Robert Trinidad, Jr. OIC-NW Crispin Echavez
BSMT-I HC SEAM 2
March 12, 2011 Cargo Handling and Stowage 1: Carriage of Non-Dangerous Goods
TOPIC: Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen
Enumerate and define the four sections of the Code of Safe Working Practices.
Give in summary the 33 Chapters under these sections.
This research paper aims to summarize the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen. In order to
avoid accident, knowledge of different aspects in the ship is needed in order to acquire safe navigation with accordance
to the regulations imposed by the international, national and local ordinance.
The term seaworthiness of the ship, as defined as the ability of the ship to standout in adverse weather, could
be attained through information laid by the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen.
Section 1 is largely concerned with safety management and the statutory duties underlying the advice in the
remainder of the Code. All working on board should be aware of these duties and of the principles governing the guidance
on safe practice which they are required to follow.
Section 2 begins with a chapter setting out the areas that should be covered in introducing a new recruit to the
safety procedures on board. It goes on to explain what individuals can do to improve their personal health and safety.
Section 3 is concerned with various working practices common to all ships.
Section 4 covers safety for specialist ship operations.
SECTION 1 SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES/SHIPBOARD MANAGEMENT
Chapter 1 Risk assessment
Employers are required to ensure the health and safety of workers and other persons so far as possible, by the
application of certain principles, including the evaluation of unavoidable risks and the taking of action to reduce them.
A “risk assessment” is intended to be a careful examination of what, in the nature of operations, could cause
harm, so that decisions can be made as to whether enough precautions have been taken or whether more should be
done to prevent harm. The aim is to minimize accidents and ill health on board ship.
Chapter 2 Health surveillance
Employers must provide workers with such health surveillance as is appropriate taking into account the risks to
their health and safety which are identified by the assessment undertaken in accordance with the regulations.
Health surveillance is a means of identifying early signs of ill health caused by occupational hazards so that action
can be taken to protect individuals at an early stage from further harm. For example:
where a worker‟s exposure to a hazardous substance is approaching the agreed limit, the worker
should be removed from exposure before any harm is done;
if symptoms of minor ailments (eg skin rash) are detected, action should
be taken to prevent them becoming major health problems.
Chapter 3 Safety Officials
Every person on board has a responsibility for safety.
• The Company is responsible for ensuring the overall safety of the ship and that safety on board is
properly organized and co-ordinate.
• The master has the day to day responsibility for the safe operation of the ship and the safety of those
• Each employer is responsible for the health and safety of his workers.
• Heads of department are responsible for health and safety in their own department.
• Each officer/manager is responsible for health and safety for those they supervise and others affected.
• Each individual worker is responsible for his own health and safety and that of anyone affected by
what he does or fails to do.
Chapter 4 Personal protective equipment
Risks to the health and safety of workers must be identified and assessed. It will often not be possible to remove
all risks, but attention should be given to control measures which make the working environment and working methods as
safe as reasonably practicable.
Chapter 5 Safety signs
Any safety signs permanently erected on board the ship for the purpose of giving health and safety information or
instruction shall comply with the Regulations and Merchant Shipping Notice. Other national or international standards
providing for equivalent safety will be accepted.
Safety signs, which include hazard warnings, should be used whenever a hazard or obstruction exists and such a
sign is appropriate. Particular attention should be paid on passenger ships to hazards which may be familiar to seafarers
but not to passengers.
Where a language other than English is extensively used on a ship, any text used in conjunction with a sign
should usually be displayed also in that language.
Chapter 6 Means of access and safe movement
Merchant Shipping Regulations place an obligation on both the master of a ship and the employer of the master
to ensure that a safe means of access is provided and maintained, both between the ship and the shore or another ship
alongside which the ship is secured. In carrying out the duties arising from these Regulations full account must be taken
of the principles and the guidance in Chapter 18 of this Code.
Chapter 7 Work equipment
Employers have a duty to provide and maintain plant machinery and equipment which are safe and without risk to
The term “work equipment” applies to any machine, apparatus, tool or installation used at work, ranging from
hand tools to the main engines. The exception to this is the safety equipment and apparatus provided in compliance with
SOLAS requirements, which is subject to other merchant shipping regulations.
SECTION 2 PERSONAL HEALTHS AND SAFETY
Chapter 8 Safety Induction
All new personnel joining a vessel (other than passengers) must undergo a safety induction by a responsible
officer which must, as a minimum, cover the requirements of the relevant parts of the STCW Code attached to the
International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping 1978 as amended in 1995 (STCW 95).
This training should cover:
• personal survival techniques;
• fire prevention and fire fighting;
• elementary first aid; and
• personal safety and social responsibilities.
