Tag Archive for: Log Books

The documents required by AMSA today and, with so many options of hard copies versus electronic it’s difficult to completely understand what is required onboard.

We have listed the primary documents that should be carried onboard  Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) at all times:

  1. Vessel Certificate 

    You must always carry your vessel’s Certificate of Operation (CoO) and/or Certificate of Survey (CoS) on board. This can be in hard copy or an electronic version, such as a copy on your smart phone.
    Your vessel’s certificates and surveys must be available upon request by an AMSA inspector or their compliance partners.

  1. Permissions 

    Any permissions relevant to your vessel’s operations; e.g., landing permits for specific locations, etc., must always be carried onboard. As with Certificates these may be in hard copy or an electronic version, such as a copy on your smart phone.

  1. Safety Management System 

    All DCV are required to have a Safety Management System (SMS) that complies with Marine Order 504 (MO504) Again this may be in hard copy or an electronic version.

  1. Vessel/Deck Log Book 

    All commercial vessels are required to have a vessel or deck log book in which they are required to record specific information (see our newsletter dated 15/03/2022 for details).

  1. Maintenance Log 

    All maintenance must be recorded either in a dedicated form in your SMS, a Maintenance Log Book or in an electronic maintenance program.

  1. Sewage Management Plan 

    All declared Ships must ensure they have a Sewage Management Plan onboard and available for inspection.All vessels, including recreational and commercial vessels that are fitted with sewage treatment system must ensure they have the appropriate documentation and follow specific guidelines.

    What is a Declared Ship?

    A declared ship has a fixed toilet and is:

  • a domestic commercial vessel with a certificate of operation issued, or taken to be issued, under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 stating it is a class 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 4C, 4D or 4E ship, or
  • any other Queensland regulated ship regulated under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 and Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Regulation 2016 designed to carry more than 12 passengers.
  1. Copies and/or receipts for serviceable items service for inflatable life rafts, electrical installations, fire extinguishers, EPIRB,

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Number one recommendation is to ensure you have ALL the required documents onboard at all times. You must be able to present the relevant documents to AMSA or their delegates when asked.

Secondly it’s not good enough to just have them onboard, they must be up to date which means you need to ensure your SMS is reviewed annually and your log books are filled in daily when operational.


Tip

If for any reason you are unsure about exactly what you require on your vessel, what format is best for you (hard copy or electronic) or anything in relation to documents required don’t hesitate to contact our office!

When we’re doing either onboard training or vessel safety audits and look at the vessels deck log the information recorded….

often it does not meet the requirements of Marine Order 504 (MO504).

 

There are specific requirements relating to the information that must be recorded in your log book. In the event of an incident, failure to fill in your log book has the potential to cause serious issues for you or your crew!

In addition to the requirements of MO 504 there’s other information that we highly recommend you record.

Looking at deck or vessel log books for commercial fishing vessels, it’s common to see the start/finish times or position of shots and little more.

In charter vessels we regularly see start and finish times and in some cases refuelling again with little more.

It’s critical for your protection to ensure you or your Master keeps the log up to date at all times. A failure to do so leaves you exposed in the event of an incident or legal claim by a crew member or passenger!

MO504 specifies that the following details MUST be recorded in your log book:

  1. Any illness or injury of persons onboard. This means crew members, passengers or any other person onboard. Injury means injuries that are serious enough to need more than just a band aid. Any injury that requires first aid or has the potential to cause infection or may need further medical attention in the future must be recorded.
  2. Any marine incident, other incident or accident involving the vessel or its equipment.
  3. Any assistance rendered to another vessel.
  4. Any unusual occurrence or incident. This means anything that has the potential to impact on the safety of a person or persons onboard or the safe operation of the vessel.
  5. All communications and/or messages sent or received for an emergency. This is critical in the event of an investigation.
  6. All passenger counts conducted for the vessel. This only applies to vessels carrying passengers
  7. Any operation of the vessel for recreational purposes

Quite often Masters tell me that ”I’m busy running the vessel and don’t have time to record all of this.”

My answer is always “do you have weeks or months available to defend yourself in court if the vessel, crew member or a passenger is involved in an incident?”

When an incident or accident occurs AMSA will undertake an investigation and apart from the incident report they will look at your SMS and log book.

So, the two questions asked are:

  1. Does your SMS comply with MO504 and is the relevant procedure or procedures appropriate?; and
  2. Is the incident detailed in the vessels log book?

