I know we’ve been over this before, but as it’s the start of a New Year.

Getting on top of all of these things should be a priority for all business owners and operators!


While this is a bit lengthy I strongly urge anyone who owns, operates or manages a business to read this newsletter to the end.


If you have your workplace safety management systems in place that’s great but…

are they up to date?

Have you completed your annual review or just hoping it’s all good?


Don’t have a safety management system in place then you’re at risk of some very heavy penalties if there’s an incident or accident in your workplace!

Here’s three reasons why an OHSMS must be in place in YOUR organisation:


  1. A Brisbane based company was fined $3 million for Industrial Manslaughter. A worker was killed in a forklift crush accident. The company did not have any safety systems or a traffic management plan. 
  2. Dreamworld was fined $3.6 million for 3 x category two offences. The Thunder River Rapids Ride accident killed four members of the public. They did have a safety management system in place but was not followed!
  3. A paper mill was fined $1.01 million for 2 x category two offences. Two workers died and a third was placed in mortal peril after being exposed to hydrogen sulphide in a tank.

The above fines do not include personal settlements, that of course, can be extremely costly!

Categories of offences

There are four categories of offences which I’ve outlined below. I’ve outlined these to demonstrate what penalties can be applied in Queensland. Other states and territories are similar!

Industrial Manslaughter

This is the highest penalty where a person or PCBU causes the death of a worker


Where a PCBU, or senior officer, commits industrial manslaughter, a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment for an individual, or $10 million for a body corporate, applies.

Category 1

This is the next highest penalty


  • For a corporation: up to $3 million
  • Individual as a person conducting a PCBU: up to $600,000 / 5 years jail
  • Individual (worker) Up to $300,000 / 5 years jail


Category 2

Failure to comply with a health and safety duty or electrical safety duty that exposes a person to risk of death, serious injury or illness. Offences will be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.


  • For a corporation: up to $1.5 million
  • Individual as a person conducting a PCBU: up to $300,000
  • Individual (worker) Up to $150,000


Category 3

Failure to comply with a health and safety duty or electrical safety duty. Offences will be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court.


  • For a corporation: up to $500,000
  • Individual as a person conducting a PCBU: up to $100,000
  • Individual (worker) Up to $50,000


The top five problems in safety management today!

  1. Safety culture: The over-riding focus on safety culture leads organisations to focus more on how much individual workers care about safety, rather than organisational resources on understanding and improving the conditions surrounding the work itself to manage tangible risks.


  1. Safety performance measures: An exclusive focus on measuring the workplace injuries that occur (which are often minor when compared with the serious risks workers face) pushes resources towards reacting to minor problems instead of proactively focusing on material risk reduction.


  1. Safety work: Investing in safety work activities, inspections, audits, investigations, training and risk assessments are often nothing more than a “tick and flick” exercise leading to a safety culture leading to safety clutter and disempowerment. At worst it creates the illusion of safety management that in turn makes organisations less safe.


  1. Safety communication: Top down broadcast style communication in organisations – including generic messages and platitudes – supress the flow of information from the front line people in the organisation with decision making authority. The people in the organisation with the knowledge on how to improve safety don’t have the power to do so and the people with the power don’t have the front line knowledge of what is best practice.


  1. Safety professionals: Safety managers and officers in organisations spend time on administrative tasks that make managers in the organisation feel safe without having any actual impact on how safe frontline workers are. Safety professionals are rarely involved in the strategic and operational decisions that have the most impact on creating the conditions for safety or reducing incidents within the organisation.


There is a clear pathway for your organisation to address these five problems with safety management today, and it will require a significant departure from current thinking about safety. Here’s a three point plan as a starting point to review your safety management approach.


  1. Focus on how work is done, not on the attitude of workers or safety processes;
  2. Understand the serious injury risks and build the psychological safety to communicate about their status openly and continually;
  3. Re-design the role safety professionals so they can proactively lead material risk reduction efforts.


Shorlink’s Recommendation

My main recommendation is to take into account the three point plan above and review your existing safety management system or if you don’t have one yet use those three points when developing yours.

