Frequently Asked Questions

Frequent Asked Questions by Our Clients


What is safety?

Safety means for people to exist in an environment free of danger, harm or injury. Safety means consideration for the family that depends on you, and for the company that employs you, and for your own welfare

What is meant by a safety culture?

A safety culture is the product of individual and team values, this means personal attitudes, competencies, and patterns of safety behavior that determines the individuals commitment to doing the job safely, and the accountability that person has to the company he works for. Another way to describe it is, how people work and behave when no one is watching them.

What are the key attributes of a sound safety culture?

  • In still safety as a core value within a company
  • Provide strong leadership
  • Establish and enforce high standards of performance both in the office and on board ship
  • Maintain a sense of vulnerability
  • Empower all individuals to successfully fulfill their responsibilities safety
  • Provide deference to expertise
  • Ensure open and effective communications
  • Establish a questioning/learning environment
  • Foster mutual trust
  • Provide timely response to safety issues and concerns
  • Provide continuous monitoring of performance

What does safety stand for?

  • STANDARD - A level of quality or attainment, the action or fact of achieving a goal towards which individuals have worked.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY - The fact or condition of being accountable, responsible, liable, or answerable
  • FLOW - To proceed continuously and smoothly to an ultimate goal
  • ELITE - People of the highest class who continually work towards greater improvement within themselves.
  • TRANSFORMATION - To change in form, appearance, nature, and character of a person, to a great person
  • YOU - The nature or character of the person being addressed, the person you are.

Why is it that slips trips and falls are so common?

Most slips occur when ships staff get carless (mindless) The solutions are often simple and cost-effective and a basic assessment of the risks should help to identify what you can do to tackle slips, trips and fall risks.

Why is dealing with slips and trips important?

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury at sea. On average, they cause over a third of all major injuries and can lead to other types of accidents, such as falls from height or falls, on decks and when working on ladders. Slips and trips also account for half of all reported injuries to crew members in workplaces where there is access points on deck and within the engine room, changing rooms, toilets stairwells and cabins.

Loud noise at work can damage your hearing. This usually happens gradually and it may only be when the damage caused by noise combines with hearing loss due to ageing that people realise how impaired their hearing has become.

Why is dealing with noise important?

Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling. This can be gradual, from exposure to noise over time, but damage can also be caused by sudden, extremely loud, noises. The damage is disabling in that it can stop people being able to understand speech, keep up with conversations or use the telephone.

What are the hazards of working at height

Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the shipping industry. Common cases include falls from ladders, pipes, tank tops and confined spaces (cargo / ballast tanks). ‘Work at height’ means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury to themselves and others

What do I have to do to stay safe?

You must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people with the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job. You must use the right type of equipment for working at height. Take a sensible approach when considering precautions. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning and there may be some low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.

Pressurised equipment

Many types of pressure equipment can be hazardous. These include steam boilers and associated pipework, pressurised hot-water boilers, air compressors, air receivers and associated pipework, hydraulic mooring equipment and cargo systems. When things go wrong, these types of equipment can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. However, assessing the risks and putting proper precautions in place will minimise the chances of any accidents occurring.

Why is pressure equipment safety important?

If a piece of pressure equipment fails and bursts violently apart because of the extremely high pressure within the system , the results can be devastating to people in its vicinity. Parts of the equipment could also be propelled over great distances, causing injury and damage to people and other parts of engine room.

What is meant by enclosed space and why is it dangerous?

A confined space is one which is both enclosed, or largely enclosed, and which also has a reasonably foreseeable risk to workers of fire, explosion, loss of consciousness, asphyxiation or drowning. It may be small and restrictive for the worker or it could be far larger such as a cargo / ballast tank.

What are the hazards?

Working in a confined space is dangerous because of the risks from noxious fumes, reduced oxygen levels, or a risk of fire. Other dangers may include flooding/drowning or asphyxiation from some other source such as dust, other contaminant.

What do I have to do?

Wherever possible, you should avoid carrying out tasks in confined spaces. Where this is not possible, you must assess the risks of the particular confined space and plan how you will control those risks. For example:

  • if a confined space has noxious fumes, you should consider how these can be ventilated or removed
  • if there is a risk of liquids or gases flooding in, you should establish whether the valves can be locked shut
  • if someone is going into a confined space and there is not enough oxygen to breathe properly, you must provide breathing apparatus or ventilate the space to increase oxygen levels before entering
  • You should have emergency arrangements where necessary. If someone is working in a confined space, think about the following:
  • How will you know they are okay and haven’t been overcome by fumes?
  • How will you get them out if they are overcome? (It is not enough to rely on the emergency services.)


What is an audit?

An audit is simply another form of inspection and testing - except that in this case the product being inspected is the on-board management system itself. An audit simply compares how things actually are, to how we think they are and how they ought to be.

Why audit?

Audits help uncover areas that are in need of attention and they can be an opportunity to draw back from the day-to-day details and to take look at the whole process with fresh eyes. Despite being such a (potentially) positive tool in the management system toolkit, audits often induce the same kind of stress as end of year exams. Quality, safety and environmental management standards all require audits to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the management system.

Is an audit stressful and why?

Obviously, a great deal rides on a successful external audit so some anxiety is expected. However, a good Internal Audit process can reduce the stress, since you can uncover the problems yourself and resolve them before the external auditor begins.

Is an audit stressful and why?

Obviously, a great deal rides on a successful external audit so some anxiety is expected. However, a good Internal Audit process can reduce the stress, since you can uncover the problems yourself and resolve them before the external auditor begins.

