THE DUTIES OF A SAFETY OFFICER
1. Endeavour to ensure that the provisions of the Code of Safe Working Practices are complied with.
2. Endeavour to ensure that the employer’s occupational health and safety policies are complied with.
3. investigate (1) every accident required to be notified by the Merchant Shipping Act (2) every dangerous occurrence (3) all potential hazards to occupational health and safety, and make recommendations to the master to prevent the recurrence of an accident or to remove the hazard.
4. Investigate all complaints by crew members concerning occupational health and safety.
5. Carry out occupational health and safety inspections of each accessible part of the ship at least once every three months.
6. Make representations and, where appropriate, recommendations to the master (and through him to the company) about any deficiency in the ship with regard to (1) any legislative requirement relating to occupational health and safety (2) any relevant M notices (3) any provision of the Code of Safe Working Practices
7. Ensure so far as possible that safety instructions, rules, and guidance are complied with.
8. Maintain a record book describing all the circumstances and details of all accidents and dangerous occurrences, and of all other procedures required by his duties, and to make the records available for inspection by appropriate personnel.
9. Stop any work which he reasonably believes may case a serious accident and inform the appropriate personnel.
10. Carry out the requirements of the safety committee.
INSPECTIONS TO BE CARRIED OUT BY A SAFETY OFFICER
1. Are means of access to the are under inspection in a safe condition, well lit, and unobstructed?
2. Are fixtures and fittings over which seamen might trip or which project particularly overhead, thereby causing potential hazards, suitably painted or marked?
3. Are all guard-rails in place, secure, and in good condition?
4. Are lighting levels adequate?
5. Is ventilation adequate?
6. Is machinery adequately guarded where necessary?
7. Are permits to work used when necessary?
8. Is the level of supervision adequate, particularly for inexperienced crew?
The investigation of accidents and dangerous occurrences will be an important part of the safety officer’s duties. The actual reporting of an accident will be carried out by the master but it is the statutory duty of the Safety officer to investigate the incident and to assist the master to complete the accident report form.
Crew < 16 : one safety representative may be elected by the officers and ratings;
Crew > 15 : one safety representative may be elected by the officers and one safety
representative may be elected by the ratings.
ROLE OF THE SAFETY REPRESENTATIVE
The safety representative has powers but no duties
1. Participate in any of the inspection or investigations conducted by the Safety Officer, provided that the latter agrees to such participation.
2. Undertake similar inspections or investigations himself, providing that notification of such activities has been given to the master.
3. On behalf of the crew on matters affecting occupational health and safety (1) consult with the master and the Safety Officer and make recommendations to them, including recommendations to the master, ‘that any work which the safety rep believes may cause an accident should be suspended’ (2) make representation through the master to the employer (3) request through the safety committee an investigation by the Safety Officer of any such matter.
4. Inspect any of the Safety Officer’s records.
· Employer appoints a Safety Committee
· Safety Committees are mandatory on any ship which has elected safety representatives.
· The membership of the committee must include the master as chairman, the Safety Officer, and every safety representative.
THE DUTIES OF SAFETY COMMITTEE
1. Ensure that the provision of the Code of Safe Working Practices are complied with.
2. Improve the standard of safety consciousness among the crew.
3. Make representations and recommendations on behalf of the crew to the employer.
4. Inspect any of the Safety Officer’s records.
5. Ensure the observance of the employer’s occupational health and safety policies.
6. Consider and take any appropriate action in respect of any occupational health and safety matters affecting the crew.
7. Keep a record of all proceedings.
METHODS FOR IMPROVING & MAINTAINING SAFETY AWARENESS
1. Films:- screening of safety movies
2. Posters:- bringing particular dangers to the attention of the crew members
3. Publications:- safety publications, safety on ships, personal survival at sea, etc.
4. Informal talks:- talking to sections of the crew to bring awareness
5. Maintenance of safety equipment:- involving as many people as possible in the maintenance of safety equipment’s.
6. Fire patrols:- particular attention to be paid to patrolling the accommodations between 2300 hours and 0600 hours.
7. Marine safety cards:- these cards highlight particular dangers on board ship.
8. Accident records:- details of accidents should be posted on notice boards as an accident prevention aid.
9. Days without accident board:- post notices stating the number of days since the occurrence of the last accident.
10. Safety quiz:- open to individual with a suitable prize being awarded.
11. ‘Permit to work’ system:- importance of strict compliance with the permit should be emphasised.