Work / rest hour records are being gundecked. This will surprise very few working mariners.
The fear of failing inspections and creating problems for shipping companies can outweigh the obligation to genuinely comply with international regulations, the report shows. “Employment insecurity accompanied by financial incentives contributes to an environment where adjustment instead of accuracy is the logical outcome. For seafarers, the sole objective of recording hours is to confirm compliance and avoid disruptions to the schedule,” the WMU said.
“In such an environment, requirements for reporting work/rest hours are seen, by seafarers, as merely a paper exercise. Additionally, software intended to support recordkeeping seems ‘gamed’ for compliance. Instead of improving accuracy, they effectively incentivise crew to adjust their records.”
According to the report, “they are trapped in cognitive dissonance, where deviance is normalised.”
One unintended (presumably) consequent here is that it’s much easier to check ships where the crew have union contracts that require payment of overtime because the work/rest records can be compared to OT records and rewards companies without union contracts.