Public consultation – AMSA proposed changes to wheelhouse and personal safety standards

Several at-sea fatalities in recent years have involved coronial recommendations to amend sections contained within the national standard for wheelhouse visibility, escape, accommodation, and personal safety (NSCV Part C1).

Examples include people falling overboard due to:

  • guardrails not being high enough,
  • a lack of, or ineffective use of, emergency escape lighting,
  • escape doors, and openings not that do not function against water pressure.

It is proposed that the amended NSCV Part C1 will only apply to:

  1. Newly constructed vessels; and
  2. Existing vessels that undergo modifications to the arrangement, accommodation, and personal safety aspects of the vessel

AMSA is currently amending NSCV Part C1 to address these issues (along with other important changes) and clarify several clauses to improve the overall format to make it easier to understand and apply the standard. The changes also aim to better align NSCV Part C1 with current international and national standards.

AMSA is now inviting feedback from stakeholders on the proposed changes to NSCV Part C1 including:

The proposed changes include:

  • meeting disability accessibility standards
  • improved standards for escape routes, escape lighting and signage
  • clarified definitions of ‘special working decks’ and ‘working decks’
  • further management associated with a person falling overboard, by improving technology requirements and inclusion of a ‘no-climb’ zone
  • a minor relaxation of when toilet and ship sanitation facilities must be fitted
  • improved ventilation requirements
  • improved safety requirements for pilot vessels
  • changes to gangway requirements
  • alignment of some requirements with already adopted national and international legislation and standards.

Further details can be found here. 

Consultation is open until 24 April 2022.

Following consultation AMSA expects the new standard will come into effect in January 2023 with a transition period of two years.

Have your say here.