WAFIC believes every professional fisher has a right to operate in as safe a workplace as possible given the inherent nature of working at sea in unpredictable  weather conditions.

This is why we have established a dedicated Safety and Training page on our website.

If fishing vessels cannot go to sea, fishermen cannot ‘access the resource’. There are many marine safety and workplace safety reasons why vessels may not be able to go to sea:

  • Vessels may not meet government marine safety regulations and authorities stop vessels for going to sea;
  • Skippers and crew may not be properly qualified to work your vessel;
  • Workplace health and safety arrangements are inadequate and authorities have shut down your fishing operation.

This section of the WAFIC website is designed to direct you to:

  • The current government regulations for marine safety;
  • The current government regulations for workplace safety (Note: Workplace safety comes under separate legislation to marine safety in WA – see below);
  • Important matters on upcoming changes to safety and training that may impact your fishing or aquaculture business;
  • Latest news in safety and training affecting the fishing and aquaculture industry.

Marine Safety – relates to vessel construction, vessel survey specifications, skippers tickets, engineers tickets, life-saving equipment, radios, navigation, safety management systems, vessel operating limitations and emergency procedures.

For more information go to: Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) 

AMSA Connect                       1800 627 484 – Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (across Australia)
AMSA website                        amsa.gov.au/transition-national-system-domestic-commercial-vessel
Email                                       [email protected]
Follow us                                Facebook.com/AustralianMaritimeSafetyAuthority

Workplace Safety – relates to how the owner, skipper and crew of any vessel manage health and safety in the workplace including safety management systems, training, on-board safety drills and emergency procedures. (Note: A fishing vessel is regarded as a ‘workplace’)

For more information go to: Worksafe WA – http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/worksafe

WAFIC_17 copy

Photo: Corrina Ridgway

The cost of safety and training can represent a significant investment for fishing or aquaculture operations but failure to plan ahead and manage safety-at-sea can have an even greater impact on your crew’s well-being or even their life.

It is important that the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry understands:

  • how to access information on the marine safety and workplace safety rules relevant to an individual or a vessel;
  • how industry can provide input to make sure the rules, and any proposed changes, are practical to implement; and,
  • the processes used by government to introduce or change the marine and workplace safety rules.

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Are you Doing Everything to Make Sure You and your Crew Come Home?

 If you are reading this you are probably an owner, skipper or deckie on a fishing vessel or you have a partner, child or grandchild working on a fishing vessel. Fishing is the last of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ industries, man vs the sea, long traditions and embedded culture.

But ask yourself – are you doing everything in your power to make sure you and your crew come home?

Watch this video before reading on: https://vimeo.com/264380465

Rules and regulations set minimum standards but only the people who own, skipper and work on a fishing vessel can make sure everything has been done to be safe while at sea.

Do you think that your mates on-board the vessel with you know how to save you in an emergency? What happens if they don’t?

Ask your self these simple questions.

  • Does your vessel have a documented safety management system (SMS)?
  • Have you trained your crew in how that SMS works on your vessel?
  • Does your vessel practice emergency procedures on a regular basis, especially when a new crew member joins the vessel? Does everyone on board know exactly what to do if a man goes overboard or there is a fire or the vessel starts to sink or a hand goes into a winch or net drum? Do you know what to do?
  • Do you have a problem wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) while working? If so, ask yourself why is this a problem – then ask yourself if it would be a bigger problem being tossed overboard without a PFD (fitted with a strobe light and a personal EPIRB) in the middle of the night or in rough weather conditions?

Ask your loved ones if they think it is a problem with you wearing a PFD while at sea or do they think that it is a waste of time doing regular training drills in emergency procedures?

Now go back and watch the video again and listen to the crab fishermen who after 25 years fishing still ran into a dangerous situation he never expected. Are you like him and think you’ve got it all under control – then ask yourself if you really do have it all under control?

The new AMSA authorities will be visiting every vessel in WA in the near future and they will be asking you how your vessel is dealing with all the basic things raised in the questions above. Where a deficiency exists the owner may be asked to show cause as to why their vessel should not be prohibited from going to sea until the deficiencies are rectified.

Why not get on the front foot, develop your safe system of working on your vessel, train your crew in how to work safely on your vessel, regularly practice emergency procedures while at sea and encourage your crew to wear personal safety equipment when appropriate.

Keep asking yourself the question – Am I doing everything to make sure my crew and I come home?

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Safety CHECKLIST

The AMSA authorities will be visiting every vessel in WA in the near future and they will be asking you how your vessel is dealing with all the basic safety things raised in the questions above. Where a deficiency exists the owner may be asked to show cause as to why their vessel should not be prohibited from going to sea until the deficiencies are rectified.

Why not get on the front foot, develop your safe system of working on your vessel, train your crew in how to work safely on your vessel, regularly practice emergency procedures while at sea and encourage your crew to wear personal safety equipment when appropriate.

Keep asking yourself the question – Am I doing everything to make sure my crew and I come home?

1. Develop a Safety Management System for your Vessel

Safety Management Systems (SMS) ensure commercial vessels are maintained and operated safely.

If you own or operate a commercial fishing vessel (including those under the AMSA ‘grandfathered’ arrangements) you are required by law to implement and maintain an SMS for your specific vessel. This includes vessels that are exempt from needing a certificate of operation.

For more information: https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-operators/domestic-commercial-vessels/safety-management-systems

2. Carryout Regular Emergency Procedures Drills with your Crew

Your Safety Management System (SMS) should describe how to manage all these emergency situations BUT you must practice the emergency procedures to help train you and your crew to become ‘drilled’ in what to do if a real emergency arises.

Don’t leave things to chance. Practice every three months or whenever a new crew member comes aboard. Log these practice sessions in your vessel log.

3. Electrical Safety – Install Residual Currency Devices

The State’s energy safety regulator is urging business owners to do a simple check of their residual current devices (RCDs) – the compulsory life-saving switches that protect against electrocution.

4. Cyclone contingency plans must be in place

Business owners and operators must ensure that contingency plans have been established and are in operation for cyclones.

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LATEST NEWS

IMPORTANT: New WA Workplace Safety Laws Commence 31st March 2022

The WA Minister for Industrial Relations announced recently that the new WA Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 would commence on 31 March 2022. Go to: https://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/safety-regulation/introduction-whs-laws

Previous editions of the WAFIC Newsletter have extensively outlined the content and impacts on your industry from the introduction of the new WA Work Health & Safety Act and regulations.

The new WHS laws impose a primary duty of care on persons conducting a business or undertaking to reasonably ensure the health and safety of workers.

It is important that vessels owners (including all directors and partners) are actively involved in ensuring safe systems of work are in place on your vessel, crews are trained (especially in emergency procedures) and you can demonstrate regular review of the safety systems, training and having carried out emergency procedure drills.

