This year, 2023, has seen many changes in our industry already, and we are only in February!
With the recent changes to Marine Order 504 and the release of Marine Order 505 last month, an Annual Review of your SMS is not only necessary but critical!
All Safety Management Systems including those developed for Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) under Marine Order 504 and the ones developed for workplaces under Work Health and Safety are required to undergo an Annual Review or Audit to ensure compliance.
Failure to complete your Annual Review or Audit leaves you non-compliant and exposed to legal action in the event of an incident or accident.
Your vessel’s SMS should be based on a risk assessment of your operations. It should describe how safety, maintenance and operation is managed on your vessel. This should also be reviewed Annually to ensure the risk assessment remains accurate to your vessel and/or operations.
AMSA can and will conduct periodic reviews of your Safety Management System and Operations. With the changes that we have seen already this year, we certainly envisage this will be on the increase for 2023!
It has never been more important to ensure your SMS meets NSCV and Marine Order 504 and 505.
My recommendation is to get out your SMS today, take a look at it thoroughly!
Also, take a close look at your vessel, business and operations to see where and how you can better adapt to the ongoing business climate and the changes to our industry.
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 this year.
Not sure? We are always here to help. Drop us a line or call to discuss your concerns.
Also, help a mate in the industry! If you know of a fellow mariner and/or business owner, let them also know of the critical nature of Annual Reviews and we are also happy to discuss with them and offer free assessments of their current SMS.
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/3_1.png8321880Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2023-02-28 08:57:072023-03-20 17:59:40Annual Reviews – do I need one really?
When undertaking recent audits on vessels it became clear that many Masters’ either forgot or didn’t know the full extent of their responsibilities.
While most, and I say most Master’s know how to operate the vessel many have not kept up to date with current requirements such as keeping log books, running drills, recording inductions and training, etc.
In this day and age is critical to ensure your paperwork is up to date at all times. Should an incident occur and its not recorded in the log book or reported (reportable incidents only) then you could be in big trouble.
Section 5 of Marine Order 504 states that the Master has a responsibility for ensuring that operational requirements are being complied with. Operational requirements is not just driving the vessel it includes but is not limited to the following:
Complying with the organisations policies
Implementing the vessels Safety Management System (SMS)
Following all of the operational procedures and emergency procedures
Inducting new crew members onto the vessel and the SMS
Undertaking regular ongoing training (drills) to ensure all crew members are competent in dealing with emergency situations
Recording all drills appropriately
Maintaining the vessels Log Book
Ensuring the vessel, machinery and equipment are operated properly and well maintained
Identifying repairs and/or maintenance that needs to be addressed
Ensuring maintenance records are maintained and up to date at all times
Maintaining passenger records (passenger vessels only)
Documenting and reporting marine incidents to AMSA
Vessels Deck Log Book
This is one of areas most neglected by many Masters and it’s the one area that can cause major issues if not completed properly. Section 11 in MO504 specifies that a log book must include details of the following:
any illness or injury of persons onboard;
any marine incident, other incident or accident involving the vessel or its equipment;
any assistance rendered to another vessel;
any unusual occurrence or incident;
all communications and messages sent or received for an emergency;
all passenger counts conducted for the vessel;
any operation of the vessel for recreational purposes.
So many log books we’ve reviewed fall short on so many points.
Reporting Marine Incidents
This is another area that often gets overlooked which can have serious repercussions to both the Master and vessel owner.
There are two (2) forms that should be completed as soon as is reasonably practicable following the incident and these are:
Incident alert (Form 18)
This form alerts AMSA that there has been a marine incident and can be filled in online but must be completed and submitted to email@example.com the owner or master as soon as reasonably practicable* after becoming aware of the incident.
This form provides all the details about the incident, vessels involved and any injuries and must be completed by the owner or Master and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org within 72 hours of the incident. Go to Form 19 by clicking on this link amsa-19-incident-report-form.pdf
If you would like to find out more about marine incident reporting by clicking on the link below.
If you employ crew, including Masters you should have your own specific requirements for your Master or Masters’ but there are legal responsibilities every Master must comply with.
