Safety management system
A safety management system is a collection of all the documents that are evidence that safe operating policies, procedures and risk management practices are being used on a registered commercial or fishing ship. A safety management system should consider all risks associated with the operation of the ship.
Changes required to ship records, certificates and manuals for existing registered ships.
Information for new ships
The Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2004 (the Regulation) section 134 requires all registrable commercial and fishing ships (regardless of length) to carry and maintain operating records in accordance with schedule 4 of the Regulation.
Section 133 of the Regulation requires ships to carry onboard and maintain various manuals and plans. This applies to ships over 8m in length that are:
- a registrable commercial ship operating within Queensland waters (except ships making voyages of 15 minutes or less in smooth waters)
- a registrable fishing ship operating beyond partially smooth waters.
Section 111 of the Regulation requires owners and masters of a registrable commercial ship or fishing ship (regardless of length) to comply with the Uniform Shipping Laws Code (USL Code), section 15, parts 1 and 2. Section 15 of the USL Code has been replaced by the National Standard for Commercial Vessels Part E – Operational Practices.
The combination of these three sections means that the owner and master of a registrable commercial or fishing ship must ensure the following documents are being used onboard the ship (or on shore if it impractical to carry them onboard) as part of a safety management system. The safety management system for a commercial or fishing ship must be available to the ship's crew and the crew must be familiar with its contents. A fishing ship less than 10 metres in length is not registered and therefore not required to have these documents.
Documents for ships 8m or less
Documents for ships greater than 8m
Examples to help you complete your safety management system
Maritime Safety Queensland has developed example documents and a diary and log book to assist owners and masters with developing the required documents for their safety management system.
The example documents provide templates for recording operational processes and maintenance of your ship. The diary and log book are a complementary record of the daily operations of the ship and helps to comply with the legislative requirement to maintain operating records. The diary also provides check boxes for passenger or crew numbers and day to day operational checks. You can also record the time procedures were carried out, the location (if relevant), the weather and other factors affecting the operation of the ship.
You can buy the Commercial and Fishing Ships Diary and Log Book from your nearest Maritime Safety Queensland regional office for $24.90.
The safety management system examples are available in either hard copy or CD versions. You can purchase them from your nearest Maritime Safety Queensland regional office or online.
Hard copy versions
- Safety management system in a folder for ships 8m or less—$24.90
- Safety management system in a folder for ships greater than 8m—$24.90
The safety management system hard copy versions are available for ships 8m or less or for ships greater than 8m. The hard copy versions contain all the documents that apply to all ships of that length. Choose the folder that applies for the length of your vessel. The owner/master should remove or cross out the documents that do not apply to their ship. To modify the examples to suit your ship, delete or replace the details in each example.
- A CD and folder. This version is suitable for all ships and costs $24.90.
The CD calculates the documents that are necessary to your vessel. The list of documents is based on your vessel’s particulars that you input by making choices in the drop down fields and your answers in the question screens. It also provides an example of what the document should contain.
You are required to modify the examples so that each 1 reflects the procedures, policies, and records that suit the way you operate your vessel. As the documents are in electronic files, it is easy to change them and then print out a hard copy of the modified document to carry onboard your ship.
Safety management system reference manual
The safety management system reference manual provides further guidance about what should be considered when developing the documents for your safety management system. Each example document has a reference in the top right hand corner that relates to the section of the safety management system reference manual that will provide the background information on completing that document.
Safety management system reference manual
As well as the example documents that have been prepared for you to adapt for your ship, an owner/master must also assess if there are any further risks involved in their operations. You should record in your safety management system how you have reduced these extra risks.
The attachment below provides a brief overview on how to conduct a risk assessment. It is a good idea to capture the extra risks you identify in a risk register so that you can show the types of risks you have considered. A sample risk register is also provided for you to use. There are many risk assessment processes and registers available in industry, so you should use one that suits your business.
What if documents are not kept or properly maintained?
You can expect a fine if you have:
- no onboard documentation
- documents that have not been fully completed
- provided information that is incorrect
- no evidence that the systems and procedures in the manuals have been adhered to (for example – the diary is not completed).
In the case of an accident, you can expect civil litigation to be instigated by your crew and/or passenger(s) if they were injured or considered their life was in danger.
Masters and owners are liable for the operation of the ship. If your safety management system documents are properly maintained and accurate records are kept, they may be used in a court to help show you followed procedures and were not negligent.
For further information about this new requirement please contact your local Maritime Safety Queensland regional office.