The four most commonly asked questions today.
1. What is a Safety Management System (SMS)?
An SMS is a document that details your vessel, the crew and its operations. A well prepared SMS usually amazes most operators when they finally come to understand them. The SMS will provide procedures for onboard operations and emergency response such as man overboard, fire, etc. A good SMS is a highly useful tool in your operations!
2. What good will it do me?
Whilst most experienced operators know what to do in the event of an emergency many crew members may not. It’s no good thinking, I’ll deal with it when it happens as in many cases it’s all too late then.
It’s too late as you may have lost the vessel or encountered serious injuries. A well prepared SMS is the training tool that can help prevent that happening. It provides a turnkey manual for the operation of your vessel and emergency procedures.
Although at first it all seems like a waste of time once you understand and apply a well prepared SMS you soon come to see the benefits. This has been proven not only in the maritime industry but many other industries globally.
It is one of the most beneficial items you can have in today’s world where just about everyone wants to sue you for something! Should you have to defend yourself after an incident or in court the SMS Manual may well be your saviour.
Simply put a well prepared compliant SMS Manual is not only a legal requirement but once developed and implemented a great tool to assist in the running of your vessel and maritime business plus…it can help make it run better!
3. Do I have to have one?
YES there is no getting out of it, you must have a compliant SMS Manual.
Under the new national system without a compliant SMS Manual you will not be allowed to operate! Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements – national law) 2018 became law in July 2018, so call us to ensure that you are totally protected.
4. Where do I get one from?
There are two options here
a) If you feel confident and have a good understanding of quality systems and risk management you can write one yourself. BUT remember it must be compliant with Marine Order 504 or the ISM code and MUST be able to be audited by an external party.
b) Have a professional prepare one for you that will comply BUT be careful because there are a lot of people claiming to know how to write them but they may not be compliant when audited so take care in choosing who to trust.