What is Code of Safe Working practice for Merchant Seafarers ?

This Code is published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and endorsed by the National Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Committee, UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) as best practice guidance for improving health and safety on board ship.

It is intended primarily for merchant seafarers on UK-registered ships.

The Code is addressed to everyone on a ship regardless of rank or rating, and to those ashore responsible for safety, because the recommendations can be effective only if they are understood by all and if everyone cooperates in their implementation. Those not

actually engaged in a job in hand should be aware of what is being done, so that they may avoid putting themselves at risk or causing risk to others by impeding or needlessly interfering with the conduct of their work.

Many regulations lay down specific requirements for standards of safety, equipment or operations, which must be satisfied to comply with the law. Where there are no specific requirements, the MCA generally considers compliance with the Code as demonstrating

that the Company, employer or seafarer did what was reasonable to comply with the regulations. Each situation will be considered and evaluated on an individual basis. The guidance must never be regarded as superseding or amending regulation, and risk assessment should always be used to ensure that all risks are addressed.

As per this code Extensive research has identified certain elements that contribute greatly to maintaining a safe working culture. These can be described as:

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