02 Sep 2020
Rachel Aylard
Product Manager
Meet Work Rest, the latest Helm CONNECT Personnel feature

Helm CONNECT Personnel 2.0 is coming! In my previous blog post, I introduced Personnel 2.0 and the four major improvements to Helm CONNECT Personnel we’re rolling out over the next year: Work Rest, Schedule, Timesheets, and Sea Time. In this blog post, we’ll start our tour of these improvements by taking a closer look at Work Rest.

What is Work Rest?

The first Personnel improvement we’re releasing is Work Rest, a set of tools to help you manage your crew’s fatigue. With this improvement, you’ll be able to record the work, travel, on watch, and rest periods of your crew to make sure they’re getting adequate rest and to ensure that, during an audit, you can demonstrate compliance with industry regulations.

Why We’re Building Work Rest

Managing crew rest is an important issue in the maritime industry. In fact, the 2018 AGCS Shipping and Safety Review found that 75 percent of liability loss in the marine industry was due to human error, most likely caused by fatigue. Statistics like this, as well as a rise in accidents, prompted the industry to take action and create rest time legislation. This legislation—found in SubM, ILO 180, IMO STCW 2010 Manila Amendments, and MLC 2013—divides crew days into shifts in an effort to manage fatigue and minimize accidents.

After extensive research into the ways companies are currently tracking their crew’s rest time, we found that much of the industry is still doing it on paper, a clumsy method that makes it difficult to find information during an audit and doesn’t provide shore with much visibility into who is nearing or exceeding their hours of rest. To simplify the process and have everything in one place for visibility and compliance reasons, we decided to add the Work Rest tools to Helm CONNECT Personnel.

The Development Process

To build the Work Rest tools—as well as all the other improvements coming in Personnel 2.0—we’re using an agile process that relies on regular validation sessions with our market. As we develop these improvements, we’re sharing our ideas with a group of interested customers and prospects and using their feedback to build Work Rest into a solution that meets the needs of the marine industry.

The Design and Layout

Let’s start our tour of Work Rest by looking at its design and layout. When you first open Work Rest, we make it easy to focus on just the information that’s relevant to your job by prompting you to filter the displayed data. For example, if you were a crew member, you could select your name and the date range for your time onboard a specific asset and avoid cluttering the screen with any information you don’t need to see.

Work rest filter example

Once you’ve filtered your data, entering work and rest hours is simple: add them manually by selecting 30-minute squares on the grid and toggling them to the correct status (Working, Resting, Travel, or On Watch), or use shifts to pre-populate the time automatically. Each type of work or rest is represented by a different color, so it’s easy to review what you’ve entered. If a crew member’s work or rest is non-compliant (based on the rules you configure), the cell will turn red and you can enter a note to explain the discrepancy.

Work rest grid screenshot

During an audit, we ensure you have everything on hand to demonstrate compliance, whether you’re working onboard an asset or on shore. If you’re onboard during an audit, you can hover over any red cells to display details about which rule was broken. You can also view any related notes.

If you’re on shore during an audit, you can search the change log to demonstrate that no one has tampered with any data. With just a few clicks, you can also download or print a report of any results you see on your screen.

All the Details

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the Work Rest features. I’m excited to show you what we’ve built so far!

Work Rest Header

At the top of the Work Rest tab, the header provides tools for editing your data and filtering it based on dates, crew members, assets, or non-compliance items. You’ll also find options for managing your settings as well as downloading and printing reports.

work rest header screenshot

Work Rest Grid

Below the header, a 24-hour grid displays the work-rest time for your crew, broken into 30-minute increments. When you use the Crew filter in the header to add or remove specific crew members from the grid, you’ll see the names of the selected crew members listed to the left of the grid. As some crew members work on multiple assets in a single day, if you’re also using the Crew On and Crew Off features in Helm CONNECT, you can hover over any cell to display a tooltip describing which asset the crew member was on and which position they worked during that time period. If the crew member’s work-rest was non-compliant, (based on the rules you configure), the cell will turn red and the tooltip will show which rule or rules were broken. To the right of the grid, you can add relevant notes per crew member, per day.

An example of what the Work Rest grid looks like

Settings

The Settings window represents a new design for Helm CONNECT; instead of navigating to a separate set up area to configure your options, simply click the Settings button in the header to open the Settings window and have these four options right at your fingertips: Work Rest Rules, Shifts, Change Log, and Rule Groups. To mange access to these Settings options, we provide read and write permissions for the Settings button and for each option.

Work Rest Rules 

The Work Rest Rules options allow you to add work and rest rules that comply with the regulations and internal company policies you follow.

how the rules work

Rule Groups 

The Rule Groups options allow you to create rules and apply them to the different groups of crew that you manage.

Rule groups example

Shifts 

The Shifts options allow you to create patterns for pre-populating the Work Rest grid. As we continue to develop Work Rest, we’ll add the ability to select the shift when you create a schedule. In our current design, you can perform the following actions:

          • Populate the grid manually
          • Use a shift to pre-populate the grid
          • Override a pre-populated shift on the grid by updating the time periods manually

An example of how shifts look

Change Log 

Our design for the Change Log introduces a new concept for Helm CONNECT: the ability to filter your change logs! Use the change log to filter your results based on either the date the item was modified or the date affected by the change. You can also filter by the crew member who made the change or the crew member whose data was changed.

Change log example

How You Can Get Involved

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of Work Rest but remember, the best way to find a solution that works for you is to help create one! Let me know if you’re interested in any of the Personnel 2.0 improvements and want to get involved in the validation process. The companies we’re already working with say it’s exciting to see the results of their feedback in the validation demos after just a few weeks, and we’d love to have you join us!

Stay tuned for more blog posts in the coming weeks introducing the other Personnel 2.0 improvements.

Until next time!