Loss prevention is a key component of the West of England’s service. Members are trading in an increasingly regulated and safety conscious environment, with pressure from contractual partners, governments and regulators to continually improve their operations.
To help Members meet these demands the Club has a full-service loss prevention function staffed by former seafarers with many decades of accumulated seagoing and shoreside experience who are able to advise Members on all aspects of their operations. This ranges from the publication of safety-related materials, individual advice on cargoes and trading conditions as well as safety management and other audits.
Members are encouraged to contact the Loss Prevention department for advice on matters ranging from information on all types of cargoes – precautions, stowage, hazards and the Club's claims experience for example - port situations, piracy and security, and operational, technical and crew matters. Copies of IMO and maritime administration circulars are available, and advice can be provided regarding existing regulatory requirements and forthcoming changes.
The Club also publishes a wide variety of loss prevention publications and safety posters, all available from our comprehensive website. We also publish News Articles covering the latest maritime industry developments worldwide as well as Loss Prevention Bulletins detailing best practice in relation to specific marine activities and highlighting particular issues incurring claims, with the aim of minimising future incidents and subsequent claims.
In the event of an accident or incident that may result in claims, a favourable outcome often depends on the availability of accurate information and good records. The Club's “P&I Guidelines - Practical Notes for Ships' Personnel” have been produced to remind crewmembers of the information that needs to be collated, recorded and provided to the Club in order to best protect the interests of personnel and the company operating the vessel following a claim.
A valuable feature of the Club’s loss prevention programme is the ability to offer direct on-site assistance to Members worldwide if they wish to develop and improve their safety management systems. Originally introduced for Members requesting practical support to comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code using the Club’s award-winning Safety Appraisal documents, the audit programme has been expanded to give Members opportunities to strengthen their safety management systems and consequently reduce the potential for loss.
The Club’s claims experience has demonstrated the crucial importance of having a well-trained bridge management team in place on board the vessel who are able to effectively communicate and follow procedures, especially when under pilotage and in close quarters situations. We are able to assist Members by undertaking Bridge Team Management Audits to identify and address any deficiencies in bridge team procedures and performance.
Recognising the importance of training as a means of minimising accidents, our Loss Prevention team support Members by providing seminars and training programmes tailored to their own requirements for office-based or seagoing staff. The topics and duration of seminars are very much Member-led, and we are able to provide training on a wide variety of safety and operational matters.
As part of our commitment to ensuring the highest operational quality of ships entered in the Club our Loss Prevention Department arranges surveys on vessels as required. This may be part of pre-entry requirement agreed with the prospective Member, or as a result of a particular claim incident or in accordance the Club’s policy to undertake targeted survey of vessels over a certain age, type or engaged in particular trades. We use a network of experienced, approved surveyors who all work to a comprehensive survey programme devised by the Club and every effort is made to arrange surveys at times and places which do not interfere with the operation of the vessel.
The Loss Prevention Departments in our London and Hong Kong offices is staffed by former deck offices and engineers who have sailed on a wide range of vessel types and who have collectively accumulated substantial experience in advising Members on all aspects of safety, technical and operational issues.