What Are The Duties Of Ship Safety Officer (SSO)?
The ISM Code was legislated under SOLAS to meet the requirements set out in The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No. 2962) (the Regulations) and the Code of Safe Working Practice for Merchant Seafarers (CoSWP).
It has been quoted by several studies done by various authorities that most of the accidents at sea occur due to Human Error.
Accidents at sea can be avoided with a proper training plan in place. All sea-going vessels have a safety management plan with a manager to look after it.
The Ship Safety Officer is appointed to look after the safety of the fellow crew on board and to promote a safety culture and preach safety awareness by means of training and motivation.
If there is no safety culture and supervisor on board ship, it can be a dangerous situation for the ship’s crew and the cargo.
Moreover, in case the ship is involved in an accident, it endangers the marine environment as well, and further increases downtime and financial losses.
Everyone is aware that during port state audits, ship survey etc. the first thing that is checked is how safe the ship is?
Hence the ship’s crew must understand the importance of a safer ship and inculcate a safety awareness culture which can be better done with a qualified safety officer on board ship.
Under the International Safety Management (ISM) code, every ship must appoint a ship safety officer (SSO) who has the knowledge, experience, and skills to look over the important safety issues related to the ship and its crew’s health.
The details of the training guidelines for the Ship Safety Officer is provided in STCW Code 2010 Table A-II/2 & A-III/2 and IMO Model Course 3.11 (Marine Accident & Incident Investigation).
According to the ISM code, a ship safety officer should have a minimum of two years of consecutive sea service. In the case of tanker ships, the safety officer should have six months of experience on tanker ships in addition to two years of consecutive sea service.
The responsibility for the position of the Ship safety officer is usually taken by one of the officers aboard ship. The officer with relevant experience needs to do a Ship Safety Officer Course before joining the ship, which allows him/her to take the responsibility of SSO when onboard.
It is a general practice to not have the Master acting as ship safety officer as the ship captain is already been burdened with several other responsibilities.
Officer of the watch is usually selected as Safety Officer and the responsibility is rotated on a regular basis.
The appointed ship service officer should have the necessary qualities to properly take the responsibilities imposed under the relevant provision of the ISM regulation. He should also help in the proper implementation of the ISM code on the ship.
Duties of Ship Safety Officer
The safety officer of the ship is entitled to look over all the duties related to the safety of the ship. Some of the important duties include:
- To survey the ship for all potential hazards directly affecting the health and safety of the crew
- Supervising and ensuring compliance with the SMS of the ship and its every aspect including the updates and amendments which involve liaising with the Master and the company safety representative
- Coordinating the safety measures to be maintained when cargo work is in progress by liaising with the port representative. Again, compliance with the SMS is important in this regard
- Pointing out deficiencies in any existing security plans/measures and bringing about changes by communicating the same to the Master
- To carry out a safety inspection at regular intervals (at least once in every three months for complete ship)
- Reporting to the Master on non-conformities to the SMS including deficiencies
- Enhancing the awareness with respect to the safety onboard and thereby taking substantial steps for enhancing the safety
- Ensuring the crew always carries their jobs with a safety-conscious attitude and know all the aspects of IMS code and relevant health and safety regulations
- Imparting training to the shipboard personnel if need be so that they may be kept updated with all the latest improvements and at the same time inform them of any deficiencies that might need to be addressed
- To look after and act on the complaints of the crew related to health and safety
- To provide information to ship master regarding the deficiencies and to approach ship Master for removal of any potential hazard from the ship which may lead to an accident
- If there is an accident involved, the SSO will lead the investigation and prepare a report
- To maintain the records all major and minor accidents
- To make sure that all equipment associated with the ISM Code and the SMS are tested, maintained and calibrated accordingly
- To stop the ship operation if it directly affects the safety of the crew or the ship
The ship safety officer is not required to perform any of the above-mentioned duties when an emergency action or response is being taken to safeguard life or safety of a ship. Moreover, he/she is also not in charge of any kind of medical treatment or first aid in case of an emergency.
Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.
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Shilavadra Bhattacharjee is a shipbroker with a background in commercial operations after having sailed onboard as a Third Officer. His interests primarily lie in the energy sector, books and travelling.
My name is Sinqobile Gwala I am 25 years .I like to do the safety studies. I live at Empangeni in South Africa.My current job is sales representative
My name is Sunday mavuso at ermelo mpumalanga,,I’m interested in a ship safety officer…
Hi Im abdul shwackydaz, i like to do security ship officer job. My previous experience jobs is Mcdonalds bugger flipper, Shelf item filler stacker man and now working loan man for small family loan business. Want to train security ship course to work with seaman. Always loved seaman!!!!
Please advise on best course to be on ship surrounded by seaman??
All my heart wishes and thank you
Please advise what section of the International Safety Management (ISM) code mention’s every ship must appoint a ship safety officer (SSO). Thnx
i am 27 years of age and m looking for a safety officer job i have 1 year experience as safety rep , i did my safety studies at Nosa .I have OHS Act 18001 – Hira -System tools – ashepp – She Rep – Samtrac from Nosa. My numbers are 0749150184.
I currently did my imo saftey courses and i want to be a safety officer onboard ship. What courses should i offer?
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Hi sir. I am one of the Safety Officer. I have NEBOSH, IOSH, HABC LEVEL 2 FIRE SAFETY. ADOHSM, A.H.A FIRST AID HEART SAVER AMERICAN, H2S AND SO2 AWARENESS, FIRE WARDEN ETC. I HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE OF WORKING IN THE GULF AND INDIA. PLEASE PROVIDE ME WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH YOU AS A SAFETY OFFICER. MY CONTACT NUMBER IS :-+919411703304. . MY EMAIL :-email@example.com. Please contact me on the above mentioned and provide me with the opportunity to work with you as a SAFETY OFFICER.
Hi sir. I am one of the Safety Officer. I have NEBOSH, IOSH, HABC LEVEL 2 FIRE SAFETY. ADOHSM, A.H.A FIRST AID HEART SAVER AMERICAN, H2S AND SO2 AWARENESS, FIRE WARDEN ETC. I HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE OF WORKING In GULF AND INDIA .PLEASE PROVIDE ME WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH YOU AS A MARINE SAFETY OFFICER. MY CONTACT NUMBER IS :-+919411703304. MY EMAIL IS :-firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact me on the above mentioned and provide me with the opportunity to work with you as a “MARINE SAFETY OFFICER “.I WILL SURELY PROVIDE YOU WITH BEST AND LOYAL SERVICE .Waiting for your call. MARINE SAFETY OFFICER (RAMESH GIRI)
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Please advise what section of the International Safety Management (ISM) code mention’s every ship must appoint a ship safety officer (SSO). I finish my safety course and i have 4.5 years expereance in construction safety .Thnx
My name is Sohan Tanaji Borge. I have 5 year’s of IT industry experience. I did NEBOSH,IOSH, HUMAN FOCUS courses. I also want to work on a ship as a safety officer.
Please suggest me what should i do??
Thanks & Regards
Hi, am Edwin Subam and am doing my third year studying Bachelor of Environmental Health and Science. I am really interested to work as a safety marine officer after I graduate from my bachelor degree programme. Should that be possible if I can be advise about the requirement for the marine safety officer?
pls tell me about that safty officer i m intrested in this field im mechanical engi from india
Safety officer is another designation and role played by ships officer
I have completed masters in physiotherapy..have to work in marine sight..as medical officer how to apply