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in various sectors of every country. Among them, the energy sector has also experienced dynamic changes, with fossil fuel energy sources in particular suffering huge blows in its demand. Though this particular energy source has been on the decline even before the pandemic, the lockdown measures imposed by the outbreak has exacerbated the decrease of its demand.

With this, we turn to renewable energies. What do these alternative sources such as solar panels, hydroelectric plants, and industrial wind turbines have that make then a great power source amid and even after the pandemic?

Low cost and reliability to operate

Because the sources of these energies (namely sunlight, water, and air) are infinite, they are ultimately less costly to run and more reliable compared to other energies. In a time where people are at home working and electricity is a must all the time, having a trusted and minimal issue resource is crucial.

Increased demand

Due to the cost and reliability, there is an increase in demand for safe, renewable energies. Not to mention, there’s a decrease in demand for fossil fuels and other traditional yet potentially harmful electricity sources. This is good news for maritime trainees looking to make a career in the industrial wind turbine industry in particular, as well as businesses already in the field.

Call for environmental and health consciousness

More people are aware and focused on ensuring the environment is taken care of. As oil and gas plants and other industrial factories can be a source of both illness and pollution, renewable energies are a more viable alternative moving forward.

This doesn’t mean that these renewable energy industries haven’t experienced any losses. The general negative effect on the economy has also affected them. However, in the long-term, they are the ones that will continue to be in demand. While this doesn’t necessarily mean traditional energy sources will cease to exist, pandemic aside, it may be a good time to be part of and invest in these alternative energy sources.