The new laws include ‘industrial manslaughter’ options that carry a maximum penalty of between 5 and 20 years imprisonment for an individual and a maximum $10 million fine for a body corporate. Other new aspects include increased penalties, prohibiting insurance coverage for WHS penalties and the introduction of enforceable undertakings as an alternative penalty.

Small businesses, including family fishing operations, all company directors and operators could face serious penalties for something they did not deliberately or knowingly intend. Employers and company directors could be jailed and/ or face bankruptcy for an offence that they had not anticipated an accident could occur.

Transitional arrangements to provide sufficient time for duty holders to adapt their safe systems of work have been agreed but only for new laws which did not exist in the old legislation.

The government has taken the view that laws which are the same as those that existed under the old legislation will apply immediately the new Act commences in March 2022.

That means inspectors will be making sure workplaces align with most of the legislation immediately – ie from 31stMarch 2022.

Worksafe WA has released the following explanatory documents:

  1. Overview documentation – the Act and accompanying WHS (General) Regulations.

       Go to: https://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/safety-regulation/whs-publications-and-resources

  1. Legislation Implementation Statement.

       Go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2022-03/WHSWA_StatementRegIntent.pdf

  1.  Compliance and Enforcement Policy.

       Go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/worksafe-prosecution-policy

  1. Prosecution Policy.

Go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/worksafe-prosecution-policy

These guidance documents provides an overview of the structure of the WHS general regulations and aims to help business owners and operators identify what duties or rights are contained in each Part of the regulations.

A new concept in the legislation is ‘person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)’.

A PCBU owes a primary duty of care to workers in a business or undertaking if it:

  • engages or causes the engagement of workers to carry out work, or
  • directs or influences workers carrying out work

A ‘PCBU’ can include:

– a body corporate (company) including directors and shareholders both individually, and collectively;

– an unincorporated body or association;

– a sole trader or self-employed person;

– individuals who are in a partnership both individually, and collectively.

Importantly all PCBU duty-holders must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the environment at a workplace is without risks to health and safety.

It requires provision of suitable and adequate information, training, and instruction to workers and imposes duties regarding the general working environment and facilities for workers, first aid, emergency plans, storage of flammable or combustible substances, falling objects and confined, remote or isolated work.

For the full Worksafe overview document go to:https://www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/atoms/files/overview_general_regulations.pdf

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Does the Seafood Industry have ‘Critical workers’ under New WA COVID rules

Critical workers will be those who can’t work from home and perform a role that is necessary for the safe continuation of services and/or has specialist skills including in  agriculture for the purpose of food supply.’

The detailed list of businesses in this category includes farming activities and other operations relating to agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, irrigation, permaculture, apiculture, grains, fibre production, dairy, commercial fishing, aquaculture and livestock’ and ‘food including meat and seafood processing’. Go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus/covid-19-coronavirus-critical-worker-categories

Businesses will have to register any critical workers among their employees in an online system the Government is still developing.

Critical workers will be able to keep working, even if they’re a close contact.

Critical workers will be required to follow the new testing and isolating protocols if they are a close contact:

  • If symptomatic, follow symptomatic close contact rules
  • If asymptomatic, and you are required to work for continuity of operations, you must have a negative RAT daily
  • When working you must work with a surgical mask, use other PPE where possible, and if possible travel alone
  • When outside of work, you must self-isolate
  • If a RAT is positive, you must self-isolate for 7 days.
  • If symptoms ever develop, you must follow symptomatic close contact rules.

However, they will need to return a negative COVID test, wear a mask, and isolate when they’re not working.

If the worker develop symptoms, they must go into isolation and follow the same rules listed above.

Full details: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/covid-19-testing-and-isolation-protocols

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IMPORTANT!! Have Your Say – Independent Review of AMSA Vessel Safety Rules

Consultation closes 30th March 2022 and you can comment via:

  1. Email submissions [email protected]
  2. Online at https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/review-domestic-commercial-vessel-safety-legislation
  3. Please provide your comments to WAFIC Safety and Training Consultant on 0417908089 or [email protected] by 20th March 2022 to allow a WAFIC submission to also be prepared on your behalf.

The Morrison Government recently announced an independent review (the Review) of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) legal framework regulating the safety of domestic commercial vessels in Australia.

The Review will be carried out in two phases:

  1. To consider whether the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety delivered through AMSA:
  • is fit for purpose,
  • is focusing on the capacity of the legislation to support safe vessel operations,
  • has minimised regulatory and administrative burden for industry, and provided transparency.
  1. To assess the costs and chargesassociated with the marine safety legislation.

The Review will be led by Mr Michael Carmody, (former Australian Taxation Commissioner), together with Ms Carolyn Walsh, (Chair, National Transport Commission) and Mr John Harrison (ex CEO of WAFIC).

The Terms of Reference and additional information is available at http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/domestic-commercial-vessel-safety-review

Should you wish to register your interest in participating in the review, and to subscribe to updates, please email [email protected]

WAFIC requires your input on what you like, dislike or would change in the current marine safety laws that apply to your fishing vessels. The following questions are designed to help.

    • Do you find the current marine safety laws for your vessel are appropriate overall?
    • What do you find most beneficial about the AMSA legislation and regulatory framework?
    • What do you find most complicated about the AMSA legislation and regulatory framework?
    • Do you find the number and different kinds of instruments make the framework complicated and difficult to navigate? (ie the Act, Regulations, marine orders, exemptions, standards, etc)
    • Are there any particular instruments or particular requirements you find are easier to use than others? Please give examples.
    • Is the law too prescriptive or not prescriptive enough?
    • Does the complexity of the National Law regulatory framework impact you and operations and do you find it difficult to understand the requirements and what is required to for your vessel?
    • How can the complexity of the National Law regulatory framework be improved or reduced?
    • Do you rely on third parties (eg consultants, surveyors, AMSA, WAFIC) to assist you in understanding your obligations?
    • Do you think complexity would be reduced if the National Law Act applied to a more limited group of vessels (eg vessels over a certain length or certain classes)?
    • Would more ‘plain English’ guidance and other educational material on the regulatory framework reduce complexity? If so, on what matters would more guidance be beneficial?

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AMSA Public Consultation on Marine Pollution Rules (Marine Order 97) 

Changes to Marine Pollution rules are expected to assist domestic commercial vessels (DCVs), including fishing vessels, to comply with worldwide nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission requirements.

The important change is whether a vessel requires an engine international air pollution prevention (EIAPP) certificate or not.

The key proposed changes in the draft Marine order 97 (Marine pollution prevention – air pollution) 2022 are that from the date of the new rules:

  • A DCV with an existing diesel engine with a power output of more than 130 kW already installed, will not require an EIAPP certificate (unless proceeding overseas).
  • A DCV, where there is a major conversion of a diesel engine with a power output of more than 130 kW, will be required to have an EIAPP certificate and associated technical file for that converted engine.
  • A DCV (existing or new build) installing a new diesel engine with a power output of more than 130 kW, will be required to have an EIAPP certificate and associated technical file.
  • Diesel engine suppliers will be required to provide an EIAPP certificate and associated technical file with any new diesel engine—with a power output of more than 130 kW—sold for installation on a DCV.
  • Deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances from all DCVs, foreign vessels and recreational vessels will be prohibited.
  • When records for using ozone depleting substances are required to be kept, electronic record books will be an option. This option will also be available for NOx emission and fuel oil change over records when applicable.
  • Requirements for local fuel oil suppliers will be made more consistent with MARPOL Annex VI and the Pollution Prevention Act.