The Master has the overriding authority and responsibility to make decisions with respect to safety and pollution prevention.
Note that means when operational and does not mean that the Master can make changes to policies and/or procedures without the approval of the owner. Also be aware that if changes are made they must be recorded in the appropriate manner.
Top recommendation is ensure you or your Masters’ know exactly what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them. if you’re the Master it’s up to you to ensure you comply will all the current requirements.
If you’re a vessel owner and engage Masters’ then it is your responsibility to ensure all Masters’ know exactly what is expected of them and their requirements to ensure full compliance.
If you engage Masters’ under an agreement or contract of any kind you must ensure they are fully aware of the responsibilities and conditions in their contract. Too many Masters’ will sign a document without reading it first. Best tip is to help them out and go through it in detail with them. this can save a lot of potential problems down the road.
Need a Log Book? Click Here for our range of Log Books that were ‘designed by a mariner for a mariner’ with Free Postage!
Whether you believe it, or not psychological risks exist in every workplace and the maritime industry is no exception.
Before I get into this topic I have to admit that it is one close to my heart as I’ve lost many friends and a few family members to suicide, most of which were in the maritime industry so…
please take it seriously!
In commercial vessel operations there are a number of contributing factors based on what sector you operate in, a few of these you may recognise…
extended time away from home
adverse (bad) weather
poor catch rates for fishing operators
increasing closures for commercial operators
low prices for fishing operators
unhappy and/or complaining passengers
increasing restricted zones for charter operators
ever increasing governmental requirements
issues with working between various states
If you think that these issues only affect owner’s you need to think again! Crew members can suffer from these issues which then has the potential to led to psychological distress.
Here’s a few stats from a National Health Survey conducted for the year 2017 to 2018.
Around one in eight (13% or 2.4 million) adults experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress
One in five (20.1%) or 4.8 million Australians had a mental and behavioural condition
2 million Australians (13.1%) had an anxiety-related condition
One in ten people (10.4%) had depression or feelings of depression
Now if you take into account COVID-19 these numbers increase significantly.
Work is a big part of our lives and continually changes. It is in everyone’s interest to understand, to be proactive and to actively support people (this includes crew members) whatever the original cause or trigger.
While most people can recognise they have a problem, be it anxiety, depression or at worst suicidal tendencies they usually fail to seek help.
It’s up to everyone and in particular owners, managers and Masters to be actively involved in addressing mental health issues in the workplace.
The problem is generally due to a lack of understanding, lack of training and lack of support for workers (including crew members) experiencing mental health issues.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be hard and doesn’t always require qualifications or massive programs.
By simply having a work environment where people feel safe to talk about psychological health, to raise things and to have conversations is the key.
Talking about these things helps everyone understand they are not alone, and it can reveal solutions.
Leaders in the field report that a psychologically healthy workplace is where an organisation:
Establishes trust and respect amongst its members;
Values employee and crew members contributions;
Communicates regularly with its employees including crew members; and
Takes employee and crew member needs into account when creating new initiatives.
We should also add to this list “good work design” as the way our work is designed affects how we feel about our job and can influence whether we feel motivated, engaged, bored or stressed at work.
When we all share the knowledge, have some skills and abilities to detect signs and symptoms around psychological health and offer the appropriate support everyone benefits including the organisation!
Also note that under Work Health and Safety a business owner/operator has the primary duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, workers including crew members and other people are not exposed to psychological health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.
Our primary recommendation is to take the time to understand psychological health, especially if you’re a non-believer as it may save not only someone’s life but also your business. Psychological distress can cause serious workplace accidents which have the potential to cause serious financial and emotional issues for all parties and… they may have been avoided
Take the time to be able to identify the signs of psychological distress and how to initiate a conversation with that person not only for that person but yourself as well!
If you or someone you know is or you think they may be suffering from psychological distress including anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts urge them to contact a health professional.
Beyond Blue call 1300 22 46 36
Lifeline: 13 11 14
If you’re unsure about what to do or just need to talk about your situation don’t hesitate to contact me directly on 0423 313 790 as I have considerable experience in this area and I’m here to help!
