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Focused inspection campaign—lifejacket risk assessment on DCVs
We will conduct a focused inspection campaign on lifejacket risk assessment requirements on DCVs.
From 1 October 2023 and 30 November 2023, we will conduct a focused inspection campaign (FIC) on lifejacket risk assessment requirements for passenger (class 1), non-passenger (class 2) and fishing vessels (class 3).
The FIC will largely focus on lifejacket risk assessment requirements which were introduced in a revised Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements) on 1 August 2023, but will also touch on related training and drill requirements for emergency procedures.
We have been communicating about these operational safety changes in the lead-up to this implementation date.
If you own or operate a domestic commercial vessel (DCV) you now need to address lifejacket wear risk assessment and written procedure requirements in your safety management system. It doesn't necessarily mean you have to wear a lifejacket all the time, just that you know when and in what circumstances, a lifejacket might be worn on your vessel or during vessel operations to improve safety outcomes. This thought process and rationale needs to be outlined in your risk assessment.
It's now mandatory for owners and operators to include the following in their safety management systems (SMS):
- Induction training for new crew members
- Life-saving equipment training
- Provisions to undertake regular drills for their existing emergency procedures, including how often these drills need to take place (frequency), and how they will determine the competency and capability of crew participating in these drills.
Read more about these and other operational safety changes which came into effect on 1 August 2023.
Focus areas for inspection
Marine inspectors will check compliance with these new operational safety requirements and will require:
- Evidence of a risk assessment to identify when lifejackets must be worn
- Written procedures for the management and wearing of lifejackets
- Ready availability of lifejackets in an emergency
- Instructions on how to locate, don and secure lifejackets are included in the safety induction for passenger vessels
- Conduct of emergency drills at an appropriate frequency.
Inspectors will undertake this FIC in conjunction with regular DCV inspections of passenger, non-passenger and fishing vessels.
Where an inspector finds a deficiency in relation to the checklist below, the inspector will discuss this with the person in charge of the DCV with a view to ensuring the vessel is brought into compliance.
Outcome of the FIC
The results of the FIC will be analysed, and a report prepared. The report will be published on our website. The findings will be used to identify whether further educational activities are required to support industry in adopting these new safety standards.
The checklist below is intended to give vessel owners and operators an idea of the questions the marine inspectors will ask them during this FIC:
- Does the risk assessment identify when lifejackets must be worn?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 para 2(3)(d).
- Other than during an emergency, does the risk assessment identify any other circumstances when a lifejacket must be worn?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 para 2(3)(d).
- Are there written procedures for the management and wearing of lifejackets?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 paras 7(6)(c) and 7(2)(b).
- Are the lifejackets readily available in the case of an emergency?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 sub-para 7(6)(c)(ii).
- For vessels that carry passengers, is the wearing of lifejackets included in the passenger safety induction?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 para 7(6)(b).
- Does the training in emergency procedures include use of the vessel’s life-saving equipment?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 para 6D(2)(b).
- Are the emergency drills conducted with a frequency determined by the risk assessment for the vessel?
Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 para 6D(3)(a).