THE International Chamber of Shipping Publications has announced the launch of the Global Health Emergency Guide: First Edition.

The guide is a comprehensive resource designed to aid shipping companies and crews in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from global health emergencies.

The guide comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw shipping operations and onboard functions, like shore leave and crew changes, impacted for over two years globally.

The guide intends to draw on lessons learned from the Covid era with a step-by-step action plan that intends to be seamlessly implemented within a company’s safety management system, as well as maintaining operational continuity and seafarer wellbeing.

The ICS says the guide features extensive insights from global agencies, shipping companies, crews, medical professionals, and welfare organisations.

Some of the key content areas included in the guide include “Strategies to reduce the risk of an outbreak on board” and “Crew change protocols for both crewing managers and seafarers”.

Secretary general of the ICS, Guy Platten said, “The Covid-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to the maritime industry, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive health emergency preparedness”.

“This guide reflects on the industry’s collective response to the pandemic, incorporating best practices and lessons learned to better equip companies and crews for future health crises.”

The ICS has intended the guide for use for shipping companies, shoreside ship superintendents, ship’s crew, and crisis communications teams shore side. Each section of the guide (before, during, and after an emergency) is supported by a toolkit containing over 30 checklists, posters, templates, and forms, to help companies practically implement protocols.