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We all can agree that working on a ship comes with several different risks. From cargo hazards to container fires, there are plenty of opportunities for accidents and incidents when you are out at sea.
Putting this into consideration, safety has been and is still one of the most pressing issues for shipowners and managers around the world, and this is where the need for a Ship Safety Management System (SMS) comes in strongly.
Safety of the vessel and the shipping environment is critical, but having a robust ship safety management system lets you manage this daunting task day in and day out without any trouble.
In this article, you will understand:
- Safety management systems
- Key elements of a safety management system
- The benefits of having a safety management system
What exactly is Safety Management Systems?
A Safety Management System (SMS) – also referred to as A Vessel Safety Management System – is a software that helps shipping companies manage the safety, efficiency and workload of their fleets while also helping to prevent damage to the environment and personnel.
Reducing the severity of safety hazards is the top priority of any efficient ship management system.
With the right kind of safety system, you will not only reduce the risk of accidents, but also gain better insights into your fleet.
A good safety management system fulfills every fundamental safety obligation, while also forming a part of the ship’s risk management strategy.
Key Elements of an Efficient Ship Management System
There are several elements of an efficient ship management system. Some of the key elements of an effective ship management system are:
- Emergency guidelines
- Risk assessment
- ISM Environment and safety policies
- Clear and efficient lines of communication among the crew and the shipboard staff and shore-side personnel
- Internal and management audit procedures
- Comprehensive Accident analysis and reporting
- Proper Audit and management review procedures
The best safety management systems fulfill every fundamental safety obligation and form a part of the ship’s risk management strategy.
Now that we understand the safety management system, and some of its key elements. Let’s see what are some benefits of having a safety management system on our ship.
Importance & Benefits of Safety Management Systems
There is potentially significant cost savings in implementing a Safety Management System.
- The long term savings include, implementing improvements and reducing hazards of processes and systems, the potential improvement in employee and equipment performance, and the savings of avoiding fines associated with non-compliance.
- Safety on the sea is of the utmost importance for all shipping vessels. A safety management system can help achieve maximum efficiency.
- A ship safety management system can help generate accurate automated reports on accidents, injuries, follow-up incidents, and near-misses.
- It helps key shipping personnel have access to real-time information, that helps them track and check situations on the ship effectively.
- It brings clarity, accountability and transparency through an integrated workflow that connects and syncs the data shared by the vessel and the onshore office.
Another major benefit of ship safety management is that it helps avert costly and risky accidents and incidents, jeopardizing the ships’ movements and impacting revenue.
As highlighted in this article, having an effective Safety management system in place is critical for any shipping vessel and ultimately, the benefits of having one far outweigh the costs of implementing one for your vessel.