Shipboard Safety Officer Notes

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Published Date

September 2010

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Shipboard Safety Officer Notes

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This book is a guide to the responsibilities of the Safety Officer and how to develop a good safety culture on board. It discusses how to approach the tasks that you will be presented with, what they might mean and the implications or actions that may result from them.

The main role of a Safety Officer is to act as a focal point for all occupational health and safety matters arising onboard ship. It should be noted that the role, while important, is advisory and does not actually carry the company's responsibility for health and safety.

This book provides a clear and 'no-nonsense' guide to the responsibilities and will focus on what you need to know to perform this position in a professional manner. It discusses how to approach the tasks that you will be presented with, what they might mean and some of the implications or actions that may result from them.


1. The Role of the Safety Officer

1.1 Who is the Safety Officer?

1.1.1 Legal/Formal Definitions (Countries adhering

to the British Code of Safe Working Practices)

1.1.2 Who should be the Safety Officer?

1.2 Principal Duties of the Safety Officer

1.3 Characteristics of a Good Safety Officer

2. Background to the Creation of the Role

2.1 International Safety Management (ISM)

Code and Safety Culture

2.1.1 Establishing a Safety Management System (SMS)

2.1.2 The Safety Management System

2.2 ILO

2.3 International Organization for Standardization (ISO),

Safety Management and Safety Culture

2.4 Health, Safety and Environmental Policy

2.5 The Employer

2.5.1 Duties of the Employer

2.5.2 Tools, Safety Equipment and Machinery

2.5.3 Workplace

2.5.4 Competency

2.5.5 Operating Procedures System

2.5.6 Employer’s Liability

2.6 Competent Person

2.6.1 Duties

2.6.2 Employee Health Surveillance

3. The Safety Organisation Onboard Ship

3.1 Shipboard Safety Organisation

3.1.1 Master’s Responsibility

3.1.2 Safety Representatives

3.1.3 Safety Committee

4. Safety Culture

4.1 Communication

4.1.1 Communication Types

4.1.2 Communication Issues

4.1.3 Effective Communication

Shipboard Safety Officer Notes

4.2 Motivation

4.3 Role of Communication and Motivation in

Shipboard Safety

4.4 Creating a Safety Culture

4.4.1 Relationship between the Master and

the Safety Officer

4.4.2 Interpreting Accident and Near Miss Data

5. Risk Assessment

5.1 Legal Requirements for Risk Assessment

5.2 Task Selection

5.3 Hazard Identification (HazID)

5.3.1 Hazard Monitoring

5.4 Evaluating Hazards and Assessing Risks

5.5 Controlling the Risks and Action Plan

5.6 Permit to Work (PTW) System

5.7 Checklists

5.8 Documentation for Risk Assessment

5.8.1 General Information

5.8.2 Hazard Specific Information

5.9 Risk Assessment – The Simplified Steps

6. Incident Investigation and Prevention

6.1 Incident Investigation

6.2 Investigation Process

6.2.1 First Response to an Incident

6.2.2 Investigation Tools

6.3 Investigation Steps

6.3.1 Information Gathering to Establish the Facts

6.3.2 Interviewing Tips

6.3.3 Information Analysis and Conclusion

6.4 Interpreting the Facts

6.5 Report Writing

6.5.1 The Contents of a Report

6.5.2 Preparation and Planning

6.6 Initiating Corrective Actions

6.7 Authorities to whom Reports are Sent

6.7.1 The Marine Accident Investigation

Branch - MAIB

6.7.2 Voluntary Reporting Schemes


Appendix 1 – Codes and Legislation

Appendix 2 – MAIB Incident Report Form and MGN 289

Glossary of Main Terms

Acronyms and Abbreviations



MICS, PG Cert. (Shipping), MSc. (CBIS), HND Nautical Science, BSc. (Maritime Studies)

Awarded the President of Pakistan Gold Medal for best cadet during B.Sc. Maritime Studies at Pakistan Marine Academy, he received the High Achievement Award and the Merchant Navy Association (Tasmania) prize on completion of the second mate from the Australian Maritime College.

After obtaining and HND in Nautical Science from the Blackpool and Fylde College in 2000, he earned an M.Sc in Computer Based Information Systems from the University of Sunderland. After this, he sailed for a while but the incidents of 9/11/2001 made him pursue a shore based career. He moved to New Zealand and studied for the Graduate Certificate in Shipping at the New Zealand Maritime School.

In June 2003, Abdul moved to SSNS at the NAFC Marine Centre as an HND Nautical Science course developer. He continued in this position until the Centre started training cadets, when he became a lecturer in Nautical studies. While in this position, he passed the Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers examination and has recently been elected as a member of the Institute.

Title: Shipboard Safety Officer Notes
Number of Pages: 131
Product Code: 4305
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-402-3 (9781856094023), ISBN 10: 1-85609-402-2 (1856094022)
Published Date: September 2010
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 230 mm
Book Width: 150 mm
Book Spine: 10 mm
Weight: 0.30 kg
Author: Abdul Khalique

Customer Reviews

helpful book Review by Anthony Alexander
very good for my career (Posted on 06/09/2019)
Safety at Sea Review by Fairplay Review November 2010
The main role of a safety officer is to act as a focal point for all safety matters onboard - although the role is advisory and does not carry the company's responsibility for health and safety. To many people this will seem a daunting task, but a new book clearly outlines how the safety officer can respond to situations in a responsible manner,

So who should be appointed safety officer? We are told it should be someone capable of encouraging a positive safety culture abroad, with good interpersonal and administrative abilities.

A safety officer should be appointed if there are more than five workers on board and should have received formal training, act as an independent safety adviser on behalf of the company, not normally be the master, and it should not conflict with his primary role onboard.

Author Abdul Khalique outlines the principal duties of the position. These include enhancing health and safety awareness among the crew, maintaining records of findings for hazards and incidents, investigating all accidents and performing health and safety inspections. The safety officer should receive further training if required and this should be discussed with the master, Khalique advises.

The chapters are thoroughly detailed and designed to help the safety officer understand the potential problems and how to deal with them. The sections are extensive and consider where the role fits into the area of the ISM Code, safety policy and the safety management system onboard, with advice for good practice.

As a handbook, this volume provides a clear and no-nonsense guide to the responsibilities inherent in this position – as well as valuable advice for developing a good safety culture onboard. (Posted on 14/03/2011)

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