Proper Implementation of ISM by Introducing an Electronic ISM on ship

International Safety Management (ISM) Code means the International Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention, adopted by the IMO on 1994 amendments. Became mandatory for all Passenger & Tanker ships above 500GT from 1st July 1998 and for all other ships above 500GT from 1st July 2002.

Since then-standard practices of the ISM Code is developing every frequently, all over the corner of the Maritime world. ISM leads the safety practices on board ship to the pick level. But still, there is some negative effect for ship operator due to ISM, like ISM deficiencies. It is one of the topmost category of deficiency by PSC nowadays. Most of the ship is detaining on the ISM ground. According to the USCG yearly report 2019, 24% of the ship was detained on the ground of ISM deficiencies (top most category), whereas 22% on the Fire Safety ground (2nd most category).

APPENDIX-1: (Source: USCG PSC Annual Report ‘2019)

If we look at the previous year’s database of the NK class vessel’s PSC detained deficiencies, ISM is one of the top most category to detain the vessel. In the years 2016, 2017 & 2018 total vessels detained due to ISM deficiency were as follows:

APPENDIX-2: (Source: Class NK Annual Report on PSC 2016-2018)

Where it shows the same view as the USCG PSC report. ISM type deficiency is the top most category to detain the vessel.

ISM came to the shipping industry to let the operator run a ship more safely, with fewer accidents, fewer incidents so as to be less costly. But these deficiencies on the ISM ground is still in the cost margin for the operator.

In theoretically and practically on both views ISM is very much worthy for the shipboard operations but proper implementation is the main key point for the shipboard operations. Mainly Rest hour record, Bridge casual checklist & Some of the deck’s checklists (Enclosed space entry record, Hot work checklist etc) are the pinpoints of negligence.

ISM introduces to do the shipboard operations in safe procedures and with less time, less effort, less accident, less incident by ship staff. But somehow without proper implementation of ISM, it brings many jobs for the shipboard officers (especially on the paper-based).

A simple example will let us clear this concept. A car made to serve his owner. But someone bought a very old car, it requires very frequent and unusual service even during a family trip. So, rather than the car is giving service to the owner, the owner is giving service to the car.

Rather than ISM is giving service to the shipboard staff, somehow shipboard staff gives service to the ISM. Before entry into the Enclosed space, ship staff need to check the designated checklist so that they will not forget any safety requirements. But it is very usual onboard a ship that officer is checking the checklist at the end of the day / on completion of the job. So, he is giving extra effort to file up ISM checklist after the job is done. And somehow this is leading us not to have ZERO INCIDENT shipboard operation.

There are several cases that the Rest hour record is not filled up by the person himself, on most of the vessels, it is filled by the Cadet either at the end of the week / bi-weekly. These practices are one of the leading ISM deficiencies.

Now, most of our vessel is equipped with modern equipment / electronic equipment. Even electronic charts/ electronic publications are introduced in the shipping industry and very happily shipboard operators/ staff accepted these.

So, in my opinion, it’s just present era’s demand to introduce an electronic ISM. Where it will keep every required information, which will ensure proper implementation of the ISM.

Design as follows:

This history could be monitored by the ship operator, and it will let the operator check that the ship staff is really complying with the checklist before an operation or after the operation. With this information, they can guide the shipboard staff to minimize deficiencies on the ISM ground, so as to other safety deficiencies as well as by introducing other add-ons with the Software. Like evidence option (attachments of job done picture) with every checklist will lead other deficiencies to be minimized.

Thanks for your interest on Marine Legends.

Bon Voyage

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About marinelegends 20 Articles
I am a Muslim Master Mariner MH Rahman, living in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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