Health and Safety Measures on Oil Tankers

1. Introduction

1.1 Importance of Health and Safety on Oil Tankers

1.2 Scope of the Dissertation

2. Regulatory Framework for Health and Safety

The main regulatory framework for health and safety in this section may be outlined succinctly as: 1) The International Safety Management (ISM) Code (LLMC) 1976. These two important pieces of international legislation will be examined in detail and their application and function explained. In addition to these international obligations, the health and safety on oil tankers and many of the accident preventative measures implemented by Governments around the world will be based upon the successful operation of a safety management system. One of the most recent and significant innovations in the promotion of health and safety and in relation to the prevention of possible accidents on board ships and in the protection of the marine environment has been the adoption of a code known as the International Safety Management Code. This came into force in 1998 and it provides for a company operating a vessel anywhere in the world to have its own health and safety afloat organisational plan that is approved by the relevant maritime authority of the country where the ship is registered. This relationship that is developed and established between the crew to different nationalities and the co-ordinating role of the health and safety officer and the master of the vessel will also be discussed as well as the nature of the responsibilities for health and safety and the penalties which may be incurred in the event that they are breached. The importance of the role and position of the master of the vessel will be highlighted as the main person responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of all the equipment on board the vessel, unless he delegates this task to a qualified second officer. The master also has an overriding responsibility for the health and safety of all members of the crew under his command. The main purpose of the International Safety Management code is to ensure the protection of the health and safety of seafarers and the avoidance of maritime pollution by preventing accidents with oil tankers and other ships. The requirements and responsibilities of those companies who have elected to operate their own safety management system in accordance with the code will be reviewed, including the need to carry out audits for compliance with the code. Also the Shipping and Port Health Act 2005 and the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 will be introduced and their effect on health and safety at work on oil tankers will be evaluated and critiqued.

2.1 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines

The IMO response to the code emphasizes the importance of what is described as an ‘integrated and comprehensive approach’, with powers given to and responsibility shared between employees, their safety representatives, health and safety professionals, and employers: “including the commitment displayed by the top management of companies”. So, the introduction of the ISM code and its widespread supported from the IMO has enshrined a legally significant shift from a duty solely upon employers and employees with shared duties for health and safety on oil tankers. By keeping abreast of the latest technology and industry best practice, adhering to the ISM code (and in the future, equivalent national regulations), and being mindful of the guidance from the IMO, seafarers and employers can effectively minimize and manage the risks associated with this unique working environment.

With the introduction of the ISM code and subsequent guidance from the IMO, the responsibility for ensuring health and safety on oil tankers has increased across the board, from employers to employees. The ISM code is an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships and for pollution prevention. According to Regulation 3.1.1 of the ISM code, “the company is responsible for ensuring that the safety and health protection of personnel on board ship is at all times at the forefront of their concerns”. This requires companies to assess all risks and establish appropriate safeguards and would no doubt give rise to increased scrutiny in the event of an accident or injury to a seafarer.

In terms of electrical equipment and installation, the IMO offers specific guidance notes. These include that equipment should be appropriately protected against the intake of water and any potentially explosive substances and that circuits and systems onboard should be designed to reduce the risk of any power arcs occurring. The guidance from the IMO advises that water and oil resisting materials should be used in the construction of electrical equipment and, when selecting cable supports and protections, the risk of toxic and corrosive smoke emission in the event of a fire must be considered.

Key IMO guidelines for health and safety on oil tankers include those related to fire safety, electrical equipment and installation, and the International Safety Management (ISM) code. With regards to fire safety, the IMO provides that “fire safety measures should be implemented to minimize the potential for a fire to occur”. This includes an initial and ongoing fire safety assessment and regular inspections and checks taking place. The IMO guidelines recommend that in undertaking these assessments and checks, the latest technology available should be used in things such as fire detection and alarms.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security, and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted, and universally implemented. Although a significant number of IMO’s measures are specifically applicable to chemical tankers, the safety management systems and advice offered by the organization can also be applied to oil tankers, and the guidelines produced by the IMO have a significant impact on health and safety measures for both.

