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Safety Management System


Safety Management objectives of the company:

  1. provide for safe working practices and a safe working environment
  2. establish safeguards against possible risks
  3. continuously improve safety management skills of personnel ashore and aboard ships,

A Safety Management system (SMS) meeting the requirements of the ISM code requires a company to document its management procedures and record its actions to ensure that conditions, activities and tasks that affect safety and the environment are properly planned, organised, executed and checked. A SMS is developed and implemented by people and clearly defines responsibilities, authorities and lines of communication. A SMS allows a company to measure its performance against set criteria hence identifying areas that can be improved. The increase in Safety Management skills improves morale and can lead to a reduction in costs due to an increase in efficiency and a reduction in claims

The safety management system should ensure:

  • compliance with mandatory rules and regulations
  • applicable codes and guidelines both statutory and organisational are taken into account.
  • Promulgation and understanding of company and statutory regulations and guidelines. (It is the task of a visiting surveyor to test the general knowledge of company and statutory regulations and instructions)

The functional requirements for a Safety Management System;

  • a safety and environmental policy
  • instructions and procedures to ensure that safe operation of the vessel in compliance with relevant international and flag state legislation
  • defined levels of authority and communication between shore and ship personnel
  • procedures for reporting accidents and non-conformities with the code
  • procedures for responding to emergency situations (drills etc)
  • procedures for internal audits and management reviews
  • A system is in place for the on board generation of plans and instructions for key shipboard operations. These tasks may be divided into two categories :
    • Special operations-those where errors only become apparent after a hazardous situation or accident has occurred. E.g. ensuring watertight integrity, navigational safety(chart corrections, passage planning), maintenance operations, bunker operations
    • Critical shipboard operations- where an error will immediately cause an accident or a situation that could threaten personnel, environment or vessel. e.g. navigation in confined waters, operation in heavy weather, bunker or oil transfers, cargo operations on tankers.

Safety and Environmental Protection Policy

The company should establish a safety and environmental protection policy which describes how objectives listed above will be achieved. The company should ensure that the policy is implemented and maintained at all levels of the organisation both ship based as well as shore based.

The ISM guideline is in the Chapter IX of SOLAS. It is mandatory for all vessels after 1st July 2002. There are two parts in ISM:

  • Part-A: Implementation.
  • Part-B: Certification and Verification


  • General ,objective,application, functional requirements
  • Safety & environment protection policy.
  • Company responsibility & authority.
  • DPA.
  • Master responsibility and Authority.
  • Resource & personnel.
  • Development of plan for ship board operation.
  • Emergency preparedness.
  • Report & analysis on non conformities, accidents & hazardous occurrence
  • Maintenance of ship equipments
  • Documentation.
  • Company verification, review and Evolution.


  • Certification and periodical verification
  • Interim certification.
  • Verification.
  • Form of certification

SMS – Safety management system enabling the company personal to effectively implement company safety & environment protection policy.

DPA means Designated Person Ashore. A person who is provides a link between the company & the ship. He has a direct access to the highest level of management.

Duties of DPA

  • Monitoring the safety & pollution prevention aspect of ship & to ensure adequate resources & shore base support for ship.
  • person or persons who has direct access to the highest levels of management providing a link between the company and those on board.

The responsibility and authority of the designated person is to provide for the safe operation of the vessels. He should monitor the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of each vessel and ensure their are adequate shore side resources and support

Master’s Responsibilities:

Master responsibilities are to implement the SMS on board ship.

  • Implement of safety & environment protection policy.
  • Motivation of crew in observing the policy.
  • Issue order & instruction.
  • Review SMS & report.

Resources and Personnel

  1. The company should ensure that the Master is suitably qualified and fully conversant with the SMS. They should also ensure that the ship is correctly manned.
  2. The company should ensure that there is adequate familiarisation with safety and protection of the environment for new personnel. They should ensure that the personnel has an adequate understanding of the relevant rules, regulations, guidelines and codes.
  3. Training is to be provided where necessary. Relevant information for the SMS should be promulgated and be written in an easy to understand method.
Development of plans for ship board operations

The company should establish procedures for the generation of shipboard plans and instructions with regard to the prevention of pollution and that these should be generated by qualified personnel

Emergency Preparedness

The company should establish procedures for the response actions to potential emergency situations. Drill programs should be established and measures taken to ensure that the company’s organisation can respond to hazards and accidents.

