Marine safety issues and actions

Regulatory oversight

Issue number: MO-2018-011-SI-05
Issue owner: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Transport function: Marine: Other
Background: Investigation Report 346-MO-2018-011
Issue release date: 11 May 2021
Current issue status: Closed – Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

The safety action taken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority should serve to augment the existing regulatory oversight activity of Australian flagged ships particularly with regard to the fire safety risk and risk management on board self-unloading ships, and therefore address the identified safety issue.

Safety issue description

Regulatory safety oversight of Iron Chieftain, which comprised flag State audits, surveys and inspections had not identified safety deficiencies with respect to the ship’s fire safety, risk management, emergency preparedness and emergency response.

Proactive action

Action number: MO-2018-011-NSA-013
Action organisation: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Date: 11 May 2021
Action status: Closed

On 18 February 2021, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) advised the ATSB of the following safety action taken to address the identified safety issue:

  • AMSA has provided its inspectors with procedural updates that cover fire risk assessment requirements of the IMSBC Code.

In addition, AMSA has the advised the ATSB that it will also:

  • Provide its inspectors with training that covers the fire risk assessment requirements of the IMBSC Code at its next inspectors training workshops
  • review existing internal processes for communicating convention requirement changes to the AMSA inspectors, to ensure they are effective
  • carry out an inspection campaign concentrating on SUL ships operating in Australian waters, with a particular focus on fire safety and emergency preparedness
  • provide guidance to all AMSA Recognised Organisations (ROs) who conduct ISM Code audits on behalf of AMSA with respect to the need to focus on emergency preparedness during future ISM Code audits, particularly those audits associated with SUL ships and the companies that operate them
  • discuss with AMSA ROs who deliver statutory surveys on behalf of AMSA, the contents of this report in regard to the depth and scope of surveys particularly in regard to fire detection and alarm signals; and
  • review its training regime, and update as appropriate, for the verification of drills at flag and port State inspections.

In an update provided on 5 March 2021, AMSA advised the ATSB that:

  • AMSA internal instructions had been updated to provide inspectors with guidance with respect to IMBSC Code requirements and the updated instructions had been promulgated to inspectors.
  • Similarly, updated instructions had been promulgated to ROs with particular emphasis on ISM Code audit focus.
  • AMSA ISM Code certification guidelines had been updated to include a reference to the IMSBC code and the requirement for a fire risk assessment for self-discharging vessels which should be part of the vessel’s SMS.
  • AMSA is progressing an inspection campaign concentrating on SUL ships operating in Australian waters as soon as possible, with a particular focus on fire safety and emergency preparedness.
  • Work was underway to develop an updated instruction with the aim of bedding down an effective process that ensures that changes to convention(s) are identified and that inspectorate activities are suitably informed and updated as necessary, and in a timely manner.
Last update 11 May 2021