Scale D medical cabinet

Passenger vessels with offshore operations (Class 1B) are required to carry certain medical supplies and equipment on-board, including a Scale F First Aid kit.

The table included in the link specifies the minimum medical supplies and equipment needed to treat minor medical conditions and injuries, or to temporarily stabilise a patient until they can be transferred to medical assistance.

The supplies and quantities may need to be increased based on the level of risks to the voyage, the length of the voyage, access to medical facilities, the cargo and the number of people on board. Owners and operators should determine appropriate additional medical supplies for their vessels based on a first aid risk assessment or medical advice.

If you are unsure of the nature or seriousness of an illness or injury, you should seek radio medical advice where a helicopter evacuation could be initiated. If a child requires treatment, you should seek radio medical advice as the medical supplies and equipment are only designed for adults.

Please note:

  • Someone administering first aid should have at minimum a current first aid qualification.
  • Anyone administering the below supplies should have a Shipmaster Medical Qualification or an Advanced First Aid Certificate including training in administering injections (IMI and SCI), splinting with vacuum and air splints, and manual resuscitation.
  • Medical supplies must not exceed the expiry date specified by the manufacturer or supplier of the product.
  • Antibiotics must always be in original packages or patient courses. Other products such as analgesics and creams are adequate if an opened package contains at least half of the original quantity and the remaining product is uncontaminated and unaffected by any expiry date from the seal being broken.
  • Medication should be provided in original, sealed blister or foil packs.
  • All products must carry instructions and directions for use in English and clearly state the adult dose where applicable.

The Health Departments in each State and Territory provide advice on the process for commercial vessel Masters and Chief Officers to obtain restricted drugs for the purpose of restocking first aid kits and medical cabinets. Please contact the Department of Health in your respective state to confirm their particular requirements.

Medical cabinet

All vessels must have a medical cabinet of suitable size, design and construction for storing medical supplies.

The cabinet must be located in either:

  • A separate compartment adjacent to the hospital accommodation or vessel officers’ accommodation, or
  • A dry and cool space accessible to the Master and a nominated crew member.

The cabinet must be provided with:

  • An outer door, fitted with an efficient lock.
  • An inner cupboard, independently locked, for storing special drugs (noted in the table below with the symbol “*” or “#”).
  • A dispensing counter or table, with an impervious surface, which may be a shelf in the medical cabinet.
  • Enough space to easily identify different medicines and measuring devices.
  • Electric light from inside or immediately outside the cabinet.

The cabinet must be:

  • Clearly identified on the outer door with an appropriate sign or sticker.
  • Cleaned and checked every three months.

Download the Scale D medical cabinet contents as a printable file (PDF 690.82 KB).

Last updated: 

Monday 4 January 2021