2.2 Flag State Regulations

The flag state of an oil tanker refers to the nation under whose laws the vessel is registered. The flag state is responsible for all inspection, certification, and control procedures that ensure a ship complies with international standards. It does this through its own national shipping legislation and rules, known as flag state requirements, which are set out in its national laws and regulations. This is crucial to worldwide safety. If every state had its own shipping rules, ships would have to be built differently to sail in the waters of each country. This would make it difficult and expensive to operate ships efficiently and safely. Instead, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) requires that all member states’ ships comply with international standards for things like safety, navigation, and the prevention of marine pollution. These international rules are set out in treaties and are called international conventions. All the member states of the IMO are expected to make these rules part of their own national laws, and many countries agree to inspect each other’s ships to check that they do. However, the standard of flag state control and inspection can vary widely between different countries. This has led some countries to develop port state control where ships from foreign countries can be inspected in port to check that they are being properly maintained and managed. This would seem to point in the direction of a one world policing of ships at sea by some form of coastguard. But such a thing has been suggested for about 40 years, and no such system has yet come into force. In conclusion, it is clear that effective flag state control is essential in ensuring the implementation of international regulations and standards. However, efforts to internationalize the law more widely and to increase the standard of control and inspection are still evolving and are not always possessed by many flag states.

2.3 Classification Society Standards

After the signal and safety equipment fully inspection and assurance, and typically for a cargo and can undertake tankers carrying Grade I, II or III oil, the classification society issues the necessary International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certification as required under MARPOL. All new oil tankers will have to comply with the latest ship design regulation (CSR) that has been incorporated into SOLAS and MARPOL. Such incorporation of international regulations into the society’s regulation is made possible through the concept recognized organization. A recognized organization carrying out survey and certification work on behalf of the state authority will have to comply with the relevant code and standard. The most relevant to this subject would be the ISM code, International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code and the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) code. The society can undertake statutory work, such as survey, audit and certification on behalf of ship registering authorities, including flag states. This is to ensure that the ship complies with the relevant regulations during the construction and operation phase as required by the international conventions. For a tanker carrying Grade I, II or III oil, apart from the IOPP certification, the completion of the construction and equipment compliance will lead to the award of the International Oil Pollution Response Plan (IOPP) certificate. Any alteration to the material, construction, equipment, operation and survey of the tanker shall be notified or approved by the classification society immediately. If any operation change is planned, the relevant surveyor from the society will have to attend the ship for a detailed examination in order to make sure the alteration is in line with the relevant regulation and standard and therefore, the society’s certificate to the ship can be amended accordingly. A tanker constructed and surveyed in accordance with CSR, supported by the relevant society’s rules and the applicable codes and standards will be in compliance with MARPOL and successfully obtaining the necessary certification from the society. Flag state, port state control, charterers, shippers and receivers, underwriters, shipping agents and most importantly, the tanker owner will have to have, in words or in substance, regard to the society’s specifications, standards and regulations pursuant to the international conventions. Albeit it is not a legal requirement, however, conformity to the society’s standards is a matter of good practice in the industry to ensure the tanker is in compliance with the latest technology and regulation, and has achieved satisfactory standards in terms of safety, security and pollution prevention. The society, as part of the risk based assessment, would also recommend or research into new technology and cost effective measures that would benefit to the industry and the environment in the long term, such as the Safety Research and Development (SR&D) project. Last but not least, by means of increasing the society’s role in safety and pollution prevention, providing training and research programs for the society’s surveyors and researchers will enhance the knowledge and skills of the professionals to better serve the industry. Flwords406.