Critical action is to do a complete review on your existing system to ensure it meets WHS legislation and has procedures that are developed based on “how the task is actually done” and up to date!

Secondly, if you don’t have a safety management system in place in your organisation it’s seriously time to get it underway…now! If in doubt go back and check the three reasons why to have an OHSMS in place.


There are a multitude of safety management companies and individuals out there trying to sell their wares and some are good while others not so good.

My number one tip is to do your homework before engaging anyone to do your safety management system and ensure they have hands on experience in your industry.

Engaging someone with a list of qualifications but NO industry experience has the potential to cause problems down the track and…it’s something I’ve witnessed a number of times before.


Here at Shorlink, we have reopened after our Christmas Break and rearing to face 2022 with a renewed vigour for our industry, especially in safety and training.

Hopefully, your business’ have flourished over a season that was much needed given the past 2 years and what we have all faced. Now is not the time to reflect, it’s time to move forward and to do that, we want to make sure that both yourself, your crew and your business have everything in place to be successful and safe.

This is a long newsletter, however, we feel it is important!


Here is a checklist that you should complete to start the year!


  1. Risk Assessment!
    Is your Risk Assessment updated, or have you ever done one?

AMSA advises that your operations and just as important, your SMS should be based on a risk assessment of your operations. If you have not completed one or left it a while – Call Shorlink!

  1. Safety Management System (SMS)
    Is your SMS up to date AND provides the legal protection that you need?

We hear so often…. I have a SMS, I’ve done mine online, I’ll just update the dates on my existing one, or worse, I’ll let you know if I need one.

This is AMSA’s directive: All domestic commercial vessels must have a safety management system (SMS). This system will demonstrate and document how your vessel meets the mandatory general safety duties.

An SMS is an important aspect of your vessel as it details all the important policies, practices, and procedures that are to be followed in order to ensure the safe functioning at sea. The SMS needs to be reviewed annually and recorded appropriately of Section 12 of your SMS.

We do a hand over of our SMS’s, we don’t just deliver and leave. We do this with the owners and/or crew to ensure that every person handling the SMS knows it, understands it, and follows it. A great question to ask your crew….. what happens if the Skipper has a heart attack, what do you do? If the question is answered different ways or worse still, they are unsure, please contact us to do a handover with them.

You need one!
It’s needs to be updated, especially if you have made any changes to your vessel!
Please ensure your SMS covers you legally if the worse was to happen.

If you’re reading this, questioning whether your SMS is OK, it’s not. You should have 100% confidence in it, as much as your vessel being safe, so give us a call to discuss for peace of mind.

  1. Training!
    Do I/We really need it? Yes!

We believe that AMSA will be ramping up their inspections in the near future to ensure every vessel and person at sea is following the SMS and handling their vessel safely.

Here at Shorlink, we’ve seen an increase in demand for our training services. Last year, we added to our staff, with Lindsay Hutton. Lindsay has over 20 years hands on experience in the marine industry and his knowledge and training style is incredible and invaluable to his participants. Having both Wayne and Lindsay at the helm of our training division, we believe we offer the very best of the best training to our clients.

Training gives peace of mind to the owners and/or skippers that they have provided the necessary training to ensure their vessel and in turn their business is operating as it should in every facet.

Our training services include:

 Onboard Safety Training – onboard your vessel

 Practical Vessel Handling – onboard your vessel

 Practical Flares & Fire Extinguisher Training – our participants let off actual flares

We also offer individual training courses according to our client’s needs.

Training makes the difference between a successful outcome and a disaster!

Our aim and focus are to not only to ensure your crew are able to handle emergencies but handle them efficiently and effectively. Click Here for more information on our training services.

  1. Log Books!
    Are they completed correctly? Do you have one for all your needs?

If you’ve spoken to Wayne, our Principal Consultant at any length, then you understand the importance of Log Books.

On an AMSA Inspection Report, they have a very large section with covers ‘Documentation.’  AMSA take this extremely seriously and if you don’t have a log book when it is required OR IT IS COMPLETED INCORRECTLY OR NOT AT ALL, then AMSA can and will cease your operations immediately.