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/7.png8321880Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2023-01-31 09:00:042023-03-20 17:59:43Are you aware of the psychological risks in the workplace?
This newsletter is to remind you that just having a safety management system in place may not be the protection you thought it provided.
An incident in 2020 which left an employee with hip and foot fractures resulted in a not-for-profit organisation being fined $30,000.
The organisation was found guilty under sections 19(1) and 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing its primary health and safety duty and that failure exposed an individual to a risk of death or serious injury.
At the time, the organisation had a warehouse where paid employees and unpaid volunteers worked.
A paid worker was operating a forklift to move goods between the warehouse building and vehicles in the loading zone. Contrary to the defendant’s work instruction, a volunteer entered the loading zone to take a break.
The worker drove the forklift into the loading zone and didn’t see the other man who was standing near a truck and a stack of pallets. The forklift ran into the volunteer who suffered fractures to his right pelvis and foot that required hospital treatment.
The court heard the organisation failed to adequately ensure workers complied with its policies and procedures for eliminating or minimising the potential for contact between pedestrians and moving plant.
Workers had not been sufficiently trained, and there was no system to enforce, its work instruction prohibiting pedestrians from being in a loading zone at the front of the warehouse.
The organisation’s work instruction prohibited pedestrian workers from entering or remaining in the loading zone.
The organisations failure to ensure compliance with its work instruction was a failure of its health and safety duty. That failure exposed workers to the risk of death or serious injury from contact with moving plant.
In sentencing, the Acting Magistrate noted there was a high onus on duty-holders under the Act for good reason, given the potential for injury and death when duties are not complied with.
Even though the defendant was a non-profit charitable organisation that functions for community benefit, his Honour recognised its non-compliance with work health and safety obligations justified a need to convey a deterrent message.
His Honour noted the organisation had relevant procedures in place, including an induction process, but agreed with the prosecution’s submission that the incident was indicative of erosion in the defendant’s enforcement of those procedures.
His Honour remarked there was an element of complacency that ultimately led to the materialisation of the risk.
The organisation was fined $30,000, plus costs of almost $1600. No conviction was recorded.
This incident, subsequent investigations and legal proceedings and outcomes are another harsh reminder all business’s, including charitable organisations have an obligation to always keep their workers and volunteers safe.
Our best recommendation is to always ensure your safety management system is in place and up to date with current requirements at all times, including policies and procedures.
A failure to do so may see you in the same position as the organisation noted in this newsletter!
Best tip, BE COMPLIANT and make sure every facet of your SMS is correct and up-to-date. Not sure? You only need to contact us!
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/8.png8321880Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2023-01-17 09:00:342023-03-20 17:59:44$$$ SMS Stark Reminder $$$
Whilst it is worth initially noting that whilst every vessel is different and built with different materials, maintenance is an extremely important part of the running of your vessel.
While a critical safety factor, maintenance related issues do not always receive the attention they deserve. Maintenance issues are often difficult to detect and not generally linked to safety and therefore are not recorded.
The Importance of Maintenance
Maintenance ensures that a vessel, engine, etc. continues to perform its intended function as per its design in relation to the level of safety and reliability.
Examples of issues that could lead to technical failure include:
unsuitable modification to parts
omission of maintenance checks
a fault not being isolated
While many maintenance-related errors seem inconsequential, they have the potential to remain dormant and can affect the safe operation of a vessel over time.
How often do I need to complete maintenance checks?
Programmed maintenance of vessel and its equipment should be undertaken in accordance with the schedules specified in your SMS Manual. To ensure the safety and efficiency, inspections should be carried out prior to departure and at monthly and annually intervals at a minimum.
Where lapses have occurred in undertaking repairs and/or maintenance these are to be recorded in either the SMS or the Maintenance Log. The owner or Master is responsible for corrective actions to be undertaken within the timeframe specified in the vessels SMS.
Consideration may be given to the severity, nature and potential impact of any repairs or defects in relation to the corrective action required. Where there is no potential impact on the safety of the vessel, persons onboard, other vessels and the environment – the time required may be extended accordingly. Any extension in times should be recorded in the vessels Log Book.