3. Key Health and Safety Risks on Oil Tankers

The master of each oil tanker is required to ensure that a “safety management system” is established, maintained, and implemented on board the ship, in accordance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. The ISM Code is an international standard for the safe management and operation of ships, for pollution prevention and for the prevention of injury and ill health. The purpose of fire safety management on board the ship is to prevent and minimize the impact of a fire, should one occur. Fire safety management strategies include the primary prevention of fires through careful risk assessment, the provision of firefighting equipment and the training in its use, and the development of procedures for the orderly evacuation of persons on board and the safe abandonment of the ship.

Every crew member needs to be properly rested and alert while working on board, but achieving this goal at sea can be challenging. Fatigue is a natural physiological drive that cannot be ignored and the need to sleep is a fundamental part of human biology. Fatigue on board oil tankers is an important safety issue, which can lead to serious accidents. Efforts to prevent and manage fatigue on board need to recognize the symptoms and causes. In general, the root causes of fatigue can be divided into three categories: lack of adequate rest/sleep, poor diet and lack of physical fitness, and mental and emotional stress. Workers often overlook the signs of fatigue, and instead rely on caffeine and other stimulants to remain alert.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common work-related illnesses in the European Union. The term “musculoskeletal disorders” refers to a wide range of conditions and symptoms that are often associated with the body’s musculoskeletal system, that is, the muscular and skeletal systems and the interconnecting tissues such as tendons and nerves. On an oil tanker, there are several work-related MSDs that can be associated with poor ergonomic design of workstations, seating and work-rest cycles, manual handling of cargo, and high physical work demands.

Ergonomics is defined as the science of fitting the job to the worker. It is the study of the interface between the man and the job, based on the assumption that the design of the job, the workplace, the equipment, and the tools should fit the worker. The overall aim of ergonomics is to promote a healthy and safe working environment, and optimize the well-being and performance of the individual.

The human body can decompose food into useful chemical energy and nutrients, regulate the uptake or disposal of excess chemical elements, and synthesize complex chemicals such as proteins and hormones from simpler building blocks. However, excessive exposure to harmful chemicals on board tankers can overwhelm these protective mechanisms and cause illness.

Many tankers carry one or more types of chemicals which may pose varying degrees of health risks. Some can even cause adverse health effects as a result of a single exposure. The most common routes of exposure to chemicals on board ship are by inhalation of vapors or gases, and by skin contact with the liquid form. The risk of health effect from any given chemical depends on the toxicity of the substance, the duration and route of exposure, and the amount of chemical that actually gets into the body.

On an oil tanker, there are many ways that a fire or explosion can occur. The most common causes are hot work, shipboard cargo operations, and the movement of static, liquid charges such as crude oil and chemicals. Hot work such as welding, grinding, or gas cutting can generate a flame or sufficient heat to ignite surrounding materials or the fuel in the adjacent tanks. It is important that a “hot work permit” be issued by the chief officer and the procedures be followed carefully.

3.1 Fire and Explosion Hazards

According to a report by United Kingdom Marine Accident Investigation Branch (UKMAIB), fire and explosion hazards account for 25% of total losses in the last 10 years. Fire and explosion hazards are considered as the most significant safety risk on oil tankers. It is mainly because there are numerous “ignition sources” and “fuel sources” on board and the fire can spread rapidly to combustible structural materials of the ship and cause “total destruction” within a few minutes. For example, the ignition source could be electrical equipment, high temperature of engine exhaust, welding and even static electricity generated during operations. For the fuel sources, there are three common types of fuel present on board which are diesel oil or gas oil, heavy fuel oil and lubricating oil. It is important to eliminate or control the hazards of fire and explosion in order to prevent total accidents. “Avoiding ignition sources” and “ensuring good housekeeping” are considered as key preventive measures. For example, all portable electrical equipment should be suitably rated and current with “Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)” has to be conducted. Also, special attention has to be paid to high risk areas like cargo pump room, cargo control station and engine room and electrical equipment should be properly maintained and qualified. In addition to that, “good housekeeping” is essential to ensure potential fuel sources are removed. For example, oil leaks and spillages have to be cleaned almost immediately and flammable materials have to be properly stored in designated areas. Also, the measures to “control” the hazards. For example, general ventilation should be provided so that any leaked flammable gases can be diluted to below their respective “Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)”, broken-up spaces have to be ventilated continuously and “gas-free” tests have to be carried out before hot work is permitted. Fire and explosion hazard is also covered under the Solas Chapter II-2 and the International Code for Fire Safety Systems. For example, fire safety measures such as fire suppression system, fire alarm, fire pumps and fireman’s outfit have to be provided and undergo “periodical survey” by the class surveyor to demonstrate satisfactory operation of the equipment. Improvements in technology have led to the development of “inert gas systems” as a means of preventing explosions. However, the master or the chief engineer has to “satisfy himself” that the system is in good order before the ship leaves the harbour. Overall, the importance of adopting a comprehensive risk assessment is crucial in identifying appropriate control measures. The UKMAIB report pointed out that “the consequences of fire should not be underestimated” and all the prevention measures including the maintaining of equipment, the effective implementation of safe working practices and the provision for adequate fire fighting equipment have to be taken to eliminate or reduce the risk.

