Closer dialogue regarding the number and extent of industrial injuries may help give individual shipping companies greater knowledge about their claims statistics and history. Ultimately, ongoing dialogue may help reduce the number of injuries and thus improve seafarers’ job satisfaction and welfare.
The Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association wants to strengthen its contact with the individual shipping companies to help create better insight into, for example, the number of industrial injuries and potential trends or coinciding circumstances that can be used to strengthen preventive measures. The dialogue may also include a benchmarking system based on comparable vessel types and new trends on board ships.
Statistics as an eye opener
This dialogue may also give individual shipping companies a better overview of the process currently used by the various authorities and of the injured seafarer’s status in terms of returning to the labour market.
‘We would really like to be in closer daily touch with the individual shipping companies about their claims statistics. Some shipping companies find it difficult to keep track of the processes and status of ongoing cases. Statistics can also be a useful eye opener for assessing whether new initiatives and specific measures are needed,’ says Jacob Munch, CEO of the Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association (UFDS).
A legislative amendment of 1 January this year ensures that an injured employee will, in the first instance, have his or her case clarified more swiftly. Within three months of an injury being reported, Labour Market Insurance (Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring) must make a decision as to whether the injury can be recognised as an industrial injury. Subsequently, it determines whether any compensation is payable.
‘Previously, an injured seafarer had to wait for the questions of compensation for both loss and harm to be clarified. So, a year or more might elapse, and during this period, the shipping company may lose its sense of the case status. Swifter clarification will allow us and the shipping company to act and provide the help and support we can. We know from experience that the faster we act, the greater the chances of getting the injured employee back to a job at sea or ashore,’ says Mr Munch.
Statistics included in calculation of premium
Furthermore, in future, the individual shipping companies’ claims statistics will be an element included in the determination of a differentiated premium.
‘So it makes good sense for the shipping companies to keep even better apprised of developments at all times. We are more than happy to contribute to this dialogue,’ says Mr Jacob Munch.