If your SMS does not meet the requirements then you may have a serious problem and a failure to record the incident or accident exposes you even further.

No matter what type of vessel you operate, I hope you can now see the value in keeping your vessels log book up to date with all the relevant information.

As a commercial mariner, I know it can sometimes be difficult to keep your log book up to date, but you should always ensure you enter the relevant details as soon as reasonably practicable after the event. This way the event is clear in your mind, and you don’t have to think back to what actually happened.

A key point many Masters forget and I’ve been guilty of it myself, is to ensure you sign the log book page at the end of every day. Doesn’t sound like much but it can potentially leave you exposed yet again so make sure you sign every day’s log page.


Shorlink’s Recommendation

We strongly recommend recording the following information:

  • Date and time of departure and arrival
  • Navigational track and/or position at relevant times
  • Summary of weather conditions, especially any sudden changes in weather
  • All inductions and training.

By including this information, you are so much better protected in the event of an incident or accident.


Tip

Our best tip to ensure you meet AMSA’s requirements and give yourself the best protection possible is to check the previous days log book entries to ensure all requirements are recorded appropriately and that you have signed the page.

Ensure to check out the Deck Log Book that we here, at Shorlink, produce to ensure you are meeting your requirements.  Our Log Books are available online with free postage. Click Here!

What most operators don’t realise is that there is a requirement to have a Medical Log Book onboard your vessel to record medical information including the dispensing of drugs.

The NSCV Part C7A H8 specifies that all vessels shall carry and record the use of all medicines, first aid and medical incidents in a Medical Log Book and record the stock movements for Controlled Drugs in a Controlled Drug Register.

To date AMSA have not been pushing Medical Log Books other than on larger vessels but I’m guessing that this is another area that is going to surface in the near future, especially on passenger and charter vessels!

If you operate passenger or charter vessels you should consider getting a Medical Log Book in place sooner rather than later.

Other vessels that should be getting one together are commercial fishing vessels and vessels engaged in construction or towage and in particular those that undertake long voyages.

Medical Supplies: Things to consider

When considering your requirements for medical supplies you need to take into account the tables specified in C7A. Now there are more flexible rules for first aid supplies on DCV’s.

The owner/master of a domestic commercial vessel (DCV) 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 on board the vessel for that operation.

Please note that the first aid kit must also comply with the Work Health and Safety Code of Practice. If necessary, assistance may be sought from an appropriately experienced pharmaceutical provider or First Aid provider/supplier in order to do so.

Based on your risk assessment you may apply for and Equivalent Solution. A few questions that you need to take into account when conducting your risk assessment…

  • Is your operation considered high risk in the WHS code of practice?
  • Do you have crew with current First Aid qualifications onboard ALL the time?
  • Are you operating more than two hours from medical assistance?
  • Based on your operations are persons on board likely to encounter specific hazards e.g., burns, stings, cuts and abrasions, etc.?

These are just a few of the things you need to take into account when undertaking your risk assessment. If you need help with completing a risk assessment for your First Aid requirements don’t hesitate to contact Shorlink or request First Aid Risk Assessment sheet.

What’s required in a Medical Log Book

There are specific requirements for a Medical Log Book which include:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Patient
  • Condition
  • Treatment

If you carry Controlled Drugs your Controlled Drugs Register should include:

  • Supply
  • Use
  • Disposal
  • Loss
  • Theft

While all of this may seem a bit daunting it’s really not too bad if you have the right layout in your log book and register.

First Aid Kits and Medical Cabinets

There are also a number of other considerations in relation to First Aid Kits and Medical Cabinets which includes…

  • Location
  • Construction and provisions
  • Labelling and identification
  • Construction and illumination for Medical Cabinets
  • Maintenance for Medical Cabinets

Shorlink’s Recommendation

The one thing that we see so often is OUT OF DATE First Aid certificates which means that person may not be up to date with the latest First Aid knowledge and skills. We strongly recommend that you ensure your First Aid is current.

 

 

For vessels with more than two crew we recommend at least one other crew member has current First Aid training. This takes the pressure off the Master in the event of an incident where injuries are sustained.

 


Tip

If you think you can have a case for an Equivalent Solution then do a risk assessment on your operations or if you need assistance in doing one then contact our office. We can assess your situation and develop a risk assessment for you.