3.2 Chemical Exposure and Toxicity

Chemical exposure and toxicity can happen on oil tankers due to the hazardous nature of the chemicals being handled. Crude oil and petroleum products contain a range of different chemicals, such as benzene and hydrogen sulphide. In addition, chemicals used in cleaning, maintenance, and other operations can pose a risk to health. The impact of chemical exposure can be short-term, such as skin irritation or nausea. However, more seriously, chemicals with the potential to cause long-term health issues through repeated exposure, such as damage to the nervous system or respiratory problems. Furthermore, chemical exposure can also lead to injury in the case of a fire or explosion on board. As such, it is important to ensure that all chemicals are properly stored and handled. This will involve using labels, safety data sheets, and risk assessments in order to control and minimize the risks. In addition to complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, which are mentioned earlier, where exposure can be by inhalation, the use of local exhaust ventilation is required. This is designed to remove the contaminated air and replace it with clean air, in order to prevent exposure. Lastly, it is important to provide crew with adequate training and equipment in relation to chemical exposure and toxicity. The provision of personal protective equipment, such as respirators and gloves, is crucial to prevent exposure. Moreover, providing crew with the knowledge and ability to recognize the risks associated with chemical exposure will help to ensure that safer working practices can be adopted. As a minimum, this kind of training should cover the properties of the chemicals being used, the potential health hazards, and the control measures that can be used to ensure safe usage. Training should also cover the requirements of the ship’s safety management system, such as in relation to risk assessments, permits-to-work, and the reporting of incidents or near misses. The ship’s safety management system is a document that provides a framework for the safe operation of the ship. It is important to be aware of and understand how the various aspects of the system apply to the different hazards and risks encountered. For example, when working with chemicals on board, one should always consult and follow the relevant sections of the safety management system, which may give guidance on the measures to be taken. All of this information should be easily accessible and relayed to crew and others on board, so as to ensure that the measures can be implemented effectively.

