Risk management company RightShip and The Nautical Institute are partnering with a number of industry bodies to prepare and peer review a best practice guide for the bulk cargo sector.
The proposed International Safety Guide for Bulk Carriers and Terminals (ISGBCT) will provide best practice guidance to ship and terminal personnel on the safe carriage and handling of cargoes on bulk carriers and in terminals, just as the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT) does for liquid cargoes.
There is currently no ISGOTT equivalent in the dry bulk cargo sector, says Paul MacGillivary, Project Lead – Marine Safety at RightShip. “RightShip believes that facilitating, coordinating and contributing to the development of such a guide will have a direct and positive influence on safety.”
Effective management of risk demands processes and controls than can quickly adapt to change, says MacGillivary. Therefore the guidance given will be non-prescriptive.
The guide will not be a RightShip document or a commercially-motivated endeavor, he says, but rather fulfills the company's commitment to give back to industry. It is anticipated that the project will run for 18 to 24 months, with publication in late 2018 or early 2019.
“To those naysayers who argue 'why do we need another guide?,' we point them to recent and ongoing maritime news headlines of ‘unexplainable’ bulk carrier incidents that too often result in loss of cargo, environmental degradation and most tragically, loss of life,” says MacGillivary. “So, whilst the ever-elusive compliance with regulations might be the answer to some, the object of this project and the guide it will produce is about capturing best practice in the industry.
“Maybe the Guide will help save lives in the future; we can only hope. At the very least, if we go aboard a bulk carrier or into a terminal in five years’ time and see a well-worn copy of our Guide on the bookshelf (as we have seen copies of ISGOTT on tankers) we will know that this project was a success.”