Consultation closed on 20 March 2022. WAFIC made a submission on behalf of industry.

Details of changes can be found at: https://www.amsa.gov.au/consultation-marine-order-97-marine-pollution-prevention-air-pollution-2022?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MO97-consultation

It is anticipated the changes will apply when the new Marine order 97 comes into effect, which is anticipated to be on 1 January 2023.

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Public Consultation – AMSA Proposed Changes to Wheelhouse Visibility, Escape, Accommodation, and Personal Safety Standards (NSCV Part C1)

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.

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.

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 at: https://www.amsa.gov.au/wheelhouse-visibility-escape-accommodation-and-personal-safety-have-your-say-proposed-changes-0

 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 at: https://www.amsa.gov.au/wheelhouse-visibility-escape-accommodation-and-personal-safety-have-your-say-proposed-changes?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NSCV-C1

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 Stay Afloat Program – Mental Health Management for the Fishing Industry

Australia’s commercial fishers endure mental health problems at almost double the rate of the general population; and almost half of those who reported problems hadn’t reached out for help because they thought no one would understand the pressures of the industry – but, now there is somewhere to make sure they do.

 Stay Afloat Australia is the national mental health pilot program designed to support the mental wellness and education of members of the Australian Seafood industry – and their families. StayAfloat is educating healthcare workers about the Australian seafood industry, its operations and stressors helping them understand the history of commercial fishing in a region by providing them with resources to learn a little more about the local industry and what the life of a fisher is like.

The program is run by Seafood Industry Australia. You can get involved with Stay Afloat in a number of ways and make 2022 a year of wellbeing!

 Trusted Local Industry Advocates

StayAfloat works with local industry leaders to find Trusted Advocates who are available to lend a listening ear and provide fishers and families with support by:

  • Having a chat – sometimes we all need an ear, and your advocates know and understand the pressures you’re facing.
  • They can offer you tips on wellness and stress management;
  • Help you to connect with an expert;
  • And, educate your local healthcare providers on the commercial fishing industry so they’ll understand what you’re up against if you reach out for help.

 If you are interested in becoming a Trusted Advocate in your local seafood community contact Jo at StayAfloat on [email protected] 

 Trusted Advocates are only trained to provide a listening ear and to help guide you to professional support services, they are not crisis counsellors.

Should you or someone close to you be in crisis or immediate danger please call 000, or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

 

The final round of Community Resilience grants is now open.  These are a great way to celebrate and support our industry colleagues.

Grants of up to $2,000 are available to members of the commercial seafood community to go towards activities that connect people to each other and contribute to wellbeing:

  • hold a BBQ alongside your next AGM,
  • organise a community walk,
  • arrange speakers to attend your port meetings
  • team up with your local community to showcase the great work of our commercial fishers, or
  • something else you’ve always wanted to do in your community.

Applications are super easy for these low-admin grants. Program manager, Jo Marshall, is always on hand to help you step through the process.

For more information go to www.stayafloat.com.au/grants

3. How Can I Help a Mate – Free Mental Health First Aid Training

Ever wanted to know how to help a friend or mate who is struggling?

Interested in Mental Health First Aid but too busy to attend a course?

Stay Afloat offers Mental Health First Aid training online in the comfort of your own home or office. The course is FREE for anyone involved in the seafood industry – that includes fishers, deckhands, employees of commercial fishing businesses, processors, retailers, suppliers to industry and even their family members over 18 years of age.

Tailored to your industry, this training involves:

  • 5-7 hours of self-paced e-learning,
  • 2 x 2.5 hour Zoom workshops where you’ll be guided through how to have conversations to help people experiencing crisis or possible mental health problems.

Over 160 people have already completed this training and the feedback has been phenomenal.  “I’ve always been a person that people come to with their problems.  Now, I finally know what to say and how to help them” – Fran, Unloader, Darwin.

If that sounds, like you, or if you are interested in learning more, head to either of the following links for more information and to register.

Next Courses

Tuesday March 1st and 8th from 10am to 12.30pm (AEST) – click here

Thursday March 24th and 31st from 10am to 12.30pm (AEST) – click here

Wednesday March 30th and April 6th from 1.30pm – 4.00pm (AEST) – great for our friends from WA!  Click here

Want to hold your own Mental Health first aid in house?  If you can get 10 or more people together from your company or community, we’ll provide it at times, dates and locations to suit you – and yes, it’s still FREE!

E-mail [email protected] to discuss your options! Find out more by clicking the link! #StayWellStayAfloat #MentalHealth #StayAfloat

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Make Sure You Operate Your Vessel to Survey Limits

Vessels are surveyed and classed in regards to what operations they are undertaking:

  • Class 1 – Passenger Vessels;
  • Class 2 – Non-passenger vessels like workboats etc;
  • Class 3 – Fishing Vessels; and,
  • Class 4 – Hire and Drive.

A vessel is then restricted to one of four operational category limits of operating:

  • A (unlimited)
  • B (200nm),
  • C (30nm),
  • D (Sheltered waters), and
  • E (Smooth Waters).

Note: The distance (unless specified differently on the Certificate of Survey conditions) is from the Territorial Baseline and not from the shoreline – a common mistake.

Combining the class and operating category ends up with a vessel being classified (eg 1B, 2B, 3B) which appears on the vessel’s Certificate of Survey.

Vessels can also have multiple operating categories attached to their vessel.

There are also variations to this where the states marine authorities or AMSA have bestowed operational conditions limiting vessels within those categories (eg It is not uncommon to see older fishing vessels with 3B having a 100nm restriction for various reasons).

Vessel categories are determined against a number of considerations such as (but not limited to):

  • structural capacity to meet certain environmental and operating conditions
  • accommodation facilities and crew amenities
  • communication
  • lifesaving equipment
  • stability

Vessels are usually built to a specific Class then surveyed against the standards required for that particular category by an Approved Surveyor.

Vessels also require appropriate qualifications to be held by the skipper and engineer on a vessels and failure to do so may be in breach of their Certificate of Competency conditions.

Vessels that operate commercially outside of their survey and operational categories are in breach of their survey conditions and subject to compliance action.

This ‘out of survey or category’ activity may also void the insurance for a vessel should there be an incident.

Any concerns can be reported anonymously by submitting a safety concern so that AMSA can follow up directly with the operator. Go to: https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-operators/incident-reporting/report-marine-safety-concern

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COVID Rules Should WA Move to ‘High Case Loads’

Premier Mark McGowan has released rules that will come into force when the State reaches a “high caseload environment,” based on the judgement of government and health officials.