Need a Medical Log book then look no further as Shorlink has them available and they meet all the legal requirements.Medical Stores Log Book

 

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).


Tip

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.

Dear subscriber and in particular Shorlink clients,

This message has important information to ensure your Safety Management System (SMS) is up to date and remains compliant!

If you have changed any contact details that are listed in your SMS including:

  • Owner or owners
  • Emergency Contact
  • Designated Person (DP) or persons

You must update your SMS accordingly if not already done so.

We recently had a situation where we received a call from a vessel where they were in trouble and unable to contact any of the numbers listed in the SMS manual.

On top of that there had been a change of staff within the company and the details in the SMS were not updated as required to ensure the SMS remained compliant.

Contact details includes:

  • Name or names
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Mobile number
  • Email

Specific Requirements

Emergency Contact

The Emergency Contact is the person who is listed in the SMS as the Emergency Contact and is primarily responsible for the operation of the business.

A person who is listed as the emergency contact in the SMS must be available at a minimum during the company’s normal business hours.

Designated Person

A Designated Person is someone listed in the SMS as the person who has the responsibility of monitoring the safety and pollution prevention of the vessel.

It is a legal requirement that if you are listed as a Designated Person in the vessels SMS you MUST be contactable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at all times to respond to emergency situations should they arise.

If your SMS does not have the current contact details, especially of the DP then it is not compliant and in the event of an incident you leave yourself exposed to legal action.

For all Shorlink clients, if there has been any changes please notify us immediately so as we can update your SMS accordingly to ensure you remain compliant.


Shorlink’s Recommendation

Review the contact details of all persons listed in your SMS to ensure they are up to date and correct.

This not only includes emergency and designated person details but also owner’s details.

If you need assistance with the Designated Person section in your SMS (Section 4 of Marine Order 504) then feel free to contact us here at Shorlink for assistance.

Don’t simply put it on your to do list as a failure to update this critical information in your SMS leaves you exposed in the event of a marine incident!

While conducting onboard training and auditing log books it’s become apparent that Master’s either don’t know what they are required to record in the deck log or simply just don’t care.

Marine Order 504 clearly specifies what must be recorded in your log book. Failing to record the required information may leave you exposed in the event of an incident.

Your vessels Log Book  is one of the first things an investigator will look at when investigating an incident.

If the required information is not in the log then you may have serious trouble defending yourself so make sure you record what’s required!

What MO 504 specifies as must be recorded?

The Master must ensure the following details are recorded in the vessels Log Book:

  1. Any illness or injury of persons onboard;
  2. Any marine incident, other incident or accident involving the vessel or its equipment;
  3. Any assistance rendered to another vessel;
  4. Any unusual occurrence or incident;
  5. All communications/messages sent or received for an emergency;
  6. Any operation of the vessel for recreational purposes.

What we recommend as additional information?

  1. Time of departure and arrival;
  2. Time of any passenger briefing where passengers are carried;
  3. New crew inductions and training;
  4. Time of induction of any other persons onboard. This may be contractors, technicians, observers or any other person;
  5. Proposed destination or course;
  6. Summary of weather conditions on departure;
  7. Position at regular intervals;
  8. Any major changes in weather conditions;
  9. Bunkering if not recorded elsewhere;
  10. Dispensing of medical supplies if not recorded elsewhere
  11. Ongoing emergency training;
  12. Any safety issues

While all this sounds like a lot of writing it only takes a few seconds once you get the hang of it.

By keeping a detailed Log Book, you are effectively providing a layer of protection for yourself when an incident occurs.

Many Masters say to me that they’re too busy to do this, but my response is a few seconds every couple of hours can save you days or even months in court defending yourself!


Shorlink’s Recommendation

Our primary recommendation is to ensure you record all of the requirements of MO 504 and we strongly recommend recording all new crew inductions, your position at regular intervals, any noticeable changes in weather and passenger inductions where applicable.

These few items are going to be a big help in the event of a marine incident and possibly time and money in legal costs.


Tip

Our number one recommendations is to get in the habit of keeping your Log Book up to date at all times because you never know when you may need it.


Log Books Deck Log Book

Vessel Log Books are a necessity but there are so many variations out there in size, format and levels of complexity. This is why we developed our Log Book in an easy-to-use format with only the necessary requirements to make recording your information easy. So many of our clients and non-clients have switched to our easy-to-use Log Book, why don’t you?