All log books should be treated with as much importance as fuel. These books are an integral part of the vessel and its operations.

After seeing log books that were not designed correctly, over complicated, hard to follow/use or a combination of all, Shorlink have designed and released Log Books both our company and clients are successfully using for years! In fact, we’ve been told they are the best in the industry, and we agree!

These log books have been developed for easy, simply use that meets the requirements for your vessel.

In Australia, both owners and AMSA require specific information to be recorded in your vessels log book plus there are other vital details, especially if your involved in a marine incident.

Our log books provide ALL the details that MUST be recorded and other information to ensure you are covered! We even include a sample page so as you have a full understanding of how to fill out your log books correctly!

We also develop Log Books to suit owner’s specific requirements.

Check out our full range of Log Books, by Clicking Here with free postage!

  1. Maintenance!
    Is your vessel/s to code and have you noted the changes in your SMS.

We’ve seen many owners and/or business’ using the down time over the last two years to upgrade and update their vessels. This is great use of time. It’s never too late.

Maintenance is key to ensuring there are no ongoing issues in the future, especially during a busy season when no-one wants to be on the slip, instead of on the water, making money.

Now, if you have completed any maintenance, ensure to update your Log Books accordingly.

If you have made any changes to your vessel, including but not limited to new engine, gearbox etc, please contact Shorlink as your SMS will need updating immediately.

  1. Medical Stores!
    Check and stock!

We recommend that Medical Stores should be checked before any vessel departs. However, here is a reminder to check to ensure your medical supplies are all fully stocked and overstocked in some cases for products that are used often, especially if you will be out to sea for a period of time.

Also, check expiry dates of all products and replace where necessary.

Making sure your Medical Stores Log Book is designed to record the dispensing of ALL medical supplies to enable a verifiable means of tracking. Having this log book allows the Master and/or Owner to monitor usage of items and who they were dispensed to and how often.

Shorlink offers a Medical Log Book. Click Here to see!

  1. Emergency and Safety Equipment!
    Check and Replace!

Where do we start!! This is the most common equipment which is overlooked and assumed all is fine and usable – believe me, they can easily deteriorate or become out of date without realising.

Fire Extinguishers – making sure you have the right extinguisher for any emergency is key to ensuring the safety. We have actually seen where a vessel has been saved and lost on the back of the correct or incorrect extinguisher being used. Obviously, also ensuring they are within date of use, and there is no corrosion on any part of the equipment. If in doubt, replace.

Fire Blankets – when was the last time you checked? These easily become something thrown at the back of a cupboard, normally in the galley. Or if it is hung up, it never gets opened or used. How do you know it is still intact? Check all fire blankets and ensure they are accessible, and crew know how to use these efficiently.

Flares – check all flares are within usable date, especially for future and that all crew know how to correctly locate and use these in an emergency.

Lifejackets– Tracey, our Administrator has been shocked at the images that have passed our business of the condition of lifejackets on some vessels. We all understand the importance of lifejackets in an emergency, but when you are out on the water often, many crew become complacent with them.

All lifejackets should not be water logged while stored, this can cause corrosion which means they made fall apart in an emergency.

Lifejackets should be stowed in a dry location and be easily accessible in an emergency. Especially if you have large crew/passengers – you should have an accessible point that provides easy distribution. Also, all crew and passengers should know how to don them if necessary. Also, bringing attention using the lifejacket if required in an emergency.

We understand that this list is long and comprehensive. However, taking 10 minutes now to complete can assist with ensuring the safety of your crew, business and vessel.

Now, let’s focus on a great 2022 and also feel free to contact Shorlink should you need!

Shorlink’s Recommendation

If you have questioned any part of the checklist, please contact us immediately.

It is imperative, that your business, vessel and crew are conducting themselves safely and within guidelines at all times and we want to assist to ensure that happens.

Here at Shorlink, our priority has been and will always be Safety.

That is why we offer free assessments of your SMS, and we are happy to chat on the phone any time, obligation free to ensure our industry stays and remains buoyant, safe and flourishes!


Complete our checklist, please!