The Premier has released these rules so businesses can prepare.

No information is available at this time as to when these rules will apply.

A person will be considered a ‘close contact’ of a COVID case who:

  • Shares their household
  • Is their intimate partner
  • Has spent 15 minutes or more ‘face-to-face’ with them, without masks
  • Has spent 2 hours in a small room with them, without a mask
  • Or anyone notified by WA Health, based on other circumstances

Isolation and testing rules can be found at: https://www.wa.gov.au/system/files/2022-01/COVID-19_testing_and_isolation_guide.pdf

 


AMSA TO PROVIDE 24-HOUR MONITORING OF HF DISTRESS RADIOTELEPHONE FROM 1 JANUARY 2022

From 1 January 2022, AMSA will provide 24-hour nationwide monitoring of high frequency (HF) radiotelephone distress, urgency and safety communications in Australia.

This service had previously been provided by the States and Northern Territory.

There are three services that AMSA will support with its HF radiotelephone capability. They are:

  1. 24-hour nationwide monitoring of HF radiotelephone distress urgency and safety communication on 4 125, 6 215, 8 291, 12 290 and 16 420 kHz. Further detail on this service is available here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navigation/search-and-rescue/responding-search-and-rescue
  2. Promulgation of maritime safety information (MSI) in the form of AUSCOAST and NAVAREA X navigational warnings. Further detail on this service, including timings and frequencies, is available here: https://www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navigation/navigation-systems/maritime-safety-information
  3. 24-hour nationwide HF radiotelephone test call service on 4 125, 6 215, 8 291, 12 290 and 16 420 kHz.

There should be minimal impact on mariners during the transition of responsibility. In the meantime, it is important to stress there will be no change to:

  •  Australian Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings and forecasting;
  • AMSA’s HF digital selective calling (DSC) service including navigational warnings; or
  • Ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore or shore-to-ship for general or public communication (where available).

For more information, please contact [email protected]

 

 


WA Fishing and Aquaculture Workers Mandatory Vaccination Requirements

WA’s mandatory vaccination rules outline specific deadlines for workers to be fully vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.

This includes primary industries necessary to provide food to, and care of animals and maintenance of crops. This may include some fishing operations such as lobster/crabs/fish in pots/net/lines and most aquaculture operations.

The rules also apply to factories, manufacturing, production and distribution businesses that are not able to shut down without causing damage or loss such as production and distribution of food (eg seafood products).

The deadline for all staff vaccination is now. 

The lockdown vaccination requirement will likely be managed on a case-by-case basis, which means no Public Health Order or Directions will be implemented until a lockdown or similar restriction is announced.

If you wait until a lockdown is announced it may be too late to do anything about the vaccination status of your staff.

Failure to comply with directions may result in penalties of up to $20,000 for an individual and $100,000 for body corporates.

Fishing and aquaculture businesses need to be proactive now so they know how many staff are vaccinated and, therefore, whether they can continue operating in the event of a snap lockdown.

How do I get prepared in case there is a lockdown? 

You need to understand the vaccination status of your workforce now so that in the event of a lockdown you can provide health authorities with an accurate record.

This will also allow you to assess whether you have enough vaccinated staff to maintain your operations.

Suggested initial steps:

  • Notify affected employees, in writing, of their requirement to be vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown;
  • Ask employees to disclose their vaccination status, preferably in writing.
  • Employers will also be required to take steps to ensure that unvaccinated workers do not attend the workplace in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.

 Employers need to be aware of their obligations under the relevant privacy legislation to ensure that this information is only used for the purpose of complying with the WA Government requirement and that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access, misuse or loss of this information.

Go to: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/publications/chief-health-officer-approved-form-of-evidence-of-covid-19-vaccination-under-each-of-the-restrictions-access-directions-given-under-the-public-health-act-2016-wa-respect-of


Public Consultation: AMSA Proposal for Mandatory Wearing of Lifejackets

AMSA has released an options paper for consultation containing proposals to mandate wearing of lifejackets for domestic commercial vessels.

AMSA is seeking your feedback on this by 17 December 2021.

A discussion paper can be found at: www.amsa.gov.au/lifejackets

The discussion paper contains three options for industry consideration:

Option 1

Mandate lifejacket wear requirements on all domestic commercial vessels at all timeswhen on deck.

Option 2

Mandate lifejacket wear at all times on the following vessels:

·       vessels less than 7.5 m in length

·       vessels with only one person on board

·       fishing vessels of any length

·       unpowered barges that do not have rails or means to prevent a person falling overboard.

Plus – all domestic commercial vessel operators will also need to have a documented risk assessment and procedure on lifejacket wear in their safety management system.

Option 3

Continue with lifejacket carriage requirements and do not introduce lifejacket wear requirements, however, all vessels must have a documented risk assessment and procedure on lifejacket wear in their safety management system.

In 2020 alone, there were four fatalities, all involving a crew member going overboard. Three crew fatalities occurred on fishing vessels and involved (1) a solo operator, (2) a crew member working over the side and (3)a small tender vessel. The fourth fatality occurred on a charter vessel (class 2) and involved a person being knocked overboard by a sailing boom. In all these incidents none of the people who lost their life were wearing a lifejacket.

A number of Coroners have recommended that consideration be given to introducing mandatory lifejacket wear requirements for some commercial vessel operations, particularly in the fishing sector, and otherwise emphasised the importance of wearing a lifejacket. Many of these have occurred during adverse weather conditions, single-handed operation, or high-risk operations such as trawling.

Depending on the type of operation, wearing a lifejacket can sometimes be perceived as an additional risk. In the lifejacket trial conducted by AMSA, many fishers felt that wearing a lifejacket added increased risk due to the possibility of lifejackets becoming hooked up with other equipment on the vessel such as nets.

Another key concern amongst participants was the possibility of accidental inflation of the lifejackets. The potential of this occurring in an enclosed space or under a vessel during a rollover situation could be life-threatening due to the chance of becoming trapped and drowning. For this reason, wearing an inflatable lifejacket in an enclosed space is not advised.

Make an online submission. Go to link: https://www.amsa.gov.au/consultation/lifejackets-domestic-commercial-vessels

Email AMSA: [email protected]

Call: 1800 627 484 (within Australia) or +61 2 6279 5000 (outside Australia)

Mail: AMSA Consultation, GPO Box 2181, Canberra ACT, 2601

For any general enquiries about the consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact AMSA Connect on 1800 627 484 or +61 2 6279 5000 (outside Australia).

Consultation closed 17 December 2021. WAFIC made a submission on behalf of industry.


 Simplified Safety Equipment Rules – Small Inshore Fishing Vessel Operations   

Following feedback from fishing vessel operators that the safety equipment requirements for small fishing vessels operating close to land do not reflect the risks of their operations and are impractical to apply, AMSA has simplifies the safety equipment lists.

