Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), an international ship classification society, underlines high safety standards as key to doubling India’s ship recycling capacity by 2024, an ambitious target set by Indian government in the recent Union Budget 2021-22.
IRClass has been a strong supporter and an advocate for sustainable ship recycling with an office in Alang, India since 2016. With IRClass’ presence and active promotion of higher safety standards in Alang, fatalities from ship breaking incidents saw a significant reduction in the last two to three years. As of today, 40% of recycling yards in Alang, have ISO certifications including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 30000:2009 and ISO 45000 from IRClass Systems and Solutions Pvt Ltd (ISSPL), an entity promoted by the Indian Register of Shipping.
IRQS (division of ISSPL) is a Certification Body accredited by EU-approved Dutch Accreditation Council – Raad voor Accreditatie (RvA) (IAF member) and has been instrumental in enhancing safety of workers and environmental protection via implementation of Health Safety Environment Quality and Ship Recycling management systems.
The ISO 30000:2009 standard is specific to ensure a ship recycling facility develops and implements procedures to allow for a safe and environmentally sound ship recycling operations in accordance with national and international standards. This standard also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations to promote development while protecting the planet.
Mr Arun Sharma, Executive Chairman of IRClass said: “India has the world’s largest ship recycling operations, and it is imperative we have a rigorous process in place to ensure that these operations do not pose any unacceptable risks to human health, safety and our environment. IRClass also recognises the fact that use of steel from recycled ships provides an alternative means of steel availability thus ensuring reduced GHG emissions during steel production.”
“So far, the stringent training evaluation process by IRClass together with the collective efforts of all stakeholders has resulted in a 90% reduction in fatal accident in the year 2019 when compared 2018 fatal accident statistics. We are proud to see this trend continue into 2020 when Zero fatal accidents were recorded in Alang.”
The Hong Kong Convention has been a game-changer for Indian yards and IRClass is proud to issue the Statement of Compliance to over a dozen ship recycling yards in Alang after thorough verification.
In addition, IRClass was the first classification society to be identified as an Independent Verifier and the first to initiate training programmes at Alang to raise the awareness of the workers and supervisors about the risks involved in ship recycling industry.
In October 2018, the Government of India recognized IRClass as the sole evaluators of 12-days mandatory training courses being conducted by the Gujarat Maritime Board for workers in Alang to ensure only eligible workers can join the industry. IRClass has also conducted more than 25 “Train-the-Trainer” Programmes for safety professionals in Alang together with ship owners between 2018 and 2019.
Mr Sharma continued: “India’s share of the ship recycling business is around 30% but with ratification of the international convention – we are undoubtably on track to capture a significant share of the global ship recycling market. IRClass with its presence in Bangladesh and Turkey will continue to intensify its efforts to make ship recycling industry greener and safer for the environment and its people.”