3.3 Ergonomic Challenges and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job. By designing a job to allow for good posture, less exertion, fewer motions, and better heights and reaches, the workstation becomes more efficient and less tiring on the worker. That is what we try to achieve in an oil tanker. However, due to the nature of the work onboard, ergonomics is often overlooked, resulting in a number of musculoskeletal disorders found in ship crews. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are increasingly being recognized as a significant problem both for health and safety law and also from an occupational health perspective. MSDs can affect a variety of body tissues including muscles, tendons, joints, and the peripheral nerves. Most of the reported cases are related to inadequate rest time, errors in manual handling, unsuitable equipment, and sustained awkward postures. When the workers in a ship are experiencing violent and continuous movements with ship motions while at work, day in and day out, the risk of MSDs may be multiplied. There are many scientific researches focusing on ship crews regarding ergonomics and the risks of getting MSDs, however, more are concentrating on those shore-based industries. A study was conducted by Turner & Woldstad found that 80% of participants have suffered from upper or lower back pain and 20% having been absent from work in the past 12 months due to such pain. There is also evidence showing that problems onboard are much different compared to the working conditions onshore. So, what’s law got to do with ergonomics on a ship? It is known that working at sea is a risky business and thus different countries are having different rules and regulations imposed on their own ships to prevent injured workers. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is the organization to ensure that all ships in the United Kingdom comply with the relevant conventions and regulations, including health and safety law. One of the rules is that the ship must be surveyed and inspected under the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Health and Safety) Regulations. This is to ensure that a Certificate of Maritime Labour Compliance can be issued and thus guaranteeing the ergonomics and health and safety on a ship. Well, one might think that ergonomics is just about finding the most suitable and comfortable chair to work with. However, there is more than just that. An ergonomist will usually consider a range of aspects from the mechanics of the human body to the psychosocial nature of work, such as the contents of the work and organizational cultures. Ergonomics is about designing for people to make the work environment comfortable and efficient. Although in an oil tanker we might not be able to modify the work environment due to the limitation of space or the nature of the work, however, ergonomics is something that should not be ignored. As a matter of fact, with a well-designed working area, it will not only reduce the costs for employers in terms of sick leave, staff turnover, training, and recruitment but also enhance production and quality of work.

3.4 Fatigue Management

The shipping industry is by nature a 24/7 business which poses a challenge to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. There is an abundance of research and guidance attached to the various causes of fatigue, the impacts and what potential countermeasures can be employed to mitigate or eliminate it. These can be split into short term fixes and long term strategic solutions all of which can be effective. Short term solutions usually involve taking steps to reduce the degree of fatigue where it is identified. For example, managing the working hours and rest periods to ensure that individuals have adequate time to rest and recover from their workload. Another method may be to implement a fatigue risk management system (FRMS) which uses various data inputs to identify periods of increased risk and takes compensatory measures to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring. Long term solutions are more focused on eliminating or significantly reducing the possibility of fatigue being caused in the first place. This can often mean that a higher level of investment is required in the company’s infrastructure. For example, purchasing different equipment that is designed to reduce the exertion required for a particular task. Ergonomically designed workspaces can be beneficial in removing the potential for injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). In addition to this, providing sufficient resources to enable proper training and maintenance of the equipment on board will also be key. Crewing levels is an ongoing issue and the potential for safety critical roles to be manned by one individual rather than two must be highlighted as a risk factor on board larger tankers. Various academic studies have been conducted to investigate whether “smart watches” can provide an effective tool as a fatigue countermeasure. By using the output data from the accelerometers in the “smart watch”, it is possible to determine the level of physical activity of an individual. Coupling this with existing knowledge on how to interpret heart rate data gives a clear indication on the likelihood of fatigue. However, it must be noted that interpretation of the data and any subsequent actions taken still require the involvement of other crew members to ensure that the overall safety of the vessel is not compromised.

4. Best Practices and Strategies for Ensuring Health and Safety

In short, to make sure that the best practices for ensuring health and safety mentioned above are put into place, it requires a good teamwork and a continuing learning environment both from the management and the crew members and also a commitment effort to ensure safety onboard the oil tanker.

– Also, independent safety audits are required to be conducted every year to assure that the objective of continuously reviewing, updating and improving the safety management is met. An audit will identify any deficiencies in the correct implementation of, or the maintenance of, the safety management system on board. Any findings of the audit should be reviewed by the shore management and should be responded and followed up in an course hero appropriate time to ensure the audit recommendations implemented. This will help to provide a measure of safety. Only temporary certificate for operation should be issued because of the need to rectify any deficiencies throughout the ship as identified in the safety audit. And once the safety and any operational or ship deficiencies have been addressed and corrected, the full term safety management certificate will be issued. This is a good regulating because without a valid safety management certificate, most of the port states control will detain the ship for rectification and also most importantly, the ship will not be provided with a declaration of the company of the international safety management certificate. And it will affect the operation of the ship and also the reputation of the company.