If you would like us to email you a simplified copy of the checklist for ease of completing, please send an email to admin@shorlink.com

Well, here we are again at the end of another year and what a year it’s been! Not only for the maritime industry but all industries worldwide.

Tourism has suffered incredibly due to border restrictions which has flowed through to so many service providers. Although there has been a huge downside to the pandemic there has also been many upsides as well.

Vessel owners have been able to complete outstanding maintenance and a number have undertaken refits and improvements to their vessels and operations. We’ve also seen a lot of operators bringing their SMS manuals into line with MO504 and the NSCV which is a good thing for safety.

Here at Shorlink we’ve been focused on expanding our onboard training services which is an initiative we started years ago.

Owners and operators are starting to realise the benefits of having an external provider undertake “vessel specific” crew inductions and emergency response training.

We have been receiving great feedback on our training services including many participants saying they get more from our onboard training then they get from other sources!

To ensure we continue to meet the demand and deliver the best possible training services we’ve taken on a new trainer, Lindsay Hutton.  Lindsay has a wealth of maritime experience and is fully trained in our systems and delivery methods and is now a valuable asset to the company.

As the Managing Director, I have been focused on expanding the company to cover not only commercial operators but also the recreational sector.

Although its been my focus I have to give full credit to our wonderful administration officer, Tracey McManus who has not only taken a huge load of my shoulders but been instrumental in developing the marketing which has helped Shorlink grow in all facets.

I can openly say that Tracey is an administration wonder and marketing guru! Since she joined us just over a year ago she had to learn a new industry and all of the systems Shorlink has in place and Tracey has adapted so well and is an integral part of the Shorlink team.

Our overall business focus has been on our service offering including our managed services which have received a great industry response.

We can email out a pack which includes all of the services we provide. Contact our office today to get yours!

With the boarders opening I’ve travelled near and far to complete SMS handovers, action our management requirements and along with Lindsay deliver onboard training. It’s been exciting to get back into it after all the lockdowns and boarder closures.

What does 2022 look like for Shorlink and the maritime industry in general?

For Shorlink we’re moving into an exciting time of business growth by expanding not only our management and training services but also our Occupational Health and Safety systems for maritime based businesses.

I believe it’s also going to be a good year for the maritime industry with borders reopening and tourism starting to get moving again. In talking with a number of our clients they are excited with the growing numbers of bookings and the potential of getting back to full-on business.

It’s also good news for the commercial fishing industry with restaurants reopening and seating getting back to normal the demand for fresh seafood is on the rise which is great news for the industry in general.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

My recommendation is to put the past 2 years behind you, look forward to 2022 and get going!

While things are getting back to the new normal, I further recommend taking a close look at your business and/or operations to see where and how you can better adapt to the ongoing business climate.

While there’s been a lot of heartache for many there is a lot of opportunities for those who are prepared to adapt so…go forward and prosper!


My top tip is to ensure your safety management systems comply with the relevant standards and are up to date to ensure you’re protected as both AMSA and WorkSafe are going to be very active in the new year.

As always, feel free to pick up the phone or drop us an email – if you want to check in, making sure you are AMSA compliant and how you can adapt and grow your business/operations too!

As a commercial operator we’ve all had to deal with vessel inspections by marine agencies including AMSA, Fisheries and the Water Police.

While on most occasions you get through them without too much hassle there are times when we wonder what the hell some of these officers are talking about.

I think most of us have gotten disturbed at times and even downright angry at some of the things we get thrown at us.

I can say that in most cases the officers are not displaying any form of prejudice against you as a person. Unfortunately, I have to admit to being witness to an officer going out of his way to make life hard for an operator they believed should not be on the water!

Ordinary situations can be hard enough but when you have to deal with that sort of behaviour, its hard to keep your calm.

What’s important to remember is that the person undertaking the inspection is only doing their job and they are only human after all!

One of the biggest issues to deal with is consistency. What we’ve seen happen is an inspection being undertaken in one port and being given the “all good” then going to another port only to be told all these things are wrong.

The worst one is with SMS manuals, where officers out their twist on what they think should be in your SMS.