Reports and analysis of non-conformities, accidents and hazardous occurrences

The company should ensure that:

  • there is a procedure for the reporting and analysis of accidents, hazardous occurrences and non-conformities, and for the corrective action. Maintenance of the ship and equipment
  • vessel is properly maintained. Procedures within the SMS should be in place to identify, record and plan for repair defects. A system of preventive maintenance should be in operation.
  • Regular inspections integrated with the ships operational maintenance routine should take place to ensure that the vessel is in compliance with relevant regulations.
  • The company should establish and maintain procedures for the control of all documentation relevant to the SMS. This should include;
  • valid documents are available at all relevant locations
  • changes to documents are reviewed and approved to authorised personnel
  • obsolete documents are promptly removed
  • All documents, carried in a company approved relevant form, should be present on board
Company Verification, Review and Evaluation
  • The company should carry out periodic audits to verify that safety and pollution preventions are complying with SMS. The audits and corrective actions should be carried out as per laid down procedures.
  • Personnel carrying out the audits should be independent of the areas that they are carrying out the audit unless size of the company is such that this is impractical.
  • Deficiencies or defects found should be brought to the attention of the personnel in that section and the management team so effective corrective action can be carried out
Certification, Verification and Control

The following documentation is issued by whichever administration, complying with ISM, is relevant to the shipping company:

  • A DOC is issued to all companies who can demonstrate that they have complied with the code should be held. A copy of the DOC should be held on board to allow the Master to produce it to the relevant authorities is required.
  • An SMC (Safety Management Committee) is issue to the ship following verification that the ship and company comply with the requirements of SMS. Future verification that compliance with SMS should be carried out by the administration.
Requirements on board ship
  • Proof that the vessel is being maintained in a satisfactory condition at all times, and not only at the time of surveys-objective evidence in the form of no overdue surveys, no overdue recommendations from port or flag state inspections and that planned maintenance is being carried out and records kept.
  • Applicable codes and guidelines are being taken into consideration when operating the vessel. Vessels staff must be able to demonstrate that operations are carried out in a controlled manner utilising information contained in these codes, guidelines and standards.
  • That emergency situations have been identified and drills are conducted to ensure the vessel and company are ready to respond to emergency situations.
  • The master is expected to be fully conversant with Company safety management system. Officers and crew would be expected to be familiar with the parts of the system relevant to their safety responsibilities as well as a thorough understanding of their operational responsibilities- auditors will ensure compliance.
Examples of the type of documentation the auditor will wish to see to verify compliance with the ISM are as follows:
  • Log books
  • Safety and management meeting minutes and follow up actions
  • Medical log
  • Company circular letters
  • Planned maintenance records
  • Records of verification
  • Records of masters review of the system
  • Records of internal audits and follow up
  • Records of chart corrections
  • Class quarterly listings
  • Records of passage planning
  • Oil record books
  • Garbage logbook
  • Company manual and forms
Pollution Prevention and OPA 90

Tied into the ISM code are the requirements to meet OPA-90 to wit a Federal Response Plan. Each company that trades in US coastal waters must have in place a suitable response plan. They must have a designated person resident in the United states ready to act as consultant. There is an IMO regulations which is equivalent to OPA90. A company must be in possession of a valid DOC to trade, and it must be able to clearly demonstrate its ability to respond to situations such as oil spillage.

Non Conformity (NC)
  • An observed situation where objective evidence indicate the non-fulfillment of a specified requirement.
  • Non-conformance report (NCR) raised by department managers. Any one can inform his superior of a non-conformance.
  • DCR means Document Change Request. It is a recommendation for change/correction of company SMS documents.

Difference between SOLAS A Pack and SOLAS B Pack


Difference between Liferaft SOLAS Pack A and Pack B

  • SOLAS Pack A is used for Vessels on Long International Voyages and all other vessels to which SOLAS applies on International and Domestic voyages.
  • SOLAS Pack B is used for Vessels engaged on Short International or Domestic voyages.

Standard Liferaft Equipment (For all types of Liferafts)

  • Sea Anchor(Automatically Deployed)
  • Floating/Heaving Line (Length 100 ft.)
  • Rain Water Collector
  • Floatable Knife
  • Waterproof Equipment Bag
  • Raft Use Instructions
  • Individual Thermal Protective Aids (2 nos.)
  • Floatable Paddles (1 pair)
  • Manual Inflation/Bilge Pump
  • Repair Clamps (6 nos.)
  • Adhesive & Patch Repair Kit

Liferaft SOLAS Pack A​

In addition to all equipment described above,

  • Waterproof Flashlight
  • Spare Flashlight Bulb
  • Spare Flashlight “D” Cell Batteries (3 nos.)
  • Sponges (2 nos.)
  • Bailer
  • Seasick Bags (1 Per Person)
  • Water Storage Bag
  • Thermal Protective Aid
  • Heliograph Mirror (For Signalling)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Signaling Whistle
  • Anti-Seasickness Pills (6 per Person)
  • Spare Sea Anchor
  •  Graduated Drinking Cup
  • Drinking Water (6-20 Person Capacity– 1½ litres per person)
  • Food Ration (10 kJ per Person)
  • Can Opener
  • Fishing Kit
  • SOLAS Handheld Flares (Total 6 nos.)
  • SOLAS Rocket Parachute Flare (Total 4 nos.)
  • Buoyant Smoke Signal (Total 2 no.)

