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 May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Workboats

MPC Honors Crowley for Tank Vessel Safety

Crowley Maritime Corporation’s petroleum services division has once again been honored by Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC) with its annual Elite Vessel Award, which

Indonesia Sinks Boats from China

According to The China People's Daily, Indonesia has just sank a large Chinese vessel and 40 other foreign ships caught fishing in The South China Sea.    The

Laborde Repowers Much of Stone Oil Fleet

In January 2014, Laborde Products sold its first Mitsubishi engine to John W. Stone Oil for the vessel John W. Stone. Since then, Laborde has supplied the Gretna,

Coast Guard

USCG Provides Safety Tips to Paddlesports Enthusiasts

As the boating season unofficially begins, the 9th Coast Guard District is reminding paddlesport enthusiasts to take precautions to ensure safe trips and increase

Libyan War Plane Bombs another Tanker

A fighter jet operated by Libya's military force backed attacked an oil tanker that was about to anchor in the northern city of Sirte, reports local media.   Lt Gen.

5 Tunisian Migrants Die in Shipwreck

At least five Tunisian migrants died on Saturday when their boat sailing to Italy capsized off the Tunisian coast, officials said. "A migrant boat carrying

Government Update

Solarworld Wants Duties on Chinese Solar Goods in U.S. Extended

German solar manufacturer SolarWorld will apply to the United States for an extension of duties on Chinese panel imports that are due to end this year, weekly Euro am Sonntag said.

Alaska, Washington to build Arctic Icebreakers

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, and Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington, have introduced a bill that would authorize the Navy to build up six icebreakers for use by the U.

Launch of First Future Destroyer, Hobart

Speech delivered by the Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews during the launch of Hobart - the first future destroyer: Thank you for being here on this very important day.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.3808 sec (3 req/sec)