The Master is responsible for ensuring all machinery, equipment and other technical and electronic equipment is maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.
The maintaining of all inspection records is the either the Master or the Engineer if caried.
When and Where do I need to inspect?
These checks are to be in accordance with the vessels pre-departure check list.
The following areas/items should be inspected at a minimum every month:
Hull, Deck & Superstructure
Machiney, Fuel and Steering Systems
Fire & Safety Equipment
Miscellaneous – such as anchors, chain, line, winch and signage etc
The following areas/items should be inspected at least once a year:
Hull, Deck & Superstructure – External
Hull, Deck & Superstructure – Internal
General Arrangements including Internal structures, stairs and air dampeners
Anchors, Chain and Equipment
Machinery, Steering and Fuel Systems
Fire systems and Equipment
Identifying, addressing and managing maintenance-related risks is an important part of your Safety Management System (SMS). The SMS must include a planned maintenance schedule as well as a pre-departure checklist. Planned maintenance should include regular checks, servicing, visual inspections and operational tests.
Equipment failures and vessel breakdowns can cause accidents, putting everyone on board in danger.
It is important to keep proper records of what maintenance has been done. This allows you to track when you are due for maintenance and helps prove you are proactive about the safety of your operation.
Another common question we’re getting is do I have to record all my maintenance? The answer is YES you need to record all your maintenance, both scheduled and non-scheduled.
Scheduled maintenance includes everything from oil changes to annual refits and everything in between.
Unscheduled maintenance is things like when you have to repair engines, gearboxes, refrigeration or anything else due to a breakdown or hull repairs to an incident, etc.
All of these things must be recorded in an appropriate manner. You can use a Maintenance Log Book like ours below or maintenance record forms in your SMS, in an electronic maintenance program or even in an Excel spreadsheet but…it must be recorded.
We have a number of clients using specially designed maintenance software programs while others are using either our Maintenance Log Books or ones they’ve developed.
The other question is do we have to keep the records onboard? Simple answer, NO. Again, a number of our clients use our Maintenance Log Book and keep it ashore as they have shore-based maintenance personnel.
Many of our smaller clients use the maintenance form we have in our SMS Manuals and store them in their SMS.
Others use our maintenance form and store them in the cloud enabling maintenance to be recorded and having it accessible to onboard crew and shore-based staff and/or owners.
No matter which method you choose it’s no use unless you ensure all maintenance is recorded when it’s done not a month later.
My crews would often say I was too annal in recording maintenance as I insisted in everything being recorded down to changing light globes which may sound a bit extreme.
The benefit of that was upon return from a trip they had changed light globes in one cabin 6 times during that trip. This indicated an electrical fault which had the potential to cause a fire!
You don’t have to go to that extreme but must always ensure maintenance relevant to the operation and safety of the vessel are recorded. This demonstrates to AMSA that you run a professional operation!
First recommendation is to ensure you have a method of recording maintenance that suits your requirements, and all maintenance is recorded.
Second is to ensure your SMS has a maintenance schedule or program that outlines what you inspect and/or service and at what intervals, e.g., monthly, annually, etc.
For most of our clients we develop monthly and annual schedules while a few have monthly and biannual programmes in place. The bottom line is the schedule must suit your operations.
In our Maintenance Log Books and forms we include a column for the person undertaking the maintenance to sign of on it.
Our best tip is to record all maintenance, no matter how big or small it is. We recommend recording everything from the replacement of fuses and light globes to major component items such as engines, gearboxes, etc.
This provides a chronological account of all maintenance which gives you a detailed look at how the vessel is running and identifies any areas that may require special attention.
Click Here to view the Maintenance Log Book. If you wish, you can order with free postage.
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/MAINTENANCE1-scaled.jpg1200883Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2022-11-15 09:00:002023-03-20 17:59:49Maintenance and Maintenance Records. Do you know your requirements?
Here’s hoping everyone got something out of last week’s issue, and it inspired at least some but hopefully all to check their vessel and workplace fire apparatus and equipment.
