All ships must undergo thorough checks and adhere to strict regulations before they start their voyage. This requirement helps to protect the condition of the boat, the environment and the safety of the crew. These regulations are outlined in The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels Regulations (1987), and failure to comply with them could result in fines or prosecutions being handed down, so let’s have a look at some of the rules that all fleets must comply with.
Regulation 4 – Persons on whom duties are imposed
This guideline states that the person in charge of the boat has a legal duty to impose these regulations upon it to make it safe. This means that, if the boat is in breach of these regulations, it will be your responsibility to deal with the consequences. However, if you have assigned that responsibility to someone else, they will be liable for punishment, if necessary.
Regulation 5 – General duties
The welfare of your workers is covered in this section. Boat Masters are required to devise suitable work schedules for their employees, based on their requirements and health conditions. This regulation also states that thorough risk assessments must be carried out, all machinery kept in suitable working order and working practices continuously updated and revised, where appropriate. This is an exhaustive regulation, so you are strongly advised to read through it in its entirety.
Regulation 11 – Health surveillance
This regulation forces the vessel’s master or captain to assess the capabilities of each employee to ensure they are fit to do the job that is being asked of them. Risk assessments should be carried out to help ensure that workers are not adversely affected by anything they encounter on the job.
Regulation 12 – Capabilities and training
Workers on board any fleet must be made aware of any health and safety risks that relate to their job, and this process must be spearheaded by a qualified Safety Officer. To ensure best results, health and safety practices should be refreshed periodically and reinforced to employees every time their job role changes or new equipment is delivered to the vessel.
Regulation 17 – Election of safety representatives and safety committees
Unless there is already a contingency plan in place, ships must have safety representatives on board to listen to concerns that any workers may have and to ensure that health and safety guidelines are complied with in their entirety. These individuals will be elected using a voting system, and any candidate must have two years of consecutive experience at sea since reaching the age of 18. This stipulation ensures that only experienced personnel undertake this important task.
Keeping on top of your health and safety responsibilities may seem rather daunting, but it is a legal requirement – albeit, not as difficult a duty to fulfil as may seem to be the case. Purchasing from our top-class stock of supplies will really help to upgrade your safety systems and satisfy the relevant authorities.