New Product Launched to Help Ensure Rest Compliance For Crew

9 July 2021 By Holly Overton

Holly is the editor of Dockwalk. She grew up racing sailboats in England before switching to the world of superyachts and moving across the pond to Fort Lauderdale.

Helm Operations has launched new software to combat crew fatigue and ensure rest time compliance.

The CONNECT Work Rest program is a tool aimed at captains, operators, and crew management companies that allows them to plan, forecast, and manage work rest with ease, freeing busy crews from unnecessary paperwork and complex spreadsheets.

The software claims to “deliver rest time compliance and forecasting in just three clicks” and can be aligned with STCW rules or corporate standards.

“Vessel and port operations are highly complex, and crew often pick up additional work or participate in drills that delay or temporarily reduce their rest time,” says Steve Robertson, sales director of Helm Operations. “This makes tracking rest time and forecasting who is allowed to work a difficult task with significant repercussions.” 

Over the past decade, regulators in the maritime industry have imposed stringent work-rest requirements to minimize the number of incidents caused by overtired or overworked crew. Such requirements are stipulated in the IMO’s STCW 2010 Manila Amendments, the MLC, and the ILO 180 along with a number of national regulations.

But despite the measures in place, Robertson believes the tools currently available to the industry are not always up to standard or easy to maintain with companies relying on “error-prone” paper logs and often complex Excel spreadsheets to manage crew schedules. “This can lead to non-compliance, putting both crew safety and the company's reputation at risk, " says Robertson.

Helm CONNECT Work Rest was built as an easy-to-use interface that removes the paperwork process and allows the user to schedule, forecast, and track crew work and rest. “The beauty of modern software that is we can take these surprisingly complex and difficult tasks, and turn them into a simple, visual workflow that ensures compliance in just three clicks. It’s a process that every mariner can do quickly, easily, and safely,”  says product manager Shawn Verhagen. “Even the most software-averse captain."

Being able to track crew work and rest hours is an important issue in the global maritime industry. An estimated 75 percent of liability loss is caused by human error, which is often a result of fatigue. Helm Operations' new interface allows users to configure rest time rules and crew schedules and features a complete change log for auditability, use of 24-hour rolling periods, and easy printing and reporting in USCG and other regulator formats.


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