The consultation commenced on 26 October 2021 and closed on 17 December 2021, a period of eight weeks.
AMSA published a consultation paper exploring the safety benefits and feasibility of introducing mandatory lifejacket wear requirements on domestic commercial vessels. The paper outlined three proposed approaches to mandating lifejacket wear and sought feedback from industry on these approaches.
The three proposed approaches are set out in the table below:
Vessels captured under the proposal
Proposal 1: Mandate lifejacket wear requirements on all domestic commercial vessels, at all times, when on deck
This proposal will mandate lifejacket wear requirements on all domestic commercial vessels.
Proposal 2: Mandate lifejacket wear requirements on some domestic commercial vessels
This proposal will mandate lifejacket wear requirements on:
domestic commercial vessels less than 7.5 metres in length
solo/single-handed operations (where there is only one member of crew onboard the vessel)
fishing vessels of any length, when on the deck
unpowered barges that do not have rails or means to prevent a person falling overboard
In addition, it will also mandate the requirement to have a documented risk assessment and procedure addressing lifejacket wear in the vessel’s safety management system.
Proposal 3: Continue with lifejacket carriage requirements and do not introduce mandatory wear. However, mandate the requirement for a documented risk assessment and procedure addressing lifejacket wear in their safety management system.
This proposal will not mandate lifejacket wear requirements on domestic commercial vessels. However, it will mandate the requirement for all domestic commercial vessels to have a documented risk assessment and procedure addressing lifejacket wear in their safety management system.
The paper included the following guiding questions for consideration:
- Do you support the introduction of mandatory lifejacket wear requirements?
- Should mandatory lifejacket wear requirements be introduced for all domestic commercial vessels, some, or none?
- Do you currently wear a lifejacket while operating?
- Should mandatory lifejacket wear requirements be introduced for select domestic commercial vessels as specified in proposal 2?
- Do you agree with the identified challenges/barriers to wearing a lifejacket?
- Do you agree that lifejackets save lives?
- What would encourage you to wear a lifejacket?
- Are there any other comments or feedback you wish to provide AMSA with on this matter?
The consultation paper was accompanied by a brochure outlining the safety issues and what AMSA was seeking feedback on.
To further support the consultation, AMSA developed a section on the AMSA website that housed the consultation paper and brochure as well as additional information and answers to frequently asked questions.
The consultation was promoted through a media release posted on the AMSA website and through the regular ‘AMSA Update’ newsletter which is emailed to those who have signed up for the free subscription. The consultation was also promoted through AMSA’s social media channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, linking our audiences back to the consultation webpage. AMSA Liaison Officers and AMSA Connect assisted with raising awareness of the consultation process through their regular stakeholder engagement activities.
The public were invited to provide feedback via email, phone, mail, or an online questionnaire.