– Senior officers including the master and the chief engineer of the ship should take steps to ensure a culture of safety on board is developed and maintained. They should make sure that the crew comply with established safety protocols and principles of safe working practice as required by the International Safety Management Code. And every crew member including themselves should report any non-compliance of the safety management system to the management level shoreside. This requires the establishment of a properly functioning reporting system on board and also no prejudice or disciplinary actions should be taken against the reporting of any hazards, accidents or near misses. This will help to create a no blame culture and an effective safety and a health working environment.

– Safety and environmental policies should always be communicated to all crew members both by the officers and also from the company’s management level. When officers demonstrate safety as a value by addressing substandard practices and following safety and environmental protocols, it helps to create a safety culture on board.

– Periodic refresher safety training programs are required to be provided to all crew members including the masters and the officers. This will help the crew members to keep updated with any changes in the safety management system and also to keep the principles of safe working practices fresh in their minds.

– Every crew member should be provided with a thorough familiarization and an initial safety training program at the start of his service on board. This will help to orient the new crew member with the ship’s safety management system.

In order to ensure health and safety on board oil tankers, there are many best practices and strategies that have been adopted in the industry. Following are some of the best practices and strategies that have been found to be effective in ensuring health and safety on oil tankers:

4.1 Training and Education Programs

To demonstrate that the seafarers are appropriately prepared and to guarantee that they can fulfill their commitments on board, a cautious blend of significant learning, capacity, and nonstop planning, and above all, ordinary planning is essential. The overall objectives of guidance and getting ready should ensure that seafarers have the fundamental data and capacities to execute safely and effectively their named commitments on board tankers. It is also a need that all seafarers allowed to perform security-sensitive commitments receive fitting guidance and getting ready in like way. Under the International Safety Management (ISM) code, it is anticipated that security on board the vessel gets from the top and is advanced on each level. Everyone from the Master to the most especially up-to-date enlist should acknowledge they have a work to play and accept a liability for finishing the Company Security System. It ought to be seen that the significance set upon getting ready in the Shipping Industry isn’t limited to giving the proper data and capacities to finish safe and capable working practices. The Maritime Labor Convention 2006 (MLC) and United Kingdom (UK) Course living modules – each of the 4 – mandate that all seafarers undertaking security-sensitive obligations associated with the course, appropriate to their limit on account of crisis, has completed such as the program gotten ready for expected crises in agreement with rule V1/3, section an area. This should be upheld by practices that saw and continually replaced by an immediate and positive security culture on the job and on load up ships. Such work, combined with prosperity the board structures, will diminish the number of setbacks and make the working environment safer. Flexibility is the route in to a successful and profitable piece at any level, anyway as a rule, the mystery is had through data – through suitable planning and tutoring. It has been shown that the better taught and progressively adjusted people are healthier, live longer, and are less disposed to misuse – both to themselves and to other people. On load up ship and as seafarers continually work inside a shut structure, there is a higher peril when conditions are not instructed or not grasped. It will when all is said in done be found that disasters and incidents routinely happen in sunshine requirements. Yet extraordinary human blunder is the primary source – incidents of this sort can be restricted through incredible learning and an upstanding readiness culture. Through preparing and guidance, experience and data can be instructed, getting ready helps with caring for obligation and direct and is straightforwardly connected with diminishing the threats, for instance, the risk of fire and compound introduction, close by improving seafarers’ prosperity and wellbeing. In addition, the MCA and ISM code gets various contemporary theories that underline the noteworthiness of giving seafarers opportunities to preparing and learning. These strategies have described toilets as concentrating on the individual potential in applying data in new settings or in settling on decisions and choices and thinking about individual tendencies or curved. Besides, the ISM code oversee states “… guarantee seafarers have the critical fitness and data to finish safely the endeavors related to pontoons’ exercises. The Company is to ensure that success information, as legitimate, is given in accentuation with work wellbeing practices. Each and every new understand should cradles told regarding the Company Security System and a short time later of their individual duties.” We will cover more information on different kinds of getting ready and the rule purposes and concentrations in which we get ready happens spiraling into an intermittent and balanced learning method. On different events, exercises and exercises learnt in guidance can be saved and invigorated as learning on board make. Also, potential challenges of getting ready on a board the vessel, for instance, interruption and the physical requirements of planning onboard, will be insinuated.