WAFIC submitted a comprehensive submission in conjunction with the Southern Seafood Producers (WA) promoting safety equipment requirements in line with agreements reached with the Department of Transport (WA) in 2013.

Consultation feedback received by AMSA is available at: https://www.amsa.gov.au/consultation-feedback-report-simplified-equipment-lists-small-fishing-vessels

AMSA has created new equipment lists for non-survey vessels that are less than 12 metres long, work close to land and operate either under Exemption 2 (certificates of survey) or Exemption 40 (class C restricted operations).

The NEW safety equipment requirements apply to two different groups of vessel operations.

  1. Non-survey vessels operating in warms waters (defined as North of Coral Bay – latitude 23.5º South) and within 2 nautical miles of land;
  2. Non-survey beach fishing vessels operating within 200 metres of land (If you transit beyond 200 metres of land to reach your operational area this equipment list is not applicable to your vessel).

Detailed information on lists and operating arrangements can be found at the following links:

  1. Warm waters vessels– https://www.amsa.gov.au/new-safety-equipment-lists/non-survey-fishing-vessels-operating-warm-waters-and-within-2-nautical 
  2. Beach fishing vessels– https://www.amsa.gov.au/new-safety-equipment-lists/non-survey-beach-fishery-vessels-operating-anywhere-australia

If you operate under these conditions you don’t need to apply to AMSA to use the equipment lists. Simply make sure you carry all the equipment now required.

Should you need to contact AMSA call Chris Battel, Liaison Manager (WA) 0437 788 291 / [email protected] or AMSA Connect 1800 627 484


 


Compulsory Carriage of Float-Free EPIRBs FROM January 2021

AMSA sought industry comment in late 2017 on proposed changes which, if made, would require the carriage of a float-free emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) on most domestic commercial vessels operating more than 2 nautical miles seaward from land.

The overwhelming number of submissions supported the proposed changes and the concept of mandating broader carriage of float-free EPIRBs. However, a number of concerns were raised about the additional costs for vessel owners, and also the appropriateness of mandating float-free EPIRBs on smaller vessels.

AMSA General Manager of Standards Brad Groves said float-free EPIRBs offer significant safety advantages for crew and passengers on vessels in distress.

If a vessel rapidly capsizes or sinks, the survival of the passengers and crew depends on the transmission of a distress signal.” Mr Groves said. “A float-free auto-activating EPIRB can send a call for help within minutes of being submerged in water, without any action by the crew.”

Mr Groves said AMSA is giving industry a two-year transition period to plan for the added cost of fitting a float-free EPIRB, but encouraged owners to fit one to their vessel as soon as possible.

AMSA has amended standards to require the following vessels to carry a float-free EPIRB:

–     all fishing vessels (Class 3) equal to or greater than 12m in length and operate beyond 2 nautical miles seaward from land

–     all fishing vessels (Class 3) that are less than 12m in length operating in B or C waters but only if the vessel does not have level flotation. Vessels that are less than 12m with level flotation (and those vessels operating between 2 nautical miles out to ‘C waters’) can continue to carry the kind of EPIRB currently required and will not be affected by these changes, and

The revisions to NSCV Part C7B, Part G and Part F2 will commence on 1 January 2019 – however, a 24 month transitional periodhas been agreed for vessel owners to install a float free EPIRB meaning the new requirements will not become mandatory until 1 January 2021.

Operators who wish to start carrying a float-free EPIRB prior to this date are encouraged to do so.

 What about vessels less than 7.5 metres? 

AMSA understands that carriage of a float-free EPIRB on some smaller, open vessels may be challenging. Over the coming months, AMSA will be developing a general equivalent solution (GES) for vessels less than 7.5 metres in length affected by these changes. Vessel owners do not need to apply to use the general equivalent solution (GES).

Next steps

AMSA has published guidance to assist owners and operators of fishing vessels with the new requirements relating to float-free EPIRBS.

AMSA has a video on float free EPIBS at https://www.amsa.gov.au/news-community/news-and-media-releases/mandatory-float-free-epirbs

If you have any questions on these changes, Click Here.


Why Do You Need to Do Safety Training on a Fishing Vessel?

Recent changes to marine safety and workplace safety rules place a greater focus on owners of fishing vessels to develop safety management plans for the vessel operations.

These new rules also require owners to demonstrate that they have trained their skippers and crew to understand and implement that safety management plan on the fishing vessel.

To learn all about the changes read the other articles on this WAFIC Safety and Training website page.

This page has links below to the two government agencies that cover fishing vessels:

  • Marine vessel safety – Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • Workplace safety – Worksafe WA

Under both sets of rules there is a list of actions an owner must do before a vessel goes to sea:

  • Ensure vessel meets survey requirements and the skipper has the correct tickets to drive that vessel.
  • Go around the vessel and spot all the hazards of the fishing operation (eg. winches, ropes, hooks, netdrums, confined spaces, working heights, man overboard, fire, sinking vessel, poor ocean conditions, knives, coming alongside, refuelling and using chemicals).
  • Work out the level of risk associated with each hazard – high, medium or low.
  • Work out how best to minimise the risk of that hazard impacting the crew (eg. covers on winches, rope coil bins, harness when working at heights, lifejackets and harness in poor weather, buddy system when entering confined spaces, agreed action plan for man overboard.
  • You should document each hazard, the assessed risk level and the process you have developed to manage that hazard. This is your safety management system. For help go to: http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au/sms-templates
  • Assess the compliance of your safety management system (plan).

Go to link: http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au/sms-compliance

  • Train your crew on how each hazard will be managed – especially emergency procedures for man overboard, fire or abandon ship.
  • Carryout regular practice drills during the season on emergency procedures for man overboard, fire or abandon ship.
  • Carryout practice drills for emergency procedures as soon as a new crew member joins the vessel (no matter how experienced they might be).
  • You should document all training and practice drills and require skippers and crew to sign off that they have completed all the training and practice drills.

What is Safety Training for a Fishing Vessel?

 Training your crew in the safety procedures on your vessel is no different to how you train them to retrieve and set a pot or trap, handle a lobster to maximise quality, prepare the trawl net for fishing or fillet a fish to maximise recovery.

Safety training requires you to work with your crew to help them:

  • to understand the fishing operations on your vessel,
  • to accept that there are hazards that are around them while working on the boat,
  • to acknowledge there is a range of risks in what they are doing at any time, and
  • to train (through demonstration and practice) in the way you want them to work in each situation aboard your vessel.

In most cases safety training is common sense and most vessel owners have been doing this training for many crew over many years.

What is important now is for you to take a little more time to formalise your training:

  • document what specific approach you have decided upon to manage a hazardous activity (eg. how will crew operate the pot winch)
  • document how you are going to train your crew to do that activity safely (demonstrate preferred operation, start with slow winch speed, stop and explain at critical moments to elaborate on important points, oversee practice)
  • document when you have trained them and get them to sign off they have done it (enter in vessel log and crew sign as well/provide crew a safety training book)

Formal pre-sea training is also available at Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) such as TAFE or an independent training or work health and safety business. For example:

  • Elements of Shipboard Safety
  • General Purpose Hand (Deckhand).

