10 Golden Safety Rules to live by launched

10 Golden Safety Rules published
10 Golden Safety Rules published

Together in Safety, a consortium of maritime organisations and companies, has launched 10 Golden Safety Rules to help shipping improve its safety performance.

The 10 Golden Safety Rules were developed by the Together in Safety Coalition following a review of fatal incident reports across all sectors of the shipping industry. They comprise 10 areas for all companies and every seafarer to adopt in their everyday work to prevent injuries and fatalities.

Dr. Grahaeme Henderson OBE, Chair of Together in Safety, emphasized that shipping is fundamental to the world economy, and safety should be the top priority. According to Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, these rules will provide additional support to ongoing efforts aimed at preventing the significant number of avoidable serious injuries and fatalities occurring daily.

The 10 Golden Safety Rules have been designed to complement existing management systems and procedures, but do not replace these. They are designed to help keep seafarers safe and are applicable to everyone who works on a ship. The Rules are as follows:

Rule number 1: Stop

Ensure all colleagues are empowered to STOP WORK and intervene.

– Encourage all colleagues to ‘STOP WORK’ when there is an unsafe activity or condition.
– Respect the intervention.
– Thank the person who stopped me and may have saved my life!
– Raise the issue for learning through the normal company process.

– React poorly to a safety intervention.
– Be afraid to step forward to intervene.
– Leave it to someone else.
– Cover up or disguise any unsafe activity or condition.

Rule number 2: Enclosed Space Entry

Only enter an enclosed space if it has been ventilated and the atmosphere confirmed safe.

– Check if a Permit is required; obtain authorisation and comply.
– Verify that the atmosphere has been tested and made safe and confirm what and when re-testing is required.
– Challenge the testing: ask when and where it was completed, by whom, and what materials / substances were in the space.
– Confirm that all energy, machinery and fluids and gases have been isolated and locked-out.
– Verify that the atmosphere of the space will not be affected by adjacent activities/compartments or spaces.
– Agree an appropriate rescue plan with co-workers before entry.

– Work in an enclosed space if there is a safer alternative to complete the task.
– Enter an enclosed space without fully understanding the hazards present and ensuring it is safe to do so.
– Enter an enclosed space alone.
– Deviate from the agreed safety or emergency procedures.
– Leave an entry point unattended; during breaks, ensure appropriate barriers or means to prevent unauthorized entry into the space.

Rule number 3: Fall Prevention

Always protect yourself from falling when working at height or during personnel transfer.

– Check if a Permit is required before commencing a task, understand the requirements, and comply with them.
– Maintain three points of contact when climbing or working from a ladder and always hold onto the handrail on stairs.
– Plan my work and agree appropriate safety measures with my co-workers.
– Check the condition of fall arrestors/lines and anchor points.
– Maintain situational awareness of other work being conducted around me.

– Start work without a pre-job risk assessment to identify risks and appropriate controls.
– Start work if I think the conditions are unsafe.
– Start work if I am unclear of the safety or emergency procedures.
– Rely only on PPE; it is my last line of defense.

Rule number 4: Energy Isolation

Verify isolation before working with stored energy and invisible hazards (e.g. electrical, pressure).

– Identify all energy sources (such as electrical, mechanical, gravity, and kinetic) before starting a task.
– Check if a Permit is required, obtain authorization, and comply.
– Treat all energy sources as live until they have been safely isolated, de-energized, verified, and locked-out with life-saving equipment such as locks and tags.

– Start work without a pre-job risk assessment to identify risks and appropriate controls.
– Start work if conditions are perceived as unsafe.
– Start work if unclear about the safety or emergency procedures.
– Rely only on PPE; it is the last line of defense.

Rule number 5: Working Over Water/Access to Vessels

When outside of ships rails, always wear a Personal Floatation device.

– Wear a suitable life-saving flotation device before commencing work on or around water.
– Plan work, ensuring the sea-state is within acceptable conditions.
– Consider vessel movement and swell before transferring between vessels.
– Check emergency equipment is in place, such as radio and flares.

– Work within a risk of falling overboard if the task can be achieved by a safer method.
– Board a vessel if the risks are unacceptable or if there are concerns regarding safety, weather, or the transfer methods.
– Carry equipment when transferring over water.
– Transfer to another vessel without first establishing visual and radio communications.