AMSA have an SMS Assessment check list that lays out what they need to ensure is in your SMS. That’s what they should be sticking too!

So… how do we deal with onboard inspections?   

Dealing with onboard inspections at any time can cause stress, especially when you feel things are not going so well, so below I’ve listed how I recommend ALL Owners, Masters and Crew Members to respond.

During an onboard inspection I always recommend all persons involved to remain calm and respect the officers conducting the inspection, even if you disagree with their decisions.

Actions and reactions

  • Keep calm at all times
  • Don’t blow your stack no matter what
  • If you disagree with something ask them for an explanation
  • If something is found to be non-compliant or unsafe ask to be shown what it is and have them explain to you if you’re uncertain
  • If you feel the officer has been unjust or wrong in some way don’t argue about it. Let them know your concerns and ask for clarification
  • If you’re issued with a Report of Inspection with defects listed, make sure you have anything you don’t understand explained to you
  • Being issued with an order to return to port or tying up the vessel up for any reason accept it, don’t argue with the officer and follow the direction then deal with whatever was the cause
  • If you feel any decision is wrong, first follow the instructions then you can report it to AMSA but ensure you are clear about the issue have all the facts together to support your case. Be clear and concise!
  • In relation to SMS Manuals be aware that officers are viewing them to ensure they have all the required information relevant to your vessel and its operations. They are not meant to go through procedures and issue instructions about them. They may make suggestions but remember for DCV’s there is no actual approval system in place.

If you follow the above your onboard inspections will go much easier, no matter what the outcome is!

Shorlink’s Recommendation

My number one recommendation is to follow the guideline above but if you feel there is a problem with any notices given during an inspection the I strongly recommend you contact our office for advice immediately.

We have the experience and knowledge in dealing with these matters and can make life easier for you. If you have an inspection scheduled and would like assistance in dealing with it then you can arrange for us to be onboard during the inspection (based upon availability).


Safety Management Systems (SMS) are one of the biggest issues with vessel owners and operators at present due to AMSA’s increase monitoring of them.

For those who aren’t clients, my tip is to have us undertake a FREE assessment of your SMS so we can point you in the right direction. Feel free to send us a copy to sms@shorlink.com and we would be happy to assess and advise!

If you’ve received a MO504 SMS Assessment and there are items listed as “not met” then our tip is to send them to us if you’re unsure about what’s required ASAP.

Ongoing training or drills as most people know them are vitally important to the safety of your vessel and all those onboard.

Many crew often say I’ve done a safety course before so I’m all good. Well, the truth is they are so far wrong it’s not remotely funny.

Ongoing training develops what we call “muscle memory” and that’s what’s imperative in dealing quickly, efficiently and safely with emergencies.

Simply put the more often you do something the easier it is to do it, without thinking when needed in an emergency.

When we do safety audits for new clients and see how most of them run drills we observe similar habits in all but a few.

What are these habits?

Let’s look at a fire drill in an accommodation space where the Master says we’ve got a fire lets deal with it. A deckhand grabs a fire extinguisher (sometimes) then pretends to put the fire out (hopefully). Great job…or is it?

While it’s a start it’s not covering off on all the “real life” situations including but not limited to:

  • did they raise the alarm
  • did they identify the source of the fire
  • did they identify what was burning
  • did they check for persons in the cabin
  • did they get the most appropriate fire extinguisher
  • did they have back up

All of the above are critical factors in safely and efficiently dealing with the situation.

An overview of how Shorlink runs drills.

Let’s look at the same situation, a fire in the accommodation area. When we run this scenario we incorporate multiple issues to make it more a “real life” situation. In addition to dealing with the fire we also put into this drill:

  • Initial dealing with a minor fire
  • Fire going from minor to major
  • Evacuation
  • Smoke
  • Injury (burns)
  • Assembly stations
  • Abandon ship

This situation represents a real life situation and not just a quick run through of a fire situation and incorporates 5 emergency situations as follows:

  • Fire
  • Evacuation
  • Injury
  • Assembly Stations
  • Abandon Ship

You can then record all 5 in your training log. Job done. Just do the same for all emergencies to cover off real life situations.

How often should drills be run?

