How Is The ISM Code Used On Ships?

Credit: William William/Unsplash

The International safety management (ISM) code ensures the safety of life and ship at sea by implementing various safe practices on board ships.

ISM code works with the motive of satisfying three important goals:

  • Safety of people on board
  • Safety of ship and cargo
  • Safety of the marine environment

For implementing ISM code on ships, all three – the shipping company, the governing authority, and the ship’s crew together play an important role.

Every seafarer should know the important aspects of the ISM code in order to create a safe working environment while at sea.

ISM code is implemented on ships in the following ways:

Plans and checklists form the most integral part of the implementation procedure of the ISM code on ships. Checklists for safe starting and stopping of shipboard machinery, along with plans to carry out various work procedures on board ship ensures the safety of the ship and marine environment.

Plans and checklists also include accurate defining of tasks to be carried out by each crew member of the ship. ( Download our free ebook on important checklists here)

Procedures are formed to tackle emergency situations onboard ships. This emergency preparedness to respond to emergencies is inculcated in the ship’s staff through drills and various emergency training programmes.

Every activity on a ship is a team effort. Effective team meetings and discussions help in a great way to take the security of the ship to an all-new level. (Find out how to conduct effective team meetings on board ships)

In order to ensure the utmost safety of the ship, the ISM code targets the very basics of the ship’s functioning – ensuring proper maintenance of the ship’s machinery. This includes

  • Inspection of ship machinery at regular intervals of time
  • Taking the right actions in case of non-conformity
  • Keeping a record of the causes and maintenance activities for future reference
  • Regular testing of equipment and systems
  • Training ship personnel and keeping them updated with the latest in the industry

Every ship has a safety committee, along with a safety officer, to discuss and implement new safe working practices and update the existing ones. The master of the ship is the chairman of the committee and ensures proper functioning of the same.

Every detail of the ship is noted down in valid documents, which are available all the time onboard the ship. These documents are reviewed at regular intervals of time during audits.

All the changes in the documents are reviewed and approved by the authorized personnel.  Moreover, all the documents necessary for the safety of the ship are mentioned in the SMS manual.

The shipping company pays an important role to ensure that the ISM code is properly implemented on the ships. The company also appoints a safety officer, who is required to carry out his duties properly by providing all the necessary information regularly.

Following strict safety policies implemented under the ISM code not only helps in ensuring the safety of life and environment but also benefits the shipping company in a variety of ways.

The type of procedures adopted for a ship under the ISM code depends on the type of the ship and the shipping company.

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Source: Marine Insight


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