hell of the “Piper Alpha” Oil North Sea oil rig fire and the devastating
“Marchioness” ferry mown down in London’s Thames River, its birthday
party guests washed into the rescuing crafts’ propellers, were wake
up calls that accidents waiting to happen keep happening. In 2002 the
IMO published the International Safety Management Code (ISM) to address
The pro-active coordination required is called a Safety Management System
and a designated person or persons are made responsible for the maintenance
of its documentation, the SMS Manual. The SMS manual includes:
necessary for a safe workplace,
Risk analysed plans for operational,
Contingency plans for emergencies,
should be available at work stations and be audited and updated in a
Safety plans buried in filing cabinets are not a Safety Management System,
nor will they save the company from liability/expense for incidents
that effective monitoring would have prevented. Whatever the type of
vessel or the nature of its trade, a continuing evaluation must occur
that ensures both safe operations and SMS compliance, by:
of all potential hazards.
Assessment of the risk posed by each hazard.
Elimination or development of a control plan.
Re-evaluation of the records in order that the plan may be improved.
plans for minor risk operations may be arrived at informally (intuitively).
However, if such plans fail, or if operations or risks are re-evaluated
as changed, a more formal analysis will be required.