Having the right medical stores onboard can and has saved lives. This is why AMSA have documented lists based on your vessels area of operations.
NSCV Section C7A states that sufficient and appropriate medical supplies must be maintained to treat likely individual injuries until professional medical treatment becomes available.
In the NSCV Annex H Requirements for medical supplies Table H1 Medical assistance times specifies the time period in which medical assistance can be obtained and which Scale applies.
Time Period Scale
2 hours Scale G
6 hours Scale F
12 hours Scales E and D
Location: First Aid kits
The first aid kit shall be located adjacent to the Masters accommodation or in the wheelhouse. In small partly open vessel, the first aid kit shall be stowed so as to protect it from incoming salt and spray.
Location: Medical Cabinets
All vessels covered by Scale D and E shall be provided with a medical cabinet of suitable size, design and construction for storing medical supplies
In DCV’s they shall be located either:
- The Masters accommodation; or
- In a dry and cool space accessible to the Master and a nominated crew member.
Maintenance of first aid kits and medical cabinets
First Aid kits and medical cabinets shall be cleaned and checked every three (3) months. It’s vital to ensure medical supplies with expiry dates are monitored and replaced when passed their expiry date.
We often come across owners, Master and crew members who believe that the expiry dates are not important, and the medicines continue to work when expired. The simple fact is they have expiry dates as the medicine’s components start to break down and fail making them less effective every day following their expiry date!
Flexibility to determine the type and quantity of first aid supplies
If you are operating in Class C, C Restricted, D or E waters, and are required to meet the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part C7A (Safety Equipment), you now have flexibility to determine the type and quantity of first aid supplies that are appropriate for your operation.
To do this you need to apply for an equivalent solution.
The owner/Master of a vessel operating in operational area C, C Restricted, D or E may undertake a risk assessment of their vessel and operation and determine the appropriate type and quantity of first aid supplies that are to be carried onboard the vessel for that operation.
The risk assessment and subsequent determination of the type and quantity of first aid supplies carried onboard must:
- Consider the required outcomes of the NSCV Part C7A; and
- As a minimum comply with the WHS Code of Practice; and
- Where necessary include additional items needed to address identified risks including the following:
- Distance/access to medical aid;
- Communication capability to access medical assistance and advice;
- Type of operation and activities being undertaken (e.g., types and level of hazards likely to be encountered);
- Length of voyage;
- Number of persons onboard (e.g., children, elderly, level of experience, gender, etc.);
- The level of first aid training of the crew, personnel and persons onboard including the first aid procedures and drills carried out onboard the vessel;
- Prevailing or expected environmental conditions likely to be encountered on the voyage;
- Incidents and accidents that have occurred in the operation and in the wider industry sector.
To enable regular review and ease of resupply, it is recommended that the risk assessment and resulting list of first aid items that will be carried onboard the vessel are kept with the records or as part of the vessels SMS.
We strongly recommend that you check your medical supplies against the Scale relevant to your operations and that all items with expiry dates are replaced where the expiry date has passed.
Secondly we recommend you keep a copy of the scale relevant to your operations with your medical supplies for easy reference.
If you carry extra medical supplies our best tip is to ensure you have a list of those with your required scale list.
If you need a list of what’s required either go to the AMSA website or email us providing the following information and we’ll send you a printable list along with an additional medicines form.