Functional requirements for a Safety Management System (SMS)
Every Company should develop, implement and maintain a Safety Management System (SMS) which includes the following functional requirements:
- A safety and environmental protection policy;
- Instructions and procedures to ensure safe operation of ships and protection of the environment in compliance with relevant international and flag State legislation;
- Defined levels of authority and lines of communication between, and amongst, shore and shipboard personnel;
- Procedures for reporting accidents and non-conformities with the provisions of this Code;
- Procedures to prepare for and respond to emergency situations; and procedures for internal audits and management reviews
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Master’s Responsibility and Authority are mentioned below :
The company should clearly define and document the master’s responsibility with regard to:
- Implementing the safety and environmental protection policy of the Company;
- Motivating the crew in the observation of that policy;
- Issuing appropriate orders and instructions in a clear and simple manner;
- Verifying that specified requirements are observed; and
- Reviewing the SMS and reporting its deficiencies to the shore based management.
- The Company should ensure that he SMS operating on board the ship contains a clear statement emphasizing the Master’s authority. The Company should establish in the SMS that the master has the overriding authority and the responsibility to make decisions with respect to safety and pollution prevention and to request the Company’s assistance as may be necessary.