A Rough Guide to interpreting the Principles of Safe Manning

The Guidelines for Determination of Minimum Safe Manning are only viable if they are strictly complied with. To date, there is no mathematical formula for assessing the manpower requirements of a ship taking into account these Guidelines - while these are very sensible guidelines.....

 

On 30 November 2011, the IMO adopted Resolution A.1047(27) - Principles of Minimum Safe Manning - which revokes Resolutions A.890(21) and A.955(23).

Paragraph 1.4 of Annex 2 - Guidelines for Determination of Minimum Safe Manning – states that in determining the minimum safe manning of a ship, consideration should also be given to the number of qualified and other personnel required to meet peak workload situations and conditions, with due regard to the number of hours of shipboard duties and rest periods assigned to seafarers.

A few definitions of peak work load conditions could be:

for cargo ships: the ability to moor safely in adverse weather conditions where springs and ropes must be put out together and possibly tugs lines tended, all supervised by a responsible officer;

for cruise ships: the ability to evacuate the ship safely in poor weather conditions at night without assistance from the shore facilities in the time specified by the IMO;

for smaller vessels: the ability to enter port, work cargo and sail the same day and comply with the requirements for hours of work and hours of rest;

for engineering staff: the ability to man the machinery control room or machinery monitoring station when navigating in restricted waters and/or berthing/unberthing;

for maintenance: the ability to undertake essential ship/system/machinery maintenance in harbour during cargo operations or bunkering operations whilst attending to inspectors and port or company officials.

The Guidelines for Determination of Minimum Safe Manning are only viable if they are strictly complied with. To
date, there is no mathematical formula for assessing the manpower requirements of a ship taking into account these Guidelines
- while these are very sensible guidelines, they are nevertheless open to individual interpretation, and we can only offer our own thoughts on how to apply them. This we have done by way of a Template titled
A Rough Guide to interpreting the Principles of Safe Manning, which can be downloaded from:

www.he-alert.org/documents/published/ HE01125.pdf