Environment Excellence – Enhancing Safety & Security of Dry Bulk Sector!


In a major development, RightShip announced a new program for the dry bulk sector which aims to ensure the highest levels of safety, security and environmental excellence, reports Safety4Sea.

The new Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS) aims to support the improvement of safety and risk management standards within dry bulk ship management and help drive collaboration, conversation and increased standards in the sector.

Backstory of DBMS

More than ten years ago the concept of a set of safety and risk management standards for dry bulk shipping was first seeded by David Peel, Manager, EMEA at RightShip and George Sarris, Managing Director of Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A.

Over the last decade, Peel, Sarris and leading owners and operators from the global dry bulk industry have collaborated to bring the idea from concept to its current draft status, to improve the safety, sustainability and welfare for all vessels and crew operating within the segment.

Formal launch of DBMS

Safety4sea in an article reports that a new Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS) for supporting the improvement of safety and risk management standards within dry bulk ship management has been formally announced.

This new program for the dry bulk sector aims to ascertain the highest levels of safety, security and environmental excellence and to help drive collaboration, conversation and increased standards.

Industry players in the drafting of the DBMS

The draft guidelines and standards have been prepared based on the inputs given by partners, and operators from the dry bulk sector. It has also incorporated ideas from experienced ship managers and maritime experts.

DBMS key objectives

The voluntary programme is planned to allow ship managers to measure their Safety Management System (SMS) against agreed industry standards, with the lone goal of improving fleet performance and risk management.

This will ensure an operator’s policies align with industry best practice to both advance their performance and attain high standards of health, safety, security and pollution prevention.

The benefits mentioned by DBMS in its guidelines and standards are as follows:

  • Provide expectations and targets against which companies can assess their own safety management systems.
  • Benchmark a company’s management system against four key levels: basic, intermediate, advanced and excellence.
  • Allow the creation of self-assessment results that can be used to develop phased plans to support continuous improvement of ship management systems.
  • Encourage companies to regularly review their self-assessment results against DBMS expectations and to create achievable plans for improvement.

Areas focused: performance, people, plant and process

The draft guidelines focus on 30 areas of management practice across the four most serious risk areas faced in vessel operations; performance, people, plant and process.  The DBMS will grade the excellence of a company’s SMS against measurable expectations and targets without excessive inspections.

The standard describes the scoring methodology and cites the PDCS cycle as a way of implementing continual improvement within companies’ activities.

Levels of DBMS Standard

  • In each subject area, the standard provides expectations and associated targets at four levels.
  • Specifically, each level elaborates on the comprehensiveness of a company’s management system in relation to the subject area.
  • The expectation and associate targets can be used by a company to self-access their systems and processes.

DBMS is not a replacement for ISM Code

  • DBMS is not a replacement for the ISM Code, whereas it helps to build upon industry standards.
  • It provides a systematic approach to encourage ship managers to move from minimum compliance to operational excellence.
  • It also allows ship managers to stand out from the crowd,
  • Whilst also enabling them to pinpoint the most effective management upgrades required across their fleet, saving time and money.

Luke Fisher, Project Lead, DBMS, commented

DBMS will help to accelerate an increase in standards, and also provide an attainable benchmark for maritime excellence. DBMS will also not stand still. In line with a segment that is being reshaped constantly, the guidelines and standards will themselves constantly evolve and develop with ongoing feedback from participants

A set of standards like DBMS has been missing from the dry bulk sector. It will allow companies individually, as well as the dry bulk industry as a whole, to gradually raise its level of safety.” noted Antonis Sakellis, Safety & Quality Director, Neda Maritime Agency.

George Sarris, Managing Director, Enterprises Shipping and Trading S.A, said:

“New technologies and new regulations alone will not improve shipping standards, unless we perceive things differently. The enhancement of a safety culture across the industry is a necessity, and moving on from ‘paper compliance’ and ‘mandatory certification’ models to self-regulation and self-assessment will help us achieve our goals and bring about a better dry bulk segment.”

More on DBMS website 

The standards are still in their draft format to encourage input from all industry players.  They can be found on the newly launched DBMS website, where owners and operators can download them and provide feedback.  

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Source: Safety4Sea




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