AWO’s Best Practices on Mariner Credentialing

Marine News
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

American Waterways Operators (AWO), a 350-member trade association tells members to foster a cooperative relationship with the Coast Guard and to support the mariners, wherever possible.

The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the 350-member trade association representing the nation’s tugboat, towboat and barge industry recently released recommended best practices to assist both companies and mariners in navigating the U.S. Coast Guard’s mariner credentialing and medical review process. AWO compiled the best practices based on feedback from industry members through its Working Group on Mariner Licensing and Medical Standards, as well as input from the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC).
Among the best practices suggested to companies, AWO recommends gaining familiarity with the Coast Guard credentialing process, designating a representative to interact with employees and the NMC, and offering to review a mariner’s application before it goes to the NMC. Additionally, AWO encourages employers to view the Coast Guard as a partner in the medical credentialing process and to take the time to develop relationships with NMC staff. Companies should also take steps to promote mariner wellness as part of their workplace culture.
By the same token, mariners are encouraged to be proactive about their own health and to view their license as their livelihood. AWO also suggests that mariners with common medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea become familiar with what the Coast Guard requires in the event of these conditions and use their employer as a resource to help navigate the credentialing process.
AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti said in October, “These best practices are drawn from the experience of AWO members who know what works to help companies and mariners work through a sometimes confusing credential application and renewal process.”
The following best practices were compiled by The American Waterways Operators based on the experience of member companies. These best practices can assist companies in working with their mariners and with the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center to make the credential application and renewal process less confusing and ensure that their mariners’ applications are processed as efficiently as possible.

I. SUPPORT YOUR MARINERS

  • Most mariners only deal with the NMC once every five years and find the process confusing and intimidating.
  • Designate a person in your company who can act as a resource for your mariners and a liaison with the NMC.
  • Clearly describe necessary competencies, including physical demands of the job, in position descriptions.
  • Educate mariners on what they need to do when applying for or renewing a credential, then stand by to help.
  • Encourage mariners with known medical conditions to complete the testing and provide the information required by the Coast Guard along with their application. This will reduce the likelihood of a response from the NMC requesting additional information from the mariner.
  • Offer to review a mariner’s application before it goes to the NMC. The most common causes of credential processing delays are incomplete or improperly completed applications.
  • Foster a policy of open communication and trust. Encourage your mariners to sign a third-party release allowing you to work with the NMC on their behalf, especially when they are on board the vessel.


II. FOSTER A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE COAST GUARD

  • Treat the Coast Guard as a partner, not as an adversary.
  • Take the time to understand the Coast Guard’s credential application and appeals process so you can advise your mariners appropriately, and develop an understanding of relevant Coast Guard regulations.
  • Take advantage of opportunities to meet and build relationships with NMC staff. The NMC has representation at many industry events throughout the year, and encourages direct outreach from their customers.
  • Visit the NMC website (www.uscg.mil/nmc) often and sign up for the Mariner Medical  listserv to receive the latest updates from the NMC. To subscribe to this and other available lists, go to http://cgls.uscg.mil/groups.php. To contact the NMC Mariner Information Call Center, dial 1-888-427-5662.


III. PROMOTE MARINER WELLNESS

  • Adopting company policies that foster a culture of health and wellness will help your mariners retain their credentials and navigate the renewal process more efficiently.
  • Develop an education program to promote healthy living beginning with employees in entry level positions.
  • Consider modifying your benefits plan to cover the costs of preventative medical procedures and tests.
  • Provide resources and incentivize cooks to prepare healthy meals.
  • Consider requiring mariner physicals more frequently than once every five years as a matter of company policy. Early awareness of a medical issue that may complicate the renewal of a mariner’s credential can provide critical lead time to address the issue.
  • Establish a relationship with a reputable medical practice (or several such practices in different parts of the country).
  • Get legal advice on how to ensure your company is kept informed about pertinent mariner medical issues, including medical waivers.


(As published in the January 2013 edition of Marine News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Workboats

North Sea Atlantic Joins the Technip fleet

On Saturday July 26, 2014, a ceremony was held in Bergen to officially name the latest new subsea construction vessel to join the Technip fleet, the North Sea Atlantic.

HydroComp to Hold Propeller 'Mini-Workshop'

A special version of HydroComp's intensive Propeller Workshops will be brought to Tampa before the start of IBEX 2014.   The Mini-Workshop is a special version

Crowley Christens New DP2 Tugboat

Crowley Maritime Corp. said that the third of four tugboats in the Ocean-class series, Ocean Sky, has been christened in Houston. The ceremony served to formally

Coast Guard

Grounded Freighter Refloated in Lake St. Clair

The Federal Rideau, a 656-foot freighter that had been hard aground in the downbound shipping channel of Lake St. Clair since early Sunday morning, was refloated

USCG Assists Stranded Charter Vessel

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) crews are assisting a disabled passenger vessel approximately 13 miles east of Nahant, Massachusetts, Monday. Watchstanders at Coast

Update: U.S. to Seize Kurdish Oil from Tanker off Texas

U.S. authorities are set to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes

Government Update

Russia, China May Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants

Russia and the world's top energy user China may jointly develop six floating nuclear power plants (NPPs), Russia's nuclear export body said on Tuesday, a further

Update: U.S. to Seize Kurdish Oil from Tanker off Texas

U.S. authorities are set to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes

S.Korea Ferry Boss's Driver Turns Self In

The driver of a South Korean businessman wanted over the sinking of a ferry that killed 304 people turned himself in on Tuesday, potentially unlocking the mystery

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2443 sec (4 req/sec)