Some RTOs may provide vessel specific or group training in regional ports.

Online courses are also available: SeSafe – http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au/safety-training.


NEW INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER LAWS IN WA – MAXIMUM 20 YEARS PRISON  

The McGowan Government’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill passed the Legislative Assembly on November 3, 2020 and will become law once the supporting regulations are finalised next year.

The new laws cover modern employment relationships, such as subcontractors or casual workers, not just the classic employer/employee relationship. In particular, they will introduce the term ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’.

The new legislation includes criminalising ‘industrial manslaughter’ that includes a maximum penalty of between five and 20 years of imprisonment for an individual and a maximum $10 million fine for a body corporate. Industry has raised concerns throughout the debate on this Bill that the threshold for charges of category 1 offences for industrial manslaughter are too low.

Small businesses including family farming operations, commercial fishers and any other employer or company director could face serious penalties for something they did not deliberately or knowingly intend and thus potentially criminalises accidents. Employers and company directors could be jailed and/ or face bankruptcy for an offence that they had not anticipated an accident could occur.

There are concerns that these businesses and undertakings now exposed to jail time and heavy fines could lead employers to question the hiring of future employees or even if they will stay in business.

Amendments proposed in the Upper House by the Shooters and Fishers Party to increase the threshold test for category 1 manslaughter offences by changing wording from “a failure to comply with a health and safety duty” to “gross negligence”, did not achieve majority support in the Upper House as the Nationals WA did not back the amendment.

The amendments would have required prosecutors to implement of a test of ‘reckless negligence and deliberately exposing workers to harm’ that many felt was fair and that those convicted of offences under such wording should be liable for tough penalties. Gross negligence is the standard test applied in Victoria, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern.

Other new aspects include increased penalties, prohibiting insurance coverage for WHS penalties and the introduction of enforceable undertakings as an alternative penalty.

Trevor Whittington, CEO WAFarmers, told Farm Weekly in late October “This is one of the biggest risks that farm businesses now face – it’s right up there with planning for a drought. Wholesale changes to how they operate need to happen immediately, which may include terminating employees if they lack the skills. The days of training and giving anyone a go are now gone. Serious decisions like, instead of running two bits of older equipment, replacing it with one big piece of equipment and terminating staff will be made. This will cost jobs.”

WAFarmers has called on all political parties to put $10m on the table over the next four years to put in a comprehensive safety training regime and change the culture of the agricultural industry.

The McGowan government claims the new laws will harmonise WA with other States although amendments have been made to tailor the laws to reflect unique aspects of workplaces in this State.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety will be developing resources to assist workplace participants in adapting to the new laws.  These will be available closer to the date the new laws become operational and will include information about the new regulations.

Full story go to: https://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/bills.nsf/BillProgressPopup?openForm&ParentUNID=8F320741B83643A8482584BF000CF89B


National RD&E Seafood Industry Safety Initiative – Fishsafe Australia

The National Research, Development & Extension Seafood Industry Safety Initiative (FishSafe Australia) is an FRDC partnership with Seafood Industry Australia and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The primary role of FishSafe Australia is to identify (through partnerships and leadership) RD&E priorities through consultation with industry and develop projects to address those priorities, facilitate effective extension and adoption of RD&E outputs and promote collaboration and co-investment.

Fish Safe Australia launched their website http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au in late 2020. The website is designed to be a one-stop online safety toolkit, hosting information and resources to assist the commercial fishing industry to better manage their workplace health and safety.

One of the key features of Fish Safe Australia website will be the provision of safety management system (SMS) templates. These templates are specific to the various types of fishing gear and fishing methodologies used across the nation. SMS’s will be developed to comply with each State’s different WHS incident reporting legislative requirements.

As templates are developed they will be available at http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au/sms-templates/

Researchers at Edith Cowan University (ECU) in WA are compiling 30 years of incident and fatality data into one location and explore trends. The information gained from this research will be used to inform strategic activities aimed at preventing incidents in the future and ensuring that current safety activities are targeting the identified gaps.

FishSafe Australia is also producing a series of podcast interviews about various activities and resources related to safety in the Australian commercial fishing industry.

The podcasts are available through https://fishsafeaustralia.podbean.com/ or http://fishsafeaustralia.com.au/hear-what-industry-is-saying/


Coronavirus – What can be done to prepare for the possibility of a viral outbreak in your workplace?

Under current legislation, employers are required to provide and maintain, as far as is practicable, a working environment in which their workers are not exposed to health risks.

This includes situations where employees and contractors may be at risk of contracting viruses such as the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

To assist you in preparing for the possibility of a viral outbreak in the workplace, the WA Government (Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety) posted information and relevant links on its website.


SOUTHERN ROCK LOBSTER INDUSTRY RELEASES SAFETY VIDEO

Fishing for Safety was produced via a collaboration between Southern Rocklobster Limited’s (SRL) Clean Green Program and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), as part of a broader, ongoing, project, titled: Southern Rock Lobster Clean Green Program; revision, digitisation & extension across the supply chain.

Funding for the project and video production was generously provided by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) on behalf of the Australian Government.

Fishing for Safety is based on AMSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) Guidelines. It also addresses general Work, Health and Safety (WH&S) requirements.

The video, of 16 minutes duration, is an engaging and superbly shot production that really makes the subject matter come to life. It puts an industry-focused take on SMS development and adoption within the Australian commercial fishing industry through the sharing of real-world stories and experiences.

While the production was driven by the Australian Southern Rock Lobster Industry, Fishing for Safety includes inspiring footage and stories across a range of fishing industry sectors and operations – it is intended for use as a freely available training and induction tool in vessel safety and SMS development.

SRL have kindly made the video available for general fishing industry consumption.

To view the video go to: https://www.southernrocklobster.com

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AMSA Simplifies Recreational Use of Commercial Fishing Vessels

Using your commercial fishing vessel for recreational purposes just got easier. Approval is no longer required from AMSA to operate recreationally under Exemption 04.

There are still limitations and important conditions that you need to follow if you are going to operate recreationally. To operate under Exemption 04 your vessel must:

  • be used only recreationally and not be used at the same time or in connection with a commercial, governmental or research activity
  • comply with maximum load and passenger restrictions
  • comply with local recreational vessel requirements, except those requiring the vessel to be registered as a recreational vessel or to meet Australian Builder’s Plate requirements
  • deal with the risks of operating recreationally in the your vessel’s safety management system (SMS)
  • secure or isolate any powered equipment, lifting equipment or other machinery that could present a danger to passengers
  • record any recreational use in the vessel’s log book.

Operating under Exemption 04 does not make your vessel a ‘recreational vessel’.