Liferaft SOLAS Pack B​

In addition to all equipment described above, 

  • Waterproof Flashlight
  • Spare Flashlight Bulb
  • Spare Flashlight “D” Cell Batteries (3 nos.)
  • Sponges (2 nos.)
  • Bailer
  • Seasick Bags (1 per Person)
  • Water Storage Bag
  • Thermal Protective Aid
  • Heliograph Mirror (For Signalling)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Signaling Whistle
  • Anti-Seasickness Pills (6 per Person)
  • Spare Sea Anchor
  • SOLAS Handheld Flares (3 nos.)
  • SOLAS Rocket Parachute Flares (2 nos.)
  • Buoyant Smoke Signal (1 no.)

In addition, SOLAS Pack C

SOLAS Pack C is used for Vessels which are in Coastal Navigation and Not engaged in International Voyages.

  • SART (Search and Rescue Radar Transponder) (1 No.)
  • Heliograph Mirror (For Signalling) (1 No.)
  • First Aid Kit (1 No.)
  • Signaling Whistle (1 No.)
  • SOLAS Handheld Flares (1 No.)
  • Table of life-saving signals (1 No.)

Periodic Testing of Immersion Suits and Anti-Exposure Suits


Monthly inspection of IMMERSION SUIT AND ANTI-EXPOSURE SUIT required to be carried as per SOLAS, 
Chp III, Reg 20.7 and 36.1 which as follows:

  • Check closures on storage bag as well as general condition of bag for ease of removal of suit. Ensure donning instructions are legible. Confirm that suit is the type and size identified on the bag.
  • Lay the suit on a clean, flat surface. Make sure the suit is dry inside and out. Visually check for damage. Rips, tears or punctures should be repaired in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions by a suitable repair station.
  • Check the zipper by sliding it up and down to check for ease of operation. Using lubricant recommended by the manufacturer, lubricate the front and back of the zipper and the slide fastener. If the zipper is not functional, the suit should be removed from service and discarded or returned to the manufacturer or a suitable repair station.
  • If fitted, check inflatable head support and/or buoyancy ring for damage and ensure that it is properly attached. Check inflation hose(s) for deterioration. At least quarterly, the head support/buoyancy ring should be inflated and tested for leaks (this test does not apply to integral inflatable lifejackets). Leaks should be repaired in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions by a suitable repair station.
  • Check retro reflective tape for condition and adhesion. Replace if necessary.
  • If fitted, check whistle and expiration date of light and battery.
  • Replace suits in the bag with zippers fully opened.
  • The opportunity should be taken at such monthly inspections for the crew to practise donning the immersion suits or anti-exposure suits.


To ensure the maintenance,  adequate strength and watertightness of seams and closures of immersion suits and anti-exposure suits with age, it is recommended that each suit be subjected to an air pressure test such as the following, at intervals not exceeding three years, or more frequently for suits over ten years of age:


  • Three (3) years for immersion suits which are less than Twelve (12) years of age;
  • Two (2) years for immersion suits which are over Twelve (12) years of age.

  • A suitable head piece, fitted with a means to inject air into the suit, should be inserted into the face orifice of the suit and secured so as to minimize leakage around the face seal. A low-pressure monitoring device, either integral to the fitting for air injection or as a separate device, should also be inserted. If the suit is fitted with detachable gloves and/or boots, the wrists and/or cuffs should be sealed by inserting a short length of suitable diameter plastic pipe and securing the gloves and/or boots with suitable wire ties or hose clamps. The zipper should be fully zipped, and any face flap closed. The suit should then be inflated to a pressure of 0.7 to 1.4 kPa (0.1 to 0.2 psi). If an auxiliary inflatable means of buoyancy is provided, it should be inflated through the oral valve to a pressure of 0.7 kPa (0.1 psi) or until firm to the touch.
  • Each seam and closure of the suit – and each seam, oral tube and attachment points and joint or valve of any auxiliary inflatable means of buoyancy – should then be covered with a soapy water solution containing enough soap to produce bubbles (if leakage is noted at a foot valve to the extent that air pressure cannot be maintained, the valves should be sealed for the test).
  • If leaks are revealed by the propagation of bubbles at seams or closures, the leaking areas should be marked and, after cleaning the suit thoroughly with fresh water and drying it, repaired in accordance with the suit manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • It is recommended that the air pressure test be performed at a suitable shore-based facility equipped to make any necessary repairs in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. In view of the wide variety of materials and adhesives used in immersion suits and anti-exposure suits, it is strongly recommended that any repairs to a suit be carried out by a facility which has access to the original manufacturer’s recommended servicing instructions, parts and adhesives, and suitably trained personnel. The air pressure test may be carried out on board ship if suitable equipment is available.