4.2 Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Safety Management Systems, or SMS, are systems which are implemented on tanker ships to ensure the protection of hazardous goods being transported, the safe running of the ship and the protection of the crew, all with the overall aim of preventing pollution and environmental damage. SMS was made compulsory on certain types of ship following the introduction of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code in 1998, and this has now been extended to all types of ship. The Code was introduced by the International Maritime Organization following a number of high profile ship disasters in the late 1980s and early 1990s, where poor management and a reluctance to embrace changes in technology were identified as major contributing factors in the accidents that occurred. The primary objective of the Code is to ensure safety at sea, the prevention of human injury or loss of life, and the avoidance of damage to the environment, in particular to the marine environment, and to property. The Code requires that safety management objectives determined both at the top management level and at the operational level. However, to do this, top management must show strong and effective leadership with a commitment to the promotion of a research essay pro papers positive safety culture. They must actively promote safety and environmental protection, must show their commitment to improve safety management skills of personnel concerned, and critically must maintain safe practices at all times. The Code is implemented by means of systematic internal audits and management reviews of safety and pollution prevention operations. This means that the ship is audited at least once a year by a recognised auditing body, and at least one person at each level of the management structure undergoes training in internal auditing. A number of the key members of the audit team must already hold a certificate in auditing, meaning that as well as the required annual audit, the ongoing safety management and record keeping on the ship is subject to regular audit by the top management level and at the operational level. However, to do this, top management must show strong and effective leadership with a commitment to the promotion of a positive safety culture. They must actively promote safety and environmental protection, must show their commitment to improve safety management skills of personnel concerned, and critically must maintain safe practices at all times. The Code is implemented by means of systematic internal audits and management reviews of safety and pollution prevention operations. This means that the ship is audited at least once a year by a recognised auditing body, and at least one person at each level of the management structure undergoes training in internal auditing. A number of the key members of the audit team must already hold a certificate in auditing, meaning that as well as the required annual audit, the ongoing safety management and record keeping on the ship is subject to regular audit by the shore based management. In fact, a ship’s Document of Compliance and the company’s Safety Management Certificate can be withdrawn by the relevant flag state authorities if serious deficiencies are found.

4.3 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Another key strategy for ensuring health and safety on oil tankers is the provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). According to the Code of Federal Regulations in the United States, PPE refers to “all equipment which is worn or carried to protect against workplace hazards.” PPE includes items such as gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices, hard hats, respirators, and full body suits. Regulatory requirements stipulate that employers must conduct a “hazard assessment” of the workplace to determine what types of PPE are necessary to protect employees. Employers are then required to provide “reasonable” protective equipment to employees and to train employees on how and when to use different forms of PPE. It is important for employers to monitor the wear and tear of PPE and replace damaged equipment. Legislation and regulations typically set out general requirements for PPE, as opposed to prescribing very specific forms of PPE, reflecting the fact that the type of equipment needed will vary depending on the type of work and the specific risks. In the European Union, Directive 89/656/EEC stipulates the basic health and safety requirements for the use of PPE. The Directive requires employers to carry out a risk assessment to determine the specific PPE needs of individual employees and to adhere to certain fundamental principles, such as ensuring that PPE is appropriate for the risks and the working conditions, that designs are ergonomic and that multiple and variable risks are addressed through the use of compatible PPE. PPE must bear the “CE” mark, indicating conformity with relevant legislation, and employees must be appropriately trained in how to use PPE. The importance of providing proper training sweet study bay to employees on how to use different forms of PPE cannot be overstated. Not only are employees legally required to use and take care of PPE correctly, but the health and safety benefits of PPE can only be realized if equipment is properly selected, cared for and used. In a study examining the human factor issues relating to PPE use in the construction industry, Hinze found that workers were more likely to wear PPE and to wear it correctly if they had received training on the purpose, use, limitations, maintenance and disposal of such equipment. The study recommended that the use of PPE should form part of a broader worker training strategy which seeks to increase worker understanding of the reasons behind health and safety regulations and foster a culture of active participation in promoting a safe working environment.

