A two-day visit to the Marlborough Sounds last week by Maritime NZ Maritime Officers, working with the crew of the Police launch Lady Elizabeth IV, has highlighted generally good levels of compliance among operators.
The primary focus was working with the aquaculture sector, following a series of similar visits in 2014, with 11 vessels boarded and inspected.
Machine guarding and crane safety continue to be issues requiring attention by some vessel operators in the sector. In some cases, documented safety systems and procedures were not being fully implemented on the vessels.
“That resulted in two improvement notices being issued under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, and conditions were imposed under the Maritime Transport Act on two other vessels, restricting their use until corrective action was taken,” Maritime NZ Senior Specialist Maritime Officer Bruce McLaren said.
“We expected good levels of compliance and we were generally very pleased with what we found.
“While some operators were initially a bit apprehensive when they saw us approaching, once aboard they soon realised we were there to provide advice and help them with any issues that may have been on their minds.”
That ranged from explaining the new Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) and the SeaCert seafarer qualification framework, to questions about who should pay for personal protective equipment (the answer is that the employer must provide all of the employees’ safety clothing and equipment – it is unlawful to pay them an allowance and tell them to buy their own).
Southern region MO Bruce was joined in the operation by two Maritime Officers from Auckland and Tauranga. “We were keen to get some fresh pairs of eyes involved and also ensure we are providing the same service and advice consistently across the country,” Bruce said.
The carriage of dangerous goods was also a regular topic for discussion as some vessels for hire carry fuel, gas and other hazardous substances around the Sounds for clients.
“We ensured they were complying with the Maritime Rules for the carriage of dangerous goods and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO).”