MMD Mumbai | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 08 Jun 2019

  • Venue: DG Shipping
  • External Surveyor: Capt. Awasthi
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt. Daniel Joseph

External Surveyor Questions:

  • Sextant errors and their corrections
  • Passage plan Mundra to Jakarta
  • Fire. You are in your cabin. Fire Alarm? Action?
  • How to escape in such a situation. Nearest exit
  • Rule 21
  • Sat C
  • The basic procedure for hand steering. What to check
  • How to prepare muster list
  • Components of the magnetic compass. Have you seen them onboard
  • Sight procedure and what is chronometer and its error with correction req..gps not working
  • Distance between two-day signals (shapes)

Internal Surveyor Questions

  • Few night cards, nuc towing ground 
  • Safe Water Mark Card 
  • Above cards on port bow.. crossing,  action?
  • Telegraph orders 
  • Few more such basic ones

MMD Kolkata | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 12 Mar 2019

  • Venue: MMD Kolkata
  • External Surveyor: Capt. Biswas
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt Mukhopadhyay

Function I

  • Elongation? What is its value for Venus,
  • Cards
  • INS (Integrated Navigational System)? And why ECDIS is an INS?
  • Steering Failure Action
  • GPS Errors
  • Tactical Diameter
  • Drift Angle
  • Altitude
  • Amplitude

Function II

  • Why half height containers are used?
  • Various types for Containers,
  • CSC Plate

Function III

  • ESSA and PSSA,
  • All 14 factors of MLC,
  • FSC
  • Angle of Loll
  • Formulae of both above 15 and below.
  • Hydrostatic Curves,
  • Hypothermia? How much temperature loss and in fever how much temperature rises.
  • What is Angle of Loll? What will happen to GM?
  • Definition of GARBAGE.
  • What is OPA 90?
  • MLC 2006 and its date when it came into force.
  • Bending Movement,
  • What is Stress? What are the different types of stresses and strains?
  • MARPOL Discharge Criteria from Engine Room,
  • FSI and PSI
  • P and A MANUAL
  • A-60 Bulkhead
  • B-15 Bulkhead
  • What does Water Type Extinguisher contain?

MMD Kandla | Oral Questions | 18 Feb 2019


Date: 18 Oct 2019

  • External Surveyor: Capt. Modi
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt. Patel

Function I

  • Performance Standards of Radar, ECDIS, ARPA
  • Passage plan from Dubai to Singapore,
  • Isogonic and isobar,
  • ROR Rules:
    • Rule 13,
    • Rule 15,
    • Rule 17 quote,
  • ROR Card:
    • Towing Night,
  • GC sailing,
  • Rhumb Line sailing…

Function II

  • IMDG
    • Contents full detail
    • All placards and label
    • Packaging drop test requirements,
  • Taking over Cargo Watch
  • High-Density Cargo Precautions
  • High Lift Cargo PRecautions
  • Classification
    • Asked to draw four placards
    • What is miscellaneous dangerous good
  • Inert Gas content
    • How to generate
    • Define IG
    • Manufacturers of IG
    • PV valve purpose
  • Flash Point

Function III

  • Air pollution and Sea pollution
  • Annexes of MARPOL
  • Discharge criteria of engine room bilges
  • Intact stability criteria
  • SOx and NOx
  • Garbage Management Plan
  • Trim table and Stress table

MMD Kolkata | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 04 Dec 2018

  • Venue: MMD Kolkata
  • External Surveyor: Capt. PC Biswas
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt Mondal
  • SOX and NOX Discharge Criteria with dates and the date when it came into force
  • What is Hyperreflexia?
  • Difference between Oil Record Book and Cargo Record Book and as per which MARPOL Annex both are required.
  • MS Act, 1958
  • Frequency of boat drill and fire drill and what is the difference between them.
  • What is corrosion and erosion, and difference?
  • Total SOLAS Chapters
  • ISPS complies to which chapter of SOLAS
  • The date on which ISPS came into force.
  • About Sprinkler System
  • Roles of flag state and port state
  • Difference between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree burns and action to be taken?
  • How will u determine the percentage of burn?
  • Righting Lever and its 2 formulas.
  • Intact Stability Code
  • What is the rule of 9?
  • Striker plate and how will you use the Shell Expansion Plan.
  • Role of DPA, CSO, SSO
  • Slop Tank Requirements
  • What is Medical Scale and Medicine Chest and the difference between them?

MMD Kolkata | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 03 Dec 2018

  • Venue: MMD Kolkata
  • External Surveyor: Capt. Dutta
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt Mondal

External