4.4 Emergency Response and Contingency Planning

The IMO’s International Safety Management Code requires that the tanker management company develop and deliver an emergency response and contingency plan for each individual vessel covered by the safety management system. The plan must be tailored to the vessel and its operations, and take into account the unique risks and hazards presented by the cargo and the specific design and arrangement features of the vessel itself. The plan must detail the organization and equipment in place to manage emergencies, as well as the procedures to be followed, and must be regularly tested and reviewed to ensure effectiveness. To achieve this, the emergency response and contingency plan normally contains information on the emergency response organization, including measures to be taken when particular signals are given, such as a fire alarm. The plan will also outline the duties of the designated persons in an emergency. Responsibilities will be allocated for each type of emergency situation that may be encountered, and the duties of crew members in manning emergency stations and making a full muster, and accounting for all personnel at the muster stations, will be specified. In addition, the plan will list the location and specification of the emergency equipment provided on board, and provide guidance to key personnel on the measures to be taken in the event of a specific emergency situation, depending on the hypothetical location of the hazard. For example, the emergency shutdown procedure for cargo operations in a scenario where a leak from a cargo line may have ignited may be set out with a step by step guide for the officer in charge; or similarly the measures taken in the event of a spill of cargo in different areas of the vessel may be detailed in the plan. The plan will also mandate regular emergency drills and training to be carried out. These should involve the crew in full-scale exercises of the procedures set out in the emergency response and contingency plan, and the plan itself must be reviewed by the company and the crew at least annually. Exercises must test all elements of the plan and the crew should become familiar with their duties and the contents of the plan in order to achieve the level of preparedness required to meet the challenges of an emergency at sea.

4.5 Crew Welfare and Mental Health Support

Provision should be made on board for outdoor recreational facilities and amenities for the crew. Administrative arrangements should be defined for the use of these amenities and provide that they are made fairly available for the crew. When determining the size and number of recreational facilities, the number of crew and reasonable requirements of the crew for outdoor recreation having regard to the ship’s service and the periods of the year in which the ship will be engaged should be taken into consideration. Adequate heating and ventilation should be provided in indoor recreational facilities, and they should be properly maintained. Recreational facilities should be open at reasonable times throughout the day. As required, recreational facilities should be open in accordance with proper regulations to ensure that the crew has every opportunity for outdoor recreation. The requirements to provide proper recreational facilities for the crew are that all reasonable and proper provision be made for the crew’s health, and to secure that the crew has reasonable opportunities for taking physical exercise out of doors either on the shore or on the ship and for their recreation while in harbour. The UK Health and Safety Executive comments that such facilities are essential for people’s welfare and can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. The MLC takes up the same point, specifically requiring that the seafarers’ rights to health protection and medical care, medical care on board and ashore and health support and medical care should be protected and promoted. These issues of compliance with the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 are considered further in Part VI. Support for the requirements of the MLC is also laid down in the Code of the MLC, which is referred to as the ‘Guidance’ on the MLC. Protection of recreational areas from noise, as required by the MLC, and the implications of that. On larger vessels (generally over 3000 GT), two clearly separate and distinct facilities are required for indoor recreation, one facility for the use of officers and one for ratings. For the purposes of the MLC, the use of such facilities is required to be freely available at different times. But on such ships, the number of ratings’ recreation rooms provided may be reduced to one, so long as the size is adequate to accommodate half of the ship’s ratings at the same time, given the provisions in the MLC.

Published by
Write essays
View all posts