High number of ships do not comply with planned maintenance requirements

Between 15 January and 28 February 2022, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) conducted a focused inspection campaign (FIC) on planned maintenance. The shocking outcome is that the campaign has revealed a high number of ships failed to comply with the planned maintenance requirements.

The Planned Maintenance Focused Inspection Campaign (FIC) focused on:
– The level of compliance with the planned maintenance system (PMS) requirements of the International Conventions. This included statutory requirements under SOLAS and mandatory PMS requirements from the ISM Code;
– The familiarity of the master and officers with their processes for ensuring maintenance of the ship and equipment and, whether the ship has been maintained after survey in accordance with statutory requirements.

The findings
The FIC results showed that a high number of ships failed to comply with planned maintenance. The results were as follows:
– 271 ships were inspected during the FIC;
– AMSA detained 17 ships during the period of the FIC campaign, 7 of which were detained as a direct result of the planned maintenance FIC. This means that 41.2% of all detentions during the FIC campaign related to the questions asked during the planned maintenance FIC.

Of the seven detentions, three ships were detained for single critical maintenance issue (e.g. air pipes) and four were detained for multiple maintenance related deficiencies under the ISM code.
A further Nine ships (3.3%) did not follow permit to work safety management procedures, which underpin the safe management of higher risk duties;
– Five ships (3.9%) did not have complete records of inspection for cargo securing equipment, and
– Five ships (3.6%) did not have procedures adopted to ensure engine software is appropriately updated.

The Ships detained under the ISM code for maintenance recorded a high number of deficiencies that contributed to the detention in multiple maintenance areas. On average this equated to over 13 deficiencies per ship detained under ISM.

The most positive results were that the majority of ships are:
– Inspecting survival craft falls periodically (99%);
– Ensuring that maintenance inspection intervals were undertaken in accordance with SMS (99%) as implemented onboard.

Ship operators, Masters and crew are strongly encouraged to review these documents and take steps to improve planned maintenance systems that include regular and thorough maintenance, visual inspections and operational tests of equipment onboard your ships, said AMSA.

It also added that “effective and regular maintenance reduces the risk of equipment failure and ensures that a system continues to perform its intended function as per its design and with direct reference to safety and reliability.”

As a result of this FIC, AMSA intends to:
– Continue to focus attention on the importance of effective and appropriate planned maintenance systems and section 10 of the ISM code;
– Continue their focus on safety management procedures and permit to work systems that underpin higher risk duties;
– Increase their focus on the maintenance of cargo securing equipment.

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