Friday, October 1, 2021

Classification Society Association Chief Lays Out Safety and Sustainability Goals

Seafarer Welfare is Paramount
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – Following his election in April this year this week Nick Brown, chief executive of Lloyd’s Register, was formally introduced as the new Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to a group of specially invited maritime journalists at a press conference in London.

Under a recent IACS governance change Mr Brown will occupy the role for 30 months. In his first speech in the role, Mr Brown told journalists that work is underway on a long-term strategic roadmap to support industry through decarbonisation with IACS welcoming increasing levels of collaboration. He said:

“Everyone is talking about decarbonisation but very few people, if any, are talking about the impact of the transition on safety. This is fundamental to IACS’ role as the primary technical advisor to the International Maritime Organization. Through its work, IACS will continue to take a holistic risk-based approach to assure that the safety performance of the industry is maintained or improved.”

With the potential introduction of many new technologies on ships to address decarbonisation and other advancement opportunities, Mr Brown announced that the human element is being written into IACS’ strategy as ‘IACS rules are based on a fit healthy competent crew being on board’. And a joint industry working group will also be established to help assess the regulatory regime in the fast-moving technology environment.

He stressed that it was in society’s collective interests to prioritise and ensure seafarer wellbeing with the critical role of crew being recognised by this year’s World Maritime Day theme ‘Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping's Future’.

Referencing IACS’ resilience and agility during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brown pointed to its work with industry stakeholders to agree certificate extensions and its support for the use and acceptance of remote surveys to maintain global supply chains, but always with a keen eye on maintaining or improving actual levels of safety in the industry.

He added the association had released 178 publications since January 2020, of which 21 were new as IACS ‘kept on top of the updates needed to ensure IACS instruments were responsive to technical, industrial and regulatory drivers.’

Photo: Nick Brown