Safety Workshop Brings Operators up to Speed

Phillip Lenthall

By MarEx 2015-05-07 13:49:43

A new resource kit has been launched to help industry and commercial vessel operators comply with revised operational safety requirements.

The University of Tasmania's Australian Maritime College (AMC) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) have worked together to develop a hands-on training workshop to help commercial vessel operators implement a simple but effective safety management system (SMS) tailored to their operations.

From July 1, 2015 operators of all passenger and hire and drive vessels will be required to have an SMS and comply with the revised standard under the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessels. Operators of non-passenger and fishing vessels will need to comply from July 1, 2016.

AMSA Deputy CEO Gary Prosser said developing an SMS was about identifying and controlling risks, and providing assurance the risk controls are effective.

“No-one knows the risks their operations present better than the vessel’s operator and crew. The workshops provide them with the information they need to create an SMS that works for their vessel and their business,” he said.

AMC Safety and Survival instructors Michael Douglas and Phillip Lenthall have developed a one-day workshop in consultation with AMSA and Marine and Safety Tasmania.

“For some vessels, with company support and infrastructure behind them there are resources to create a safety plan but for smaller operators it can be a more difficult task,” Mr Douglas said.

“The feedback from vessel owners has guided the development of this resource kit to give them and their crews a practical, hands-on workshop with all the information they need to develop an SMS.”

Mr Lenthall added: “Including SMS requirements in our course materials helps to build a safety culture in the domestic commercial vessel industry, giving our students the skills to assess risks and develop systems to reduce risks.

“To date, several workshops have been held in Tasmania and interstate and feedback has been extremely positive. It is not intended at this stage for the training to be mandatory, however it is highly recommended and domestic vessel owners and operators are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop.”

About 50,000 domestic vessels operate in Australia and there are plans to plans to roll out the resource kit through industry peak bodies, associations and marine safety agencies across the country. 


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