Editorial - Issue 39

Alert 26 focussed on essentials of an Integrated Management System. Since then there have been a number of amendments to the ISM Code, particularly that "each ship is appropriately manned in order to encompass all aspects of maintaining safe operations on board" - and other additional guidelines.

In Alert! Issue No. 26 we focussed on the essentials of an Integrated Management System and argued that there is a need for effective systems and processes and for health, safety, security, quality and environmental awareness to be combined with good working practices. In this Issue we are focussing on the management
of Risk.

Since Issue No.26, we have seen a number of amendments to the ISM Code, one in particular introduced text changes to Section 6.2, which requires that the Company should ensure that each ship is appropriately manned in order to encompass all aspects of maintaining safe operations on board.

Manning issues (especially under-manning) can present a major risk; due regard should therefore be given to The Principles of minimum safe manning. In Alert! Issue No. 32, we offered some guidance on interpreting these Principles through the associated document A Rough Guide to interpreting the Principles of Safe Manning.

We also now have the ILO Guidelines for implementing the occupational safety and health provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention which offers a more comprehensive approach to risk management than that current under the ISM Code.

In the context of security, the ISPS Code covers the general aspects of security aboard ship and in ports, but it does not embrace the relatively new risk of cyber-attack, which can have an effect on the human-system aspects of risks.

However, the Round Table of international shipping associations are developing Industry guidelines – for which drafting work is still in progress – to provide advice to ship owners and operators on how to minimize the risk of a cyber- attack through user access management, and how to protect on board systems, develop contingency plans and manage incidents if they occur.

This is the last but one Alert! bulletin. Issue No. 40 - the final Issue - will serve as a wrap up edition, which will be published on 1 January 2016 in pdf format; we are investigating funding for the printing of this final Issue. We are also exploring the possibility of publishing a compilation of Issues 1 to 40.