All About Ship Safety Management System

Managing large fleets across international waters is not an easy task, especially with precious lives and third-party cargo on board. From cruise ship accidents to cargo fires to ship grounding, there are a multitude of opportunities for mishaps in marine operations. No wonder, safety is one of the most pressing issues for ship owners and managers worldwide. This is where the need for a ship safety management system (SMS) comes in strongly. 

The latest Safety and Shipping Review 2021 by financial services company Allianz reported a 50% decline in total losses over a decade — an indication of the positive difference that breakthroughs in safety management systems are bringing to the marine industry.  

Ensuring the safety of the vessel and the environment is critical and a robust ship safety management system lets you manage this daunting task day in and day out with ease. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the concept of safety management systems, their components, and the vital role they play in the ISM code implementation.

What is Ship Management System (SMS) on Ships?

SMS, aka the Vessel Safety Management System, is a comprehensive platform that integrates multiple software systems to help shipping companies manage the safety, efficiency and workload of their fleets while also preventing damage to the environment.  

SBN’s safety management system for ships goes a step further and lets you manage everything not just from a centralized location, but anywhere in the world. With a host of world-class features, it is undoubtedly one of the best maritime safety management systems out there.

The Key Elements of a Safety Management System

Mitigation of safety hazards is the utmost priority of efficient fleet management and this is where a ship safety management software comes in handy.

With the right kind of platform, you won’t just reduce the risk of accidents but also gain better insights into your fleet. 

The best safety management systems fulfil every fundamental safety obligation and form a part of the ship’s risk management strategy. With this in mind, the elements in a leading SMS like Shipmate includes:

  • Emergency guidelines that assist in quick action
  • Risk assessment 
  • Environment and safety policies set by the ISM and other maritime organizations
  • Clear lines of communication among the crew and between the shipboard staff and shore-side personnel
  • Internal and management audit procedures
  • Accident analysis and reporting  
  • Audit and management review procedures 

About Vessel Safety Management System Manual

The upkeep, updates and sharing of safety documentation in shipping are some of the most important tasks. While a few decades ago, it was an arduous job due to manual dependence, the advent of the advanced safety management system SMS has made things so much easier.

We pride ourselves on creating one of the most advanced systems in this regard and serving dozens of esteemed clients in the maritime industry.

The Importance of Safety Management System in ISM Code Implementation

The International Safety Management (ISM) Code was mandated for worldwide shipping over two decades ago, and for good reason. With risk assessment at its heart, ISM allows international shipping companies to operate on a mutually agreed-upon benchmark and strive for higher standards in safety and risk prevention. 

A safety management system is the key requirement for the ISM Code implementation and is aimed at ensuring the safety of humans on board as well as protecting the environment and property from any damage. 

Our Maritime safety management system software lists the policies and procedures of the ISM, making it easier for your fleet to follow the recommended guidelines and hence, comply with laws. 

Even when shortcomings are found or an unwanted event occurs, an advanced SMS like Shipmate allows complete management of post-accident investigations and operation-wide audits. It provides a faster way to identify the areas of improvement, implement the required changes in the safety protocols, take corrective and preventative actions, and devise risk-minimizing strategies.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Ship Safety Management System

What is an example of a safety management system?

Our quality and safety management system encompass a host of features that make your vessel secure, safe and high-tech. From dissipating and updating the manuals, to help you comply with international maritime laws, SMS is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. 

What is the purpose of a safety management system in maritime?

One of the primary purposes of safety management systems is to help your vessels and fleet comply with the ISM Code. Conducting safe operations, preventing accidents and fostering compliance with maritime rules and regulations are other added benefits of a safety management system.

What does vessel safety management encompass?

Vessel safety management is an umbrella term for the management of a set of protocols that create a safe environment on the vessels. It includes the risk assessment, risk mitigation, operational safety, pollution prevention and other safety information that can be shared, updated and accessed according to user access levels.

What is SMS under ISM?

SMS stands for a safety management system, a software platform that enables you to manage your fleet’s operational safety and compliance with International Safety Management (ISM) codes. Our SMS tool is built to cater to the demands of modern shipping and fleet management. 

What are the functional requirements of SMS per ISM code?

To maintain a level of uniformity in shipping standards worldwide, the ISM code mandates certain requirements for SMS software. Shipping companies are required to work with SMS that:

  • Maintains an environment protection and safety maintenance policy 
  • Details the instructions on safe operations for ships across international waters
  • Establishes the levels of authority and access amongst the crew, captain and managers
  • Defines the procedures to be used in case of emergencies
  • Lays down the guidelines for internal and external audits
  • Contains manuals on reporting accidents and reporting non-compliance to ISM codes

What is the difference between ISM and SMS?

ISM or International Safety Management is one of the most important components of the maritime guidelines, formally integrated into the industry at the 1994 SOLAS convention. Through a set of safety protocols, the ISM guides shipping companies towards the best course of action to ensure the safety of both the vessel and the crew. 

Safety Management Systems or SMS are digital platforms that provide easy access to these guidelines for the crew, vessel managers and the company stakeholders. These systems make it easy to centrally manage and disseminate information on safety protocols and hence, follow the ISM codes internationally.