More focus on health and safety in next year’s ship inspections

Swedish Transport Agency inspectors have had further training to carry out more stringent checks on health and safety on board, which will be given high priority in next year’s round of inspections.

Shortly before the pandemic broke out, the Transport Agency inspectors studied how to check health and safety on board ships. The course was eight hours long, with an emphasis on systematic health and safety management (SAM) and the regulation on the organizational and social work environment (OSA). 

“If you get the systematic health and safety management in place, many of the other aspects fall in place automatically,” says Fredrik Jonsson, head of section for seaworthiness at the Transport Agency. “But the social work environment regulation is also important and was one of the reasons why we produced this course.” 

 According to Fredrik Jonsson, there was a demand for health and safety training by the authority’s ship inspectors. Checking health and safety issues is often seen as more difficult than inspecting other areas on board. 

“One difficulty when inspecting the work environment is that it is all about systems. You can measure the thickness of sheet metal, but when you examine a system you are in the hands of the shipowners and staff on board,” he says. 

“As a result of the pandemic, the health and safety inspections that had been planned never took place. But they will be given a central part in next year’s inspections,” says Fredrik Jonsson, head of section for seaworthiness at the Transport Agency. The new measures will then be evaluated and adjustments made to the training where they are considered necessary. 

“It is possible that we will need to make some modifications to parts of the training course. We will continue to carry out further training anyhow, in the form of refresher courses for our current ship inspectors as well as for new recruits.” 

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