Chapter 9 Fire precautions
Conspicuous warning notices should be displayed in any part of the ship where smoking is forbidden
(permanently or temporarily) and observance of them should be strictly enforced. Ashtrays or other suitable containers
should be provided and used at places where smoking is authorized.
Electrical and other fittings
All electrical appliances should be firmly secured and served by permanent connections whenever possible.
Dirty waste, rags, sawdust and other rubbish - especially if contaminated with oil - may generate heat
spontaneously which may be sufficient to ignite flammable mixtures or may set the rubbish itself on fire. Such waste and
rubbish should therefore be properly stored until it can be safely disposed of.
All personnel should be made fully aware of the precautions necessary to prevent fire in machinery spaces - in
particular, the maintenance of clean conditions, the prevention of oil leakage and the removal of all combustible materials
from vulnerable positions.
Galleys and pantries present particular fire risks. Care should be taken in particular to avoid overheating or
spilling fat or oil and to ensure that burners or heating plates are shut off when cooking is finished. Extractor flues and
ranges etc should always be kept clean.
Chapter 10 Emergency procedures
The risk of fire breaking out on board a ship cannot be eliminated but its effects will be much reduced if the advice
given in this Chapter is conscientiously followed.
Musters and drills are required to be carried out regularly in accordance with merchant shipping regulations. The
guidance contained in this and the following sections should be read in conjunction with information and guidance on
these regulations issued in the relevant Merchant Shipping Notices.
Efficient fire-fighting demands the full co-operation of personnel in all departments of the ship. A fire drill should
be held simultaneously with the first stage of the abandon ship drill. Fire-fighting parties should assemble at their
designated stations. Engine room personnel should start the fire pumps in machinery spaces and see that full pressure is
put on fire mains. Any emergency pump situated outside machinery spaces should also be started; all members of the
crew should know how to start and operate the emergency pump.
Chapter 11 Security on board
Shipboard security is essential in reducing the risks of terrorism, stowaways, piracy and drug smuggling. The
International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code published by the International Maritime Organization, was
introduced on 1 July 2004 and provides a framework through which ships and port facilities can co-operate to detect and
deter acts which threaten security in the maritime transport sector.
Chapter 12 Living on board
The aim of the Code as a whole is to provide information and guidance aimed at improving the health and safety
of those living and working on board ship.
Chapter 13 Safe movement
Decks which need to be washed down frequently or are liable to become wet and slippery, should be provided
with effective means of draining water away. Apart from any open deck these places include the galley, the ship‟s laundry
and the washing and toilet accommodation.
Where necessary for safety, walkways on decks should be clearly marked, e.g. by painted lines or other means.
Where a normal transit area becomes unsafe to use for any reason, the area should be closed until it can be made safe
Chapter 14 Food preparation and handling
Catering staff should have a basic knowledge of food safety and hygiene as they have a responsibility for
ensuring that high standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness of the galley, pantry and mess rooms are always
SECTION 3 WORK ACTIVITIES
Chapter 15 Safe systems of work
Personnel working at a height may not be able to give their full attention to the job and at the same time guard
themselves against falling. Proper precautions should therefore always be taken to ensure personal safety when work has
to be done aloft or when working outboard. It must be remembered that the movement of a ship in a seaway and extreme
weather conditions even when alongside, will add to the hazards involved in work of this type. A stage or ladder should
also be utilized when work is to be done beyond normal reach.
Chapter 16 Permit to work systems
There are many types of operation on board ship where the routine actions of one person may inadvertently
endanger another or when a series of action steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of those engaged in a specific
operation. In all instances it is necessary, before the work is done, to identify the hazards and then to ensure that they are
eliminated or effectively controlled. Ultimate responsibility rests with the employer to see that this is done.
Chapter 17 Entering enclosed or confined spaces
The atmosphere of any enclosed or confined space is potentially dangerous. The space may be deficient in
oxygen and/or contain flammable or toxic fumes, gases or vapors. Where possible, alternative means of working which
avoid entering the space should be found.
Should there be any unexpected reduction in or loss of the means of ventilation of those spaces that are usually
continuously or adequately ventilated then such spaces should also be dealt with as dangerous spaces.
Chapter 18 Boarding arrangements
The means of access should be checked to ensure that it is safe to use after rigging. There should be further
checks to ensure that adjustments are made when necessary due to tidal movements or change of trim and freeboard.
Guard ropes, chains etc should be kept taut at all times and stanchions should be rigidly secured.
Chapter 19 Manual handling
The term “manual handling” is used to describe any operation which includes any transporting or supporting of a
load, lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving by hand or by bodily force. This guidance is generally
concerned with preventing musculo-skeletal injury.