All commercial vessel requirements other than crewing and operational area continue to apply including:

  • the requirement to obtain a certificate of survey for the vessel and comply with any conditions; and,
  • complying with the general safety duties, including implementing and maintaining a safety management system (SMS) for the your vessel.

Exemption 04 cannot be used to take a domestic commercial vessel overseas or to another location.

Go to Exemption 04 https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-operators/regulations-and-standards-vessels/exemption-4-marine-safety-recreational-use


Survey regime changes from 1 July 2018—What you need to know 


AMSA has simplified the vessel survey regime reducing the frequency of surveys requiredwhere a vessel owner with a good safety and maintenance record and mitigates risk through other measures. This aims to create an environment whereby an operator implements a system to identify and manage problems with the vessel on a daily basis, rather than only at the time of periodic survey.

Vessels that perform poorly during survey or compliance monitoring activities could be moved into a higher survey frequency level.

The new system will also allow surveys to be more easily aligned with vessel maintenance to reduce cost of slipping a vessel and loss of fishing time. Under the proposed new requirements, periodic surveys may occur up to three months prior to and three months after the due date, providing a six month window.

From 1 July 2018, all domestic commercial vessels that are required to have a certificate of survey will need to be surveyed in accordance with the frequency and requirements in the new Marine Order 503.

How these changes affect you will vary depending on:

  • the type of vessel
  • whether you hold a current survey certificate
  • when your certificate for survey is due for renewal
  • if you have other approvals or exemptions in place. From late May AMSA has begun contacting vessel owners who hold a certificate of survey directly by mail to let you know what these changes mean for you.

AMSA will issue you with an updated schedule to your certificate that will outline your new survey frequency category and new survey dates.

AMSA will have the ability to increase survey frequency where it is evident that a vessel is not being maintained to the required standard. This will apply to all vessels, including vessels which have had their survey regimes grandfathered and non-survey vessels, and will enable AMSA to manage the risks of vessels which are outside the survey regime.

It will also allow AMSA to move vessels into annual survey, where appropriate. AMSA is aiming at inspecting ten percent of all vessels annually using port marine surveyors and marine inspectors as part of its existing inspection program.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

AMSA Takeover National Marine Safety Management from 1st July 2018

From 1stJuly 2018, the Australian Marine Safety Management Authority (AMSA) tookover sole responsibility for marine management of commercial vessels in Australia, including all fishing vessels.

AMSA has several communications options for vessel owners, skipper or crew.

Access services online – www.amsa.gov.au  has a variety of new features and information. Since July 2018 you can transact online at a time that suits you. Find self-service tools and resources to help keep you up to date with your safety obligations.

Talk to a Person – AMSA Connect (1800 627 484)– operators will be available from
8am to 5pm (Western Standard Time) so you can talk to one of their highly skilled customer service team when you need to. They will answer most of your
questions on the spot or refer you to AMSA’s technical operators for more complex questions.

They will also guide you through application processes, take payments, and book assessments for tickets.

Visit in person – Regional services will be available from one of 19 AMSA offices around Australia. Staff will be on hand to give you technical advice and assist you with your safety management systems. They’ll also conduct higher-level assessments and perform compliance and enforcement activities.

 WA:  Chris Battel (WA Liaison Officer) Tel 08 9430 2100 /email: [email protected]  / mob: 0437 788 291 / Level 3, No.3 Cantonment Street, Fremantle WA 6959

 To understand how to access your historical records from the WA Department of Transport (Marine) go to: https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-operators/transition-national-system/western-australia-changes-domestic-commercial-vessel

Guidance materials and fact sheets on what you need to do for your vessels CLICK HERE

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Safety Management Systems Required on All Vessels by 1st July 2016

All fishing vessels in Australia will require a formal Safety Management System (SMS) under both workplace and marine safety legislation across the nation from 1st July 2016.

What is a safety management system and why do I need one? Follow this link to find out. CLICK HERE

A sample safety management system (SMS) for a fishing vessel can be found here


You Must have Your Vessel’s Stability Documentation – What Happens If NOT!!

From July 2017, marine safety services are to be delivered across the nation by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). The WA Department of Transport DoT(WA) will no longer be conducting vessel surveys.

Under the new national marine safety laws – National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) – it is a requirement that stability documentation is on-board a vessel.

The stability documentation must reflect the current configuration of the vessel and be consistent with the class and operation of the vessel.

Survey checklists to be used by official vessel surveyors will contain a specific requirement to check if appropriate vessel stability documentation is on-board.

DoT(WA) has identified that there may be issues in the future that where stability data is not available on-board, the accredited marine surveyor may not be in a position to finalise a periodic survey and this may stop a vessel going to sea.

So what to do if you do not have stability documentation on-board your vessel?

  • Check your records ashore for the vessel’s stability documentation
  • Check with any previous owners to obtain a copy of the stability documentation
  • Check with the vessel’s builder/designer for a copy of the stability documentation

If the owner is able to obtain the documentation this way the owner must check that the stability documentation fits the vessel’s current configuration – layout, loading and fishing operations. If the stability documentation is correct the owner must ensure that the documentation is retained on-board.

If you are unable to obtain stability documentation for your vessel, DoT(WA) has agreed to provide vessel owners with stability documentation for their vessel between now and 1st July 2017. After this date access to vessel files and historical data will not be as easily accessible by authorities. It is important to stress that any information provided by DoT WA would only represent the stability information as of the date of any approval held on file.

It is the responsibility of the owner/operator to ensure that approved stability information is carried on-board and is relevant for the vessel’s configuration.

During annual surveys from now until July 2017, vessels will be checked for current stability documentation. Where no documentation is provided DoT(WA) will offer advice to owners/skippers on how to go about obtaining the required data as follows:

  • Owners should contact DoT WA Commercial Vessel Safety Branch for assistance. DoT WA will check the vessel files for any stability documentation.
  • If a copy is held on file, which is often the case, DoT WA will advise the owner and:
    • If the documentation is subject to Intellectual Property (IP) restrictions (e.g. the documentation has been produced by an existing shipbuilder, designer or marine consultant) the owner will be advised of the contact details;
    • The vessel owner will need to obtain written confirmation from the IP holder to allow release of the documentation by DoT(WA);
    • Once DoT(WA) receive a release authorisation from the IP holder, an electronic copy of the documentation will be made available to the vessel owner; and
    • If the documentation is not subject to Intellectual Property restrictions an electronic copy of the documentation will be made available to the owner.

DoT(WA) will not charge a fee for the provision of an electronic copy of your vessel’s stability documentation.

There will be cases where DoT WA does not have stability documentation on file, such as in the case of a vessel that has transferred to WA from other States. The vessel owner will need to obtain the required stability documentation from the relevant IP holder or state marine authority.

Where stability documentation for the vessel cannot be acquired at all, or the stability information obtained no longer reflects the vessels current arrangement, layout, loading and operations, the owner will be required to have appropriate stability documentation prepared and approved by an AMSA accredited marine surveyor.

