New lifejacket safety requirements in force from 1 August

From 1 August 2023, owners or operators of a fishing vessel will need to address lifejacket wear requirements in their safety management system’s risk (SMS) and have written procedures.

Vessel owners are also required to consider the management of lifejackets to ensure that they are readily available if needed.

It does not mean lifejackets are mandatory to wear at all times, but does mean a vessel’s SMS must set out when lifejackets are required to be worn. This could detail wearing in certain wind and sea conditions.

Making sure that when to wear a lifejacket is built into risk assessment and safety management systems are new requirements, which will be in force from 1 August 2023, via a new Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements).

The new Marine Order 504 follows extensive consultation with industry in recent years to improve operational safety and increase lifejacket wearing on domestic commercial vessels, after dozens of preventable fatalities over a 10-year period.

You can find more information here.