To follow on from last week a good starting point is to go back to fire basics and look at the fire triangle which includes Fuel – Heat – Oxygen.
What’s important to remember is if you remove just one of those items you have no fire!
Another point to remember is that a fire can get out of control within seconds and can generate heat in excess of 1,000°C.
This alone should encourage people to take action quickly unless you have some strange underlying desire to suffer serious injury and burns!
Here’s a few of the more common areas where the potential for a fire is quite high.
Engine and/or machinery rooms: leaking fuel or hydraulic/oil lines and bags of rags
The galley or kitchen: oil fires and stoves and other appliances left unattended
Store rooms: paint, grease, oil fires, cardboard/paper fires, etc.
Accommodation areas: mobile phone/tablet/laptop chargers and overloaded power boards
Leaking fuel or hydraulic lines are often the cause of fires in engine and machinery rooms. Fuel or oil leaking onto hot engine components, especially exhausts or turbo chargers is a fire about to happen.
Bags of damp or used rags left in engine or machinery rooms are also a recipe for fire.
The picture below shows a leaking fuel line and a bag of rags, both major causes of fires!.
The answer to these and most other potential fire hazards is regular inspections of fuel and hydraulic/oil lines and ensuring the safe storage and disposal of rags.
Oil fires on stoves are another common cause of fires as is leaving cooking appliances unattended which usually happens when someone calls the cook to help them with something.
Knowing how to use a fire blanket is vital but during training session we deliver unfortunately very few people actually know how to use them to extinguish and mitigate reignition.
Here’s what everyone should know about using fire blankets.
Pull the tabs to remove it from the packet and open the fire blanket
Take hold of the tabs and flick the top over your hands
Approach the fire slowly with the blanket just below your eyes
Place it gently over the fire. DO NOT throw it as this will fan the fire
Then the step that just about everyone misses – turn off the power or gas supply!
Leave it in place for at least 20 – 30 minutes or longer
Remove it using the tabs to slowly slide it back towards you
Note that when you’ve used a fire blanket it cannot be re-used and must be replaced.
We have a major hate in the use of power boards and charging phones, tablets and laptops in accommodation areas.
These are known causes of fires not only onboard vessels but in offices and homes as well.
The picture below shows a power board that’s overheated and was the start of a fire!
People in their bunks get up and inadvertently throw bedding over the item which causes an extra build-up of heat and there’s your fire waiting to happen.
As per last week’s recommendation and for your safety and the safety of all others and vessel or premises ensure you have a procedure in place and that you undertake regular drills.
Secondly, monitor the use of extension leads and power boards to ensure they are not overload.
And remember, if you take away one side of the triangle (fuel, heat or oxygen) you extinguish the fire!
It’s a standing rule on the boats we manage, and in our homes that there is no charging of mobile phones, etc. in cabins or bedrooms and it’s a tip for you to follow!
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Fire-Triangle.png209242Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2022-11-08 09:00:522023-03-20 17:59:50More on Fire Safety. Are you aware of these?
This is a very important question because over the last 12 months we’ve undertaken several Safety Audits both on vessels and in workplaces ashore and conducted multiple onboard training sessions where fire safety was compromised.
How does your fire safety stack up?
Here’s a short list of things we’ve discovered during our Safety Audits and training sessions:
Empty fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers not serviced
In one case the engine room fire suppression system bottle was empty
Air shut offs not functioning. Often these had been painted over during refit
Air shut offs with damaged dampeners
In another case an air shut off that had a bolt from a fitting located in the vent pipe which prevented the dampener from closing
Inoperable fuel shut offs
In one case a fuel shut off that had to be accessed through a hole in the deck with a fitting that could not be removed
Fire hydrants and/or hoses in disrepair
A lack of knowledge on how to deal with a fire, even a minor one!
All of the above put the vessels at risk in the event of a fire onboard, especially in the engine room.
While the above list is based on vessels, many of the items are also relevant to workplaces such as factories, offices, etc.