Some operators have said that’s great we’ll do them once a year. Well, that sounds great but in reality it puts you in a dangerous position.

For example, you do a fire drill today and no further drills have been undertaken then 6 months latter there is a fire onboard that results in a serious injury to a crew member the question will be asked if the training period was adequate. The answer is NO it’s not adequate!

While there is now no set period for drills the onus is on you and/or the Master to ensure your crew have ongoing training in emergency response.

Wayne delivering flare training

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Ensure you conduct ongoing training (drills) at regular intervals of not more than 2 months is my recommendation. I prefer to see fire drills undertaken monthly and be focused on different areas of the vessel; e.g. engine room, galley, accommodation, etc.

We undertake inductions and initial training at the start of every season or on 2 separate occasions to ensure all existing and new crew are up to speed at all times. A simple cost effective means of ensuring you meet your requirements.

If you’re unsure about your ongoing training contact us and we can undertake a Safety Audit of your training and related documentation. Don’t wait until there’s a marine incident or an AMSA inspection!


Check your training documents to ensure they are up to date and comply with the requirements! If they are not them that means that you need to do some work to get your inductions and training up to date.

When you ask a Master or Skipper have they been doing drills they almost always say yes but I haven’t had time to do the paperwork. My response is they have not been done because the Master can’t prove it by producing the records.

My tip is to put them to work doing what they should be doing and do the inductions and training AND record them to ensure that when AMSA come onboard you have the documentation to show.

Log Books

Click Here for more information on our Crew Training Log Book

Crew inductions and training, just how important are they and can they get you sent home or cause delays in getting to sea?

The simple answer is yes they can and have done so already. I’ve been telling vessel owners and operators for some time AMSA will be getting tough on inductions and training with a recent case highlighting this.

A warning for all owners, operators and Masters

AMSA undertook a vessel inspection and conducted challenge testing to see how the crew would handle an emergency situation. The result, the vessel was tied up due to the crew failing to be able to demonstrate they were competent.

You need to ensure all crew, new and existing know the location of:

  • all safety appliances
  • all firefighting appliances and equipment
  • fuel shut offs
  • air shut offs
  • fire suppression system activation point
  • engine room fans
  • isolation points for electrical areas and items

Not only do your crew have to know where these items are but also how to use them. It’s no use knowing where something is and not knowing how to use it properly and safely!

Do your crew know where all of the above items are and how to use them?

If not then be prepared to be sent home or tied up before you leave port because AMSA now have a focus on ensuring all crew members can handle emergency situations and…so should you!

For fleet owners

If you’re a fleet owner or operator and you have crew that operate on different vessels they must be inducted onto each vessel they work on. Remember that while a vessel may undertake the same operations each vessel is different in some way.

This makes it critical that you ensure all crew are inducted onto each vessel they work on and their induction and initial and ongoing training onboard that vessel is recorded properly.

Record Keeping

While it’s good that you induct new crew and provide initial and ongoing emergency response training if you don’t record it then as far as regulators are concerned it didn’t happen.

You need to ensure all inductions and training are recorded in accordance with regulatory requirements.

At Shorlink we have a set of standard forms we use for recording inductions and training which are:

  • Crew Induction Agreement
  • Crew Details
  • Crew Induction Record (for use by Masters when inducting new crew)
  • Emergency Preparedness Training Record (for Masters use to record ongoing training, drills)
  • Crew/Vessel Induction and Training Record. This is a form we use internally when we conduct inductions and initial emergency response training.

Shorlink inductions, initial training and ongoing training.

We undertake vessel specific crew inductions and initial emergency response training for a large number of our clients.

These are delivered based on their operations which may be seasonal or for others either monthly, bi-annually or annually.

In conjunction with these we provide hands on distress flare and portable fire extinguisher training to ensure all crew members know how to use these items if necessary.

Contact our office for more information!


Wayne delivering fire extinguisher training! Wayne delivering fire extinguisher training!


Shorlink’s Recommendation

My number one recommendation is to ensure you fully induct each and every crew member, new and existing. To ensure all crew members remain up to date and efficient with emergency response ensure you conduct ongoing training (drills) at regular intervals.

