Changes to risk assessment, crewing and safety management system requirements

On 1 August 2023, new requirements will come into force which will improve operational safety for people working on domestic commercial vessels.

These changes have been made to Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements) and they follow extensive industry consultation in recent years.
A summary of these changes:

  • Crewing provisions will better align with the certificate of competency arrangements in the revised Marine Order 505 (Certificates of competency) which came into force on 1 January 2023, while the minimum crewing requirements table in Marine Order 504 has been simplified.
  • Fatigue must be adequately addressed when determining risk-based crewing levels.
  • Risk assessment (including the appropriate crewing determination) must be accessible to the master, crew and enforcement personnel.
  • The master and crew (if applicable) must be consulted on the development of the vessel’s risk assessment.
  • A copy of the vessel’s safety management system must be kept onboard (if practical) and with onshore personnel.
  • Additional onboard training and drills will become a requirement for emergency procedures which must be addressed in the vessel’s safety management system, and associated record-keeping must be undertaken.
  • There must be clear and direct reporting pathways for the escalation of issues to the designated person, these must be understood by crew and master and incorporated into the safety management system which must be working as intended.
  • The vessel’s risk assessment must take into consideration wearing of lifejackets and a written procedure must be included in the safety management system.

If you own or operate a domestic commercial vessel, take the time to familiarise yourself with these changes, review and reassess your safety management system, crewing determination and risk assessment to ensure they comply before 1 August 2023.

Information sessions:
If you want to hear more about these changes, click here to register for one of our upcoming information sessions. We have both online and in-person sessions available over the coming months.

Please note, places are limited in our in-person sessions, these are intended for owners and operators who live and work in these locations. Of course, there are no limits on places in our online sessions, and registration is strongly encouraged.
For more information and guidance, visit the AMSA  website.