Chapter 20 Use of work equipment
This section gives general advice which is applicable to all kinds of equipment including both powered and hand
tools. Some types of equipment which pose particular risks are covered by later sections. Lifting equipment, because of
the serious hazards it presents, is dealt with in more detail in Chapter 21.
Chapter 21 Lifting plant
Lifting appliances should be:-
(a) Securely anchored, or
(b) Adequately ballasted or counterbalanced, or
(c) Supported by outriggers, as necessary to ensure their stability when lifting.
If counterbalance weights are moveable, effective precautions should be taken to ensure that the lifting appliance
is not used for lifting in an unstable condition. In particular all weights should be correctly installed and positioned.
Chapter 22 Maintenance
No maintenance work or repair which might affect the supply of water to the fire main or sprinkler system should
be started without the prior permission of the master and chief engineer.
Chapter 23 Hot work
Welding and flame-cutting elsewhere than in the workshop should generally be the subject of a „permit-to-work‟.
Operators should be competent in the process, familiar with the equipment to be used and instructed where
special precautions need to be taken.
Where portable lights are needed to provide adequate illumination, they should be clamped or otherwise secured
in position, not hand-held, with leads kept clear of the working area.
Chapter 24 Painting
Paints may contain toxic or irritant substances, and the solvents may give rise to flammable and potentially
explosive vapors, which may also be toxic. Personnel using such paints should be warned of the particular risks arising
from their use. Paints containing organic pesticides can be particularly dangerous. If the manufacturer‟s instructions are
not given on the container, information should be obtained at the time of supply about any special hazards, and also
whether special methods of application should be followed. Such advice should be readily available at the time of use but
the following precautions should always be taken.
Chapter 25 Anchoring, mooring and towing operations
Before using an anchor a competent seafarer should check that the brakes are securely on and then clear voyage
securing devices. A responsible person should be in charge of the anchoring team, with an adequate communications
system with the vessel‟s bridge. The anchoring party should wear appropriate safety clothing - safety helmets, safety
shoes and goggles as a minimum protection from injury from dirt, rust particles and debris which may be thrown off during
the operation. Wherever possible, they should stand aft of the windlass.
Chapter 26 Hatch covers and access lids
Information about the regulations governing the use of hatches is given in section 7.4.
Before vessel departure, weather deck hatch covers should be secured in the correct closed position. Whilst the
vessel is at sea they should be regularly inspected to ensure that integrity is being maintained.
All hatch covers should be properly maintained. Defective or damaged covers should be replaced/repaired as
soon as possible. All covers and beams should only be used if they are a good fit and overlap their end supports to an
extent which is adequate but not excessive.
Chapter 27 Hazardous substances
Many substances found on ships are capable of damaging the health and safety of those exposed to them. They
include not only substances containing hazard warning labels (e.g. on dangerous goods cargoes and ships‟ stores) but
also, for example, a range of dusts, fumes and fungal spores from goods, plant or activities aboard ship.
Chapter 28 Use of safety signs
Safety signs should be used to indicate hazards or control measures to be taken where the hazard cannot
otherwise be removed.
SECTION 4 SPECIALIST SHIPS
Chapter 29 Dry cargo ships
All cargoes should be stowed and secured in a manner that will avoid exposing the ship and persons on board to
unnecessary risk. The safe stowage and securing of cargo depends upon proper planning, execution and supervision by
properly qualified and experienced personnel.
Chapter 30 Tankers and other ships carrying bulk liquid cargoes
Masters, officers and ratings appointed to work on tankers or similar vessels must meet the minimum training and
qualifications requirements specified in regulation V/1 of the International Conventions on Standards of Training,
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended in 1995.
Chapter 31 Ships serving offshore oil and gas installations
Ships serving offshore oil and gas installations are often expected to operate in adverse weather conditions.
Cargo operations should not be undertaken, except in an emergency, if there is any danger of the crew being injured by
water on deck or shifting cargo. For the avoidance of doubt, an emergency does not mean when an installation is short of
water, food or drilling equipment.
Chapter 32 Ro-Ro Ferries
The movement, stowage and securing of vehicles on vehicle decks and ramps should be supervised by a
responsible ship‟s officer assisted by at least one competent person.
Chapter 33 Port towage industry
Before beginning towing operations, a comprehensive plan of action should be prepared, taking account of all
relevant factors, including sea-state, visibility and the findings of the risk assessment.
The main purpose of this research paper is to establish comprehension about the codes of safe working practice
for merchant marine. Thus, the researcher could conclude that the rules imposed on these codes are essential to
seafarers in order to obtain a safe navigation, safety of life, safety of properties and safety of the marine environments.
Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen: Official Electronic Consolidated Version: April
2006 Including Amendment 6. United Kingdom: TSO (The Stationery Office).