Concerns over technical inspections and safety protocols: An analysis conducted by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) on its industry vessel inspection programs has highlighted significant safety gaps. The study specifically identified ongoing concerns related to technical inspections, controlled entry into confined spaces, cyber security, and defects in life-saving appliances. The findings indicate areas where improvements are crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of marine workers.
Common issues across inspections: The analysis, based on the eCMID and eMISW systems, examined 1,539 reports on vessel inspections conducted between April 2022 and April 2023. Among the 761 eCMID inspections, approximately 10% lacked technical inspections, 9% had inadequate control over enclosed space entry, 13% lacked a formal cyber security incident response process, and 7% reported defects in life-saving appliances. Similarly, of the 778 eMISW inspections for smaller vessels, 7% did not address hazards within the machinery space, 6% lacked the required number/type of lifebuoys, and 6% did not have a planned maintenance program.
Importance of standardized vessel inspections: The IMCA eCMID system offers standardized formats for vessel inspections in the marine and offshore industry. By providing a safety management system (SMS) ‘health check’ and promoting consistent inspections, the system aims to enhance inspection quality and reduce their frequency on individual vessels. The analysis of inspection findings serves as a valuable tool to identify and address unsafe practices, while case studies and quality assurance processes contribute to further improvements in safety protocols.