Research identifies gaps in induction training on vessels

The NSW Office of Transport Safety Investigations recently commissioned research that identified a potential safety risk around the lack of effective and ‘hands-on induction training of casual crew’ on domestic commercial vessels (DCVs).

Induction training that covers duties, key operations of the vessel and emergency procedures is critical for everyone’s safety onboard, and is also a legal requirement.

It was observed that crew members were not consistently receiving effective induction training in accordance with legislation to safely operate DCVs.

The findings indicated that the issue was more prevalent in smaller operators. Only 56 per cent of crew on smaller vessels ‘demonstrated competency in operating equipment’ compared to 86 per cent of crew working on larger vessels.

Challenges such as time pressure, lack of resources and staff availability were identified as potential barriers in ensuring crew were sufficiently inducted to safely operate smaller DCVs.

Only 8 per cent reported they received no induction, or only a basic safety message.

70 per cent of respondents agreed that hands-on practice with demonstrations would be beneficial for trainees to learn emergency drills and procedures. Other improvement areas include longer training periods and ongoing instruction from experienced crew/masters.

You can read a copy of the full report here.

Induction training for new crew members is mandatory under Australian marine safety national law.

The updated AMSA Marine Order 504 requires the DCV owners and operators to ensure their safety management systems include the following:

  • Induction training for new crew members
  • Life-saving equipment training
  • Provisions to undertake regular drills for their existing emergency procedures, including how often these drills need to take place, and how they will determine the competency and capability of crew participating in these drills.

You can read the updated Marine Order 504 here.