Is there a procedure for audits?

A documented procedure shall be established to define the responsibilities and requirements for planning and conducting audits, establishing records and reporting results." You are also required to keep records.

Are audits planned?

Internal Audits need to be scheduled at planned intervals to check that the quality system conforms to requirements and that the system is effective. 'Requirements' include the standard itself, as well as the company's own requirements (i.e., its own procedures and policies).

Can anyone audit?

An auditor should be objective and impartial. You cannot audit processes that you manage / control yourself. This means you will need to have at least two internal auditors trained and available. However, due to lack of resources, or sometimes with the crossover of responsibilities that is common in some companies, having two impartial auditors may not be possible. In this case, you may need to consider using an external resource. Large companies may use a team of auditors.

What about planning the audit?

The plan identifies the area you will audit, now you need to define what criteria you will audit against. Sometimes this takes the form of a formal checklist with a pre-determined list of questions. You can also use a copy of the procedure being audited and mark this up with questions and points to verify. You'll need to identify what records should be checked to verify the process. Any previous findings or issues related to the audit area should also be checked. Even with pre-defined questions, an auditor will still need to 'follow their nose' if something is not quite right.

Is there a formal meeting before the audit takes place?

An audit usually starts with an opening meeting where the auditor meets the auditee(s), sets the expected timetable and out how the audit will be conducted.

What happens if the auditor find a mistake in a procedure?

During the audit, the auditor will work systematically through the checklist or procedure, examining evidence that the process meets the criteria. It's common to markup the checklist with notes and a quick finding result, e.g., C = compliant, NI - needs improvement, NC - non-conformance,

Does the auditor write down everything he checks?

When recording the audit, it is important to write down exactly what evidence was examined to establish the finding - regardless of the finding. e.g. auditing employee training records the auditor writes: (Note that the date is an important part of the evidence).

During the audit does the auditor discuss any matters of importance?

Usually the auditor will discuss the finding with the auditee before recording it. This is to ensure the finding is understood and to confirm there is actually a problem, e.g. the auditee above may reveal that the Second Officers personal folder includes a separate safety briefing record with the required signature. This can sometimes negate the finding, or just change it - i.e. the signature is there, but it is not following the procedure. In this example, the consequences of not following the procedure are minor and the audit finding should reflect that.

Is there a closing meeting?

The audit will finish with a closing meeting where the lead auditor gives an overall summary of the audit and discusses each audit finding to ensure they are understood.

What about the final report?

An external certification auditor will submit a formal written report on the audit to management several days later and it's common for an internal auditor to do the same. However, there's no requirement in the standard for a formal audit report. You simply need to ensure the findings are recorded and communicated to management. You could just record the findings and their details in your non-conformance form & register. You will need to retain records of the audit which will typically include:

  • Completed Audit Checklists and/or marked up procedures
  • Notes on objective evidence examined, and personnel interviewed
  • Audit Findings (cross referenced to your Nonconformance Register)
  • Audit Report

What happens about the findings?

Findings raised at both Internal and External Audits need to be addressed with corrective actions. At the next audit, the auditor will verify that the corrective actions taken were effective in bringing the management system into compliance.

What is the difference between an internal and external audit?

An audit may also be classified as internal or external, depending on the interrelationships among participants. Internal audits are performed by employees of your organization. External audits are performed by an outside agent. Internal audits are often referred to as first-party audits, while external audits can be either second-party, or third-party.

What is a first party audit?

A first-party audit is performed within an organization to measure its strengths and weaknesses against its own procedures or methods and/or against external standards adopted by (voluntary) or imposed on (mandatory) the organization. A first-party audit is an internal audit conducted by auditors who are employed by the organization being audited but who have no vested interest in the audit results of the area being audited.

What is a second party audit?

A second-party audit is an external audit performed on a supplier by a customer or by a contracted organization on behalf of a customer.

What is a third-party audit?

A third-party audit is performed by an audit organization independent of the customer and is free of any conflict of interest. Independence of the audit organization is a key component of a third-party audit.

What is a follow-up audit?

A Management System audit may have findings that require correction and corrective action. Since most corrective actions cannot be performed at the time of the audit, the audit program manager may require a follow-up audit to verify that corrections were made and corrective actions were taken. Due to the high cost of a single-purpose follow-up audit, it is normally combined with the next scheduled audit of the area. However, this decision should be based on the importance and risk of the finding.


Why is there a need for a surveyor?

Surveyors provide clients with a professionally prepared report that can be accepted by banks and/or insurance companies. A well conducted survey should be able to provide good information on the vessels' conditions, as they will provide their report based on accessible areas at the time of inspection.

Why should I have a vessel surveyed?

Most insurance companies and banks will require a survey report, especially on older vessels. They will need to know her condition and fair market value in order to finance and/or underwrite the vessel. While knowing her condition and fair market value before a purchase is important, main reason to survey your vessel is for the safety of the passengers and crew.

What Type of Survey Do I Need?

Marine Surveys are performed for a number of reasons, and the procedures for each vary to best suit customer requirements.

Why do I need a Pre-Purchase Survey?

Why do I need a Pre-Purchase Survey?

Why do I need an Insurance Survey?

This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether the vessel is an acceptable risk and are mainly focused on structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older vessels to identify the vessel's fair market value.

Why do I need a Damage Inspection Survey?

The surveyor can be retained by an insurance company to determine the cause of a loss and determine the extent of loss related damage and may be asked to recommend repairs, review estimates, and determine the pre-loss value of a vessel. A vessel owner can also retain a surveyor for the same purposes, but on the owner's behalf.