Fire extinguishers that have been discharged or otherwise become inoperable should never be onboard or in the workplace, they must be serviced when due.
Check the gauge on a regular basis and if it is in the RECHARGE section, get it recharged immediately!
Do you have Dry Chemical extinguishers on your vessel in your workplace?
If yes, ensure you know what class they are as there are two classes for Dry Chemical extinguishers, these are:
ABE Type :
Class A Fires – paper, cardboard, wood, fabrics, people etc.
Class B Fires – flammable liquid fires, petrol, diesel, oil etc
Class E Fires – electrical fires, computers, photocopiers, switchboards etc
Class B Fires – flammable liquid fires, petrol, diesel, oil etc
Class E Fires – electrical fires, computers, photocopiers, switchboards etc
Air shut offs that do not fully operate put your vessel at risk. You need to check them for full operation regularly, especially after a refit where painting has been undertaken.
The picture below was supplied by AMSA as an example of a damaged air dampener.
Fuel Shut offs: The location and operation of your fuel shut offs is also critical for your safety in the event of an engine room fire. These should also be checked regularly for effective operation.
The picture below is an example of a cable operated fuel shut off.
Fire hydrants and fire hoses are fitted on many vessels, but we’ve found ‘lay flats” hoses that were in disrepair, one that even feel apart when pulled out!
For your safety and the safety of your crew, workers and/or clients and vessel or premises ensure you have a procedure in place and that you undertake regular drills.
Secondly, make sure all crew and workers can identify the classes of extinguishers and their specific uses.
Also, it’s critical to your safety that you undertake regular checks of ALL your fire fighting apparatus and equipment to ensure it works when required.
Best tip for Dry Chemical extinguishers is to turn them upside down and give them a little shake on a regular basis.
The reason for this is that the powder compacts on the bottom of the extinguisher and may not work efficiently or work at all.
https://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/fire13.jpg187187Traceyhttps://shorlink.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Shorlink_Logo_Transparent-002.pngTracey2022-11-01 09:00:482023-03-20 17:59:50Fire! How safe is your workplace?
On their own, boils are not contagious. However, the infection inside a boil can be contagious if it is caused by a staph bacteria.
If you or someone close to you has a boil that is actively leaking pus, you should cover it — or encourage them to keep the abscess covered — with a clean bandage.
Can boils spread?
Technically, boils cannot be spread. However, the infection that causes the red bump in your skin is likely caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
This staph bacteria can be spread by contact with other people or with other parts of your body, possibly resulting in boils or another type of infection.
Boils can also be caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This isa type of bacteria that has become immune to some antibiotics, making it harder to treat.
If a boil has been caused by MRSA, you must be very careful to prevent the pus and liquid from the boil from coming into contact with other people.
How do I prevent boils from spreading?
To prevent the infection inside of boils from causing other infection, you must practice good hygiene and care for the infected area.
Wash your hands often.
Do not touch the infected area more than necessary.
Do not share towels, razors, or washcloths.
Cover the wound with clean bandages.
Do not attempt to pop or lance (cut open with a sharp instrument) the boil at home.
Wash the area gently and often with a washcloth, but do not reuse washcloth.
What is a boil exactly?
A boil is an infection that develops inside the hair follicle. Therefore, boils can occur anywhere that you have hair, but are commonly found on the
A boil occurs in the hair follicle and pushes itself up towards the surface of the skin. The bump that results from the boil is filled with pus. If the infection spreads to hair follicles in the immediate area, the boil is classified as a carbuncle which is a cluster of boils.
How do you get boils?
Boils are caused by an infection that develops in the hair follicle. You have a higher risk if you have:
come in contact with staph bacteria
a weakened immune system
shared personal items with someone who has boils
come in contact with surfaces that may carry bacteria such as wrestling mats, public showers or gym equipment.
Boils are not typically sexually transmitted. However, if you come in close contact with someone who has a boil that is leaking, you should wash with antibacterial soap as soon as possible.
You should encourage that person to keep the boil covered. The pus inside of a boil commonly carries contagious bacteria.
How do I treat a boil?
