The four most commonly asked questions:
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.
Our founder and Director, Wayne Linklater has been involved in quality systems and risk management for 30+ years. With extensive experience in developing SMS Manuals including the first operating documents required under legislation in 2004.
Wayne’s experience is key in providing our world-class SMS Manuals and Management Systems. Why? His previous positions include a Shipping Inspector with Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and Appointed Marine Inspector with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which provides integral knowledge when producing documents that meet requirements!
These roles provided experience in:
Inspecting commercial vessels to ensure seaworthiness and compliance with all legislative requirements, codes and standards; and
Auditing/assessing SMS Manuals for compliance and assisting commercial operators in developing their SMS’s to comply with Marine Order 504.
Not only does Wayne have qualifications and experience in developing SMS’s, he also has been a commercial marine operator for 40+ years. So, with this personal experience, we fully understand vessel operations, what’s required to keep them afloat and the pressures in our industry, especially during these difficult times. That is why our service is unparalleled in ensuring we are here to help, support and educate our clients.
We know there are many companies, including online that offer to develop an SMS for you BUT are the SMS’s they develop compliant? Do they cover you in a legal situation? Do you understand them fully? Would you be assisted and supported ongoing?
From our experience many are not compliant leaving you with the problem of bringing them in line with the national standard. It simply comes down to a lack of operational background, qualifications and/or understanding to be writing SMS’s to the level required.
At Shorlink we have one simple objective, and that is…
Keep you on the water by …..
…keeping you compliant at all times!
Don’t delay, contact Shorlink TODAY
We offer a free assessment of your current SMS with no obligation. Let us take a look at your SMS to ensure it meets Marine Order 504 and ensures you are compliant. If so, we will honestly tell you. If not, we will let you know why.
If you don’t have a current SMS, contact us today via phone or email at email@example.com and we would be happy to discuss your requirements and producing a SMS Manual for you as soon as possible to avoid any disruption to you or your business.