As part of its work to make ships mooring safer, IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC 6), which took place on 4-8 February 2019, has introduced new requirements for appropriate and safe-to-use designs of mooring arrangements, a maintenance and inspection regime, as well as proper documentation.
The submissions at the meeting highlighted that mooring operations continue to pose a risk to ships’ crews, but also shore-based mooring personnel.
It is also one of the work situations where crew members are exposed to excessive dynamic forces (snap-back), detrimental heavy manual work processes and the influence of unfavourable weather conditions that may further hamper the safe and healthy accomplishment of the port call.
Accidents are frequent, with fatalities reported annually.
For example, from 1997 to 2013, 402 accidents were registered on Danish ships, with four fatalities and 43 injuries reported.
As such, the new requirements are incorporated in the draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-1/3-8 on Towing and mooring equipment, and supported by two new sets of draft guidelines.
The draft Guidelines on the design of mooring arrangements and the selection of appropriate mooring equipment and fittings for safe mooring and the draft Guidelines for inspection and maintenance of mooring equipment including lines; as well as the existing, but revised guidance on shipboard towing and mooring equipment.
The draft SOLAS amendments and draft guidelines/guidance will now be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in June, for approval.
The work to develop the draft SOLAS amendment and related guidelines followed proposals submitted to MSC 95 (2015).