Boils can heal on their own with time, but usually need to drain in order to heal completely.
To help the boil heal quickly, apply warm compresses to the boil to help it open naturally and drain.
Do not pick or attempt to pop your boil as this will allow the pus to come in contact with other surfaces and spread infection. Be sure to keep the area clean and covered with sterile bandages.
If your boil does not heal on its own in two weeks, you may need to have the boil surgically lanced and drained. A doctor will make an incision in your boil to allow the pus to drain. The doctor may pack the wound with gauze to help soak up any excess pus.
Boils themselves are not contagious, but the pus and liquid inside of the boil can cause additional infection to yourself and others. The pus can contain bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
If you have a boil, keep the area clean and do not share personal items with other people.
Sharing towels or clothing that touches the area can cause the bacteria to spread to other people or other places on your body, which can result in more boils or other types of infections.
Personal hygiene is our top recommendation to prevent boils from occurring. Commercial vessels all have (or are meant to have) an up to date medical supplies which include the drugs required to treat boils.
If you notice anything that is a potential boil tell the Master immediately so as you can be treated before serious issues develop.
Personal hygiene is key but so is ensuring you cloths, bedding, towels, etc. are kept clean and free from the bacteria that transmits boils.
Our best tip is to wash your cloths using a medicated anti-bacterial treatment in your washing machine. We strongly recommend using Seabreeze Puro Rinse which has been scientifically proven to kill the bacteria and fungi in your washing machine and your washing including cloths, bedding, etc. Click Here to purchase for only $23.95 including free shipping!
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!
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 email@example.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.
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This newsletter is about watchkeeping on Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) for vessels less than 35 metres operating within the EEZ.
Watchkeeping, do you need a ticket for being a watchkeeper on a DCV <35mtrs?
Whilst its best if the person on watch has a deck ticket it’s not a requirement. There’s no problem in a crew member who has been trained in watchkeeping procedures and the Master deems competent to stand a watch.
In fact, if a watchkeeper on a DCV had to have a ticket there is likely to be either less vessels operating or more marine incidents.
A watchkeeper may be the Master or another crew member deemed competent to undertake watchkeeping duties.
When a Master hands over watchkeeping duties to a crew member remember that the person on watch has been given control over the safety of the vessel and all persons onboard!
A person on watch is required to maintain a lookout using all available means which includes but is not limited to:
The use of electronics; e.g. radar, sounders, etc.
Every SMS should have a watchkeeping procedure which includes:
Recording the name and time of crew members on and off watch
Masters Standing Orders
Following the planned course
Maintaining safe navigation
Maintaining a radio watch
Monitoring machinery, plant and all alarms
Being aware of situations or conditions that do or have the potential to affect safety
Recording events in the vessels Log Book
Most importantly calling the Master if in doubt
Being on watch means not only when you’re working or steaming but also at anchor so ensure the above items are followed even when at anchor which is when a lot of incidents occur!
Develop a watchkeeping procedure and ensure it gets followed at all times. We strongly recommend developing a watchkeeping hand-over sheet which includes:
Vessels current position, course and speed
Position and number of potential hazard (if any)
Other vessels in close proximity
Special conditions affecting the vessels progress or operations (wind, tide, etc.)
Each crew members operational duties if working
With some of our clients we have developed a sign over form which each item is ticked off during the hand-over process then signed by the watchkeeper going off duty and the one taking over.
Our other recommendation is when travelling at periods of restricted visibility (at night, dusk or dawn, fog, etc.) in waters that restrict your manoeuvrability by way of channel width or depth place a lookout on the bow and reduce speed!
One of the best gadgets to have is a Watch Alarm which you can set different intervals between alarms which are designed to ensure you remain awake.
Take Note: if you are getting tired or falling asleep when on watch WAKE SOMEONE UP do not try to battle through your watch and put the vessel and all persons onboard at risk!
Our other BIG tip is when on watch don’t just sit in the chair, get up, walk around and ensure you look behind you as well. A 360° lookout has saved may a vessel from a collision. Don’t always think that because you’re keeping a lookout the other vessels crew are doing the same!
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