We also recommend that you go through vessel/crew inductions and initial training at least once a year to ensure everything is up to date.

If you’re unsure about your inductions and training contact us here at Shorlink to help you get yours up to date and compliant. Don’t wait until there’s an emergency or AMSA inspection! Our inductions and training sessions provide a simple cost effective means of ensuring you meet your requirements.


Check your induction and training documents to ensure they are up to date and comply with the requirements! If they are not then that means that you need to do some work to get your inductions and training activities and records up to date.

Among the many question we get another common one is “what is a DP?”

DP stands for Designated Person which used to be called Designated Person Ashore (DPA) but for DCV’s a DP can be the owner operator and may be onboard when at sea.

Section 4 of Marine Order 504 specifies:

“The owner of a vessel must designate a person to be responsible for monitoring the safety of the vessel, the environment and all persons on or near the vessel and ensuring appropriate resources and shore support are provided to the vessel.”

What’s required to be a DP?

Ideally a DP will have a solid working knowledge of the vessel, its operations and crew requirements so as to be able to provide appropriate assistance and/or advice to the crew in the event of an emergency situation.

While this is the ideal situation it’s not always possible for owner operators as they are usually the ones that have all the knowledge about their vessel and operations. In these situations its quite often the wife or partner who is listed as the DP.

Larger organisations and multi-vessel operators usually have someone who is up to speed with the organisations vessels and operations and is listed as the DP. These people usually have the knowledge and resources to deal with emergency situation efficiently.

No matter whether you’re a single vessel operator or operate multiple vessels your DP must have the owners authority and resources to act in emergency situations involving the safety of the vessel, all persons onboard, infra structure and the environment.

And the good part is to ensure your DP is available at all times when your vessel is operating which for many operators this means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! If you’re a DP you must answer all calls from the vessels when they are operational, the safety of the vessel and/or persons onboard may depend on it!

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Ensure your DP has the appropriate authority to act in the event of an emergency situation as well as the resources that may be needed.

Have a list of emergency contact numbers ready including emergency services (Police, Ambulance and Fire) 000 and any other numbers that can assist in specific situations; e.g., mechanics, volunteer marine rescue organisations, etc.


Our best tip is to have an alternative DP listed in your SMS in the event the primary DP is unavailable for any reason whatsoever.

If you and your partner take holidays together and you’re listed as primary and alternative DP’s then you may have an issue with who deals with an emergency situation if both parties are absent.

The Shorlink Group has expanded and launched Puro Systems Australia!

Puro Systems Australia was established to undertake research and development in odour control technologies.  Our Directors, Wayne and Charmayne have been instrumental in providing solutions to air quality (odour and bacteria control) within Australia and South East Asia for over 20 years.
  • Developed, manufacture and market odour and bacteria control products to both the domestic and commercial markets.
  • 100% family owned Australian company
  • All products are manufactured in Australia
  • Dedicated to ongoing research into odour and bacteria control
  • All Seabreeze range of products have been tested by a NATA accredited lab
  • Developed a range of products based on essential oils for use in domestic and commercial applications
  • Products have a wide range of applications

We’ve launched our first product today, with the Marine Industry in mind!

Seabreeze 30ml Puro Rinse

Seabreeze Puro Rinse is a highly effective odour and bacteria control product formulated to eliminate odours and bacteria from washing machines.

It provides safe, positive relief from unpleasant odour from washing machines by effectively eliminating the bacteria and fungi in the pump, plumbing, and washing using natural-based products.

It’s been proven highly effective in both the domestic and commercial sectors including hospitality and accommodation industries, health areas, and transport industries.

Puro Rinse based on 3 drops per wash will provide you with up to 400 washes.

This equates to around $0.06 per wash.

Review from a fellow mariner:

Loving the new Seabreeze Puro Rinse product, for years I have been using a fabric softener in my washing but this product not only makes my clothes smell fresh and fragrant but also eliminates odours and removes bacteria from my washing machine to make it hygienically clean. Made from essential oils and being non toxic  means that it’s environmentally friendly, I highly recommend using this great new alternative product.