Rule number 6: Line of Fire

Ensure yourself and others are positioned away from suspended loads, stored pressure, moving machinery and snap-back areas.

– Maintain a safe distance from hazards, ensuring to stay outside the ‘line of fire’ and understand the consequences of equipment failure.
– Keep away from suspended loads, unprotected equipment, and moving vehicles.
– Be alert to blasting, welding, grinding, electrical work, and falling objects.
– Maintain a safe distance from lines under tension, such as lifting/mooring lines, towing cables, or suspended loads – consider – Snap-back areas.
– Make use of pedestrian walkways and safe zones where provided.

– Enter an unauthorized area.
– Bypass a safety barrier or enter an exclusion zone.
– Attempt a task that I am not trained or competent to do.

Rule number 7: Navigation

Adhere to the collision regulations, supplement navigation aids with visual/manual checks, plan and execute the passage plan and avoid distractions and fatigue.

– Look out of the window.
– Obey collision regulations.
– Comply with work/rest hours.
– Maintain a safe distance from land and shallow water.
– Supplement navigation aids with visual/manual checks.
– Execute passage as per plan.
– Calculate enough Under Keel Clearance, including dynamic factors such as Squat.

– Allow incidents caused by fatigue.
– Accept ECDIS/AIS tracking information without independent checking.
– Proceed at unsafe speed in heavy traffic or restricted visibility.
– Allow oneself to be distracted (see GSR 10 on page 15).
– Use or have available personal mobile phones, tablets, or laptops while on duty.

Rule number 8: Lifeboats

Ensure own and others safety during maintenance and testing of lifeboats.

– Ensure the boat is fully secured (gripes; harbor pins; lashings) before entering for maintenance.
– Conduct toolbox talks covering dangers, release mechanisms, roles, and operational procedures.
– Have fully trained colleagues conducting maintenance of boats, winches, brakes, davits, and associated safety systems.
– Remove winch handles before launching.
– Ensure adequate supervision and means of communication.
– Avoid the unintended operation of on-load release mechanisms.

– Have anyone inside a boat when only testing the operation of the davit or crane.
– Have more people inside the boat than the minimum critical crew required for safely launching the boat or testing launching apparatus.
– Put crew in danger areas when boats/davits are moving (crushing, etc.).
– Leave hanging off pennants or securing devices in place after maintenance/testing.

Rule number 9: Hotwork

Ensure spaces are free of flammable materials and gases before working where flame is used, or sparks may be produced

– Ensure all flammable materials are removed from space AND where possible, adjacent spaces.
– Have firefighting equipment available and ready for use.
– Keep watch over adjacent spaces.
– Test for the presence of flammable gases.
– Complete a Risk Assessment.
– Consider alternative work methods/equipment or deferral to refit.

– Proceed without a relevant permit.
– Deviate from Risk Assessment/permit.

Rule number 10: Distractions

Distractions can have disastrous effects on safety vigilance. It is essential there are no distractions which impede your focus on safety duties.

– Comply with the company policy on avoiding distractions, such as cell phones, laptops, or tablets, to ensure full focus on safe operations.
– Only conduct activities required for the safe operation of the vessel.
– Plan tasks with care to avoid simultaneous activities (SIMOPS).
– Maintain a professional workplace.
– Ensure that only personnel with immediate ships’ business are permitted access to the bridge, engine room, and cargo areas.
– Ensure the team takes regular breaks, especially where tasks are repetitive.

– Use or have a personal mobile phone available while on duty.
– Use or have a personal tablet or laptop available while on duty.
– Engage in personal social media or messaging activity while on duty.
– Be overloaded by electronic communications, including internal and external VHF calls (including those for collision avoidance) – will call the supervisor/Master for backup.
– Allow oneself to be distracted by repetitive alarms, risking alarm fatigue.
– Be disrupted by non-essential activity, such as visitors to the ship and to the bridge (or engine room), including colleagues, shore personnel, contractors, cargo, and other representatives.
– Read or have available to read newspapers, magazines, or other leisure material while on duty or supervising onboard activities.

“Working together we can make a real difference and ensure that every seafarer arrives home safely to their families and children. The impact will be positively felt across the entire shipping industry and will be a major contributor to its future success. This is a unique opportunity so let’s make it happen,” concluded Dr. Grahaeme Henderson.

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