Note: In the past in WA, certain types of Class 3 commercial fishing vessels were exempt from requiring stability documentation. The exemption from having to hold stability documentation for these commercial vessels will continue so long as they still meet the conditions of the exemption.

For further assistance please contact:

Commercial Vessel Safety Branch, Department of Transport (WA), Address: 1 Essex Street, Fremantle, WA, 6160

Tel: 1300 723 226 / (08) 9435 7601  Email: [email protected]


How does ‘Grandfathering’ Work for your Vessel?

AMSA have released a Fact Sheet to guide vessel owners on the survey arrangements for vessels that have received ‘grandfather’ status from the time the National Marine Safety System was introduced in 2013. Click Here

Grandfathering arrangements allow existing vessels to continue operating under the survey requirements that existed before the introduction of the National System ONLY WHERE the vessel has not been significantly modified or stability affected by equipment additions.

If this is the case the standards that applied to the vessel when the WA Certificate of Survey (CoS) was last issued prior to 2013 will continue to apply. The vessel owner does not have to upgrade the vessel or its equipment to meet the ‘new National System standards’ and the vessel is able to continue being surveyed in accordance with the survey requirements that applied under the WA Certificate of Survey.

If a ‘grandfathered’ vessel is due for a new CoS issued under the new national Marine Safety System he owner will need to contact an accredited marine surveyor to assess whether the vessel still meets the requirements that applied to it before 1 July 2013.


Areas specified as Restricted C operational areas

AMSA has a advisory notes that provides details of the areas nominated by the state and Northern Territory jurisdictions as Restricted C operational areas as they apply to Exemption 40.

Exemption 40 provides an exemption from the requirement to have a Certificate of Survey for non-passenger or fishing vessels that:

  • are less than 12 metres long;
  • operate only in the C restricted operation areas nominated (see note below);
  • any operational area D (partially smooth water operations); or,
  • any operational area E (smooth water operations).

The exemption is subject to the vessel meeting specified operational, design and construction requirements, which are specified as conditions of the exemption. Restricted C vessels require an inspection by an attested person and are required to be re-inspected every five years to ensure continuing compliance with Exemption 40.

Note: The areas nominated by the states and Northern Territory as Restricted C operational areas are summarised at in the tables found at: AMSA Website


New AMSA Accredited Vessel Surveyors

AMSA introduced the Surveyor Accreditation Scheme (the scheme) on 2 January 2015.

This system allows both private and government surveyors.

If your vessel requires survey to make sure it meets safety requirements, it is up to you to select an AMSA-accredited surveyor (surveyors accredited under the Surveyor Accreditation Scheme). Go to: AMSA Website

You can select any accredited surveyor in the scheme within the limit of the categories that the surveyor is accredited for, and any limitations that may be applied to their accreditation.

For example of a surveyor’s limitation may be a particular construction material (ie they can survey steel and aluminum vessels, but not timber or reinforced plastic vessels).

As at 22 April 2016, there were accredited surveyors in WA.

You can find a list of accredited surveyors on the AMSA website, along with each surveyor’s contact details, the categories that they are accredited for, and the area in which they operate. Go to New AMSA Accredited Vessel Surveyors: AMSA Website


AMSA’s My Boat application

AMSA has released ‘My Boat’ – an online application developed to help industry understand and comply with vessel survey requirements. It’s free.

Based on the National Standards for Commercial Vessels, Marine Orders and National Law exemptions, you only need to put in the details of your vessel and My Boat will produce results specific to you.

AMSA encourages vessel owners and operators sign up as a member and use the available tools at CLICK HERE

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Standing Exemptions: Changes and Extensions

AMSA has recently made changes to a number of standing exemptions that may apply to commercial fishing vessels. Standing exemptions are an important part of AMSA’s initiative to ensure its regulations are relevant, flexible and risk-based.

AMSA has recently made changes to a number of standing exemptions forms, guidance notices and advisories that may apply to commercial fishing vessels. Standing exemptions are an important part of AMSA’s initiative to ensure its regulations are relevant, flexible and risk-based. CLICK HERE


AMSA Guidance materials

AMSA provides a range of guidance notes, advisory sheets, fact sheets and the myriad forms required to apply for various activities or services. Click Here


MARINE SAFETY REGULATIONS

1. Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) 

AMSA is responsible the safety of vessels and the seafarers operating in the domestic commercial industry. State and Territory marine safety agencies act as delegates of AMSA and are responsible for the face-to-face operations of the National System. Click here for more information.

What are the laws governing all Australia commercial fishing vessels? Click here.

AMSA Connect                       1800 627 484 – Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (across Australia)
AMSA website                        amsa.gov.au/transition-national-system-domestic-commercial-vessel
Email                                       [email protected]
Follow us                                Facebook.com/AustralianMaritimeSafetyAuthority
Subscribe for updates           Subscribe to our mailing list

2. Australian Marine Safety Authority – Communication with Industry

AMSA have several information publications available for industry. For more information.

3. Guidance Notices for Owners and Skippers

AMSA has developed a range of guidance notices for owners and skippers to better understand how to implement the new national maritime safety regulations.

These can be found here

4. Useful Links on AMSA Website

Domestic Commercial Vessel Section – http://www.amsa.gov.au/domestic

Consultation with Industry – http://www.amsa.gov.au/community/consultation

AMSA Twitter – @AMSA_News

AMSA Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/AustralianMaritimeSafetyAuthority

5. Useful Contacts at AMSA

AMSA WA Liaison Officer – Chris Battel – email: [email protected]  mob: 0437 788 291

AMSA Contact Centre – (02) 6279 5000 (Canberra)

Feedback to AMSA on National System – Email

WORKPLACE SAFETY REGULATIONS

 1. Worksafe WA manages Workplace Safety in WA

WorkSafe is a division of the Department of Commerce and its role is regulation of workplace safety and health in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (the OSH Act). The principal objective of OSH laws is to promote and secure the safety and health of people in the workplace. Click here for details.

2. WA Workplace Legislation and Regulations

Workplace safety in WA is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984. Click here.

Please note: A new  Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill passed the WA Legislative Assembly on November 3, 2020 and will become law once the supporting regulations are finalised in 2021.

3. Man Overboard Code of Practice

The code is a guideline outlining ways in which to address the risks associated with accidental falls from commercial fishing vessels, and covers both the prevention of falls and the emergency responses if a man overboard incident occurs. Details can be found here.

4. Safe Work Australia

The Commonwealth and all State governments have agreed to enter a collaborative and consultative process for developing greater consistency in work health and safety regulations (known as ‘harmonization’). Details here.

SafeWork Australia was established to lead the development of this national policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.

SafeWork Australia has primary responsibility to lead the development of policy and ‘model laws’ to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia.

As a national policy body Safe Work Australia does not regulate work health and safety laws. Individual State governments retain responsibility for regulating and enforcing work health and safety laws in their jurisdiction.