Visit our website today for more information at

www.purosystems.com.au including Free Shipping!


That’s what one business owner got hit with due to an incident with a forklift truck resulting in the death of a worker.

Failing to have a safety management system in place with procedures, checks for appropriate tickets and licences and the provision of training was a key factor in the death of the worker.

The employer was hit with a $600,000 fine and that was only the beginning. Ongoing related expenses including compensation payments, increased insurance premiums, and other ongoing related costs were in addition to the fine!

On the other side of that one of our clients had a Master involved in a marine incident which involved an injury to a passenger. This resulted in AMSA and Work Health and Safety undertaking a major investigation into the incident.

The company was facing $250,000+ in fines plus potential jail time for the owner and the Master was looking at fines of $18,000 or more.

When the officers reviewed the SMS manual then the induction and training documents that we developed they were satisfied that the employer had taken all reasonable steps to ensure a safe vessel and workplace. No action was taken against the business or its owners.

The outcome of the investigation was that the Master was negligent in his actions in operating the vessel resulting in the injury to the passenger. Based on our expert witness statement the fine was reduced to $5,000.

The bottom line!

Most vessel owners and operators now know they require an SMS which complies with either MO 504 for Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) or the ISM Code for Regulated Australian Vessels (RAV).

What many business owners don’t know or choose to ignore is the fact that any person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) is required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers at the workplace.

This is achieved by implementing a Work Health and Safety Management System (WHSMS). Today there are 2 recognised systems of WHSMS available:

  1. AS/NZS 4801 which is recognised in Australia and New Zealand; or
  2. ISO45001 which is recognised internationally.

If you only operate in the domestic (Australian) marketplace then AS/NZS4801 is fine but if you operate internationally then you’re better off with ISO45001.

Note that under the Work Health and Safety Act a volunteer association does not conduct a business or undertaking for the purpose of the Act. See Section 6 (7) on Page 22.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

 It’s simple, if you don’t have a safety management system in place for your vessel or workplace if you’re a land-based business then you need to get one NOW, don’t waste time and be exposed, especially in the event of an incident.

Note that the global trend now is moving towards “is there a failure by an organisation or an individual to create a culture of compliance” which is what AMSA and WHS are looking at now and why our managed services are quickly gaining traction!


Determine what standard is best suited to your business and get started now to ensure not only your safety but that of your crew or worker!  Do you have questions? Contact us today and we would be happy to discuss further!

Did you know that AMSA made an amendment to Marine Order 504 in relation to vessels carrying passengers that commenced on the 31 May 2020.

For Class 1 and Class 2 vessels that are permitted to carry passengers you will be required to have an effective and verifiable means of passenger monitoring to ensure the master is able to find out the number of passengers onboard at any time.


Operators will be required to undertake a passenger count at the time of embarkation and disembarking for vessels that are:

  • a Class 2 vessel permitted to carry passengers or a Class 1 vessel that is permitted to carry no more than 75 passengers; and
  • is on a voyage of at least 30 minutes and no more than 12 hours scheduled duration and the vessel is not scheduled to stop for embarkation or disembarkation in the first 30 minutes; and
  • is operating in B, C or D waters at any time of E waters outside of daylight hours.

For operators who transport passengers to a water-based activity the passenger count:

  • must include an additional count before the vessel departs from the site; and
  • is not required to be conducted when a vessel is stopped for a water-based activity and a passenger enters or leaves:
  1. the water; or
  2. another vessel used in conjunction with the activity

This means if you’re operating a ferry service or water taxi which has voyages of less than 30 minutes this amendment does not apply.

For most operators who carry passengers on voyages of 30 minutes or more and less than 12 hours you will need to update your Safety Management System (SMS) to incorporate the changes.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

We strongly recommend you review your SMS now and work out what changes are going to be required to ensure you meet the new requirements.  Feel free to utilise our free SMS Assessment Service – just email us a copy of your SMS, and our Principal Consultant will review and let you know of any changes may be required.


If you’re having trouble working out what’s required or how to incorporate the changes into your SMS then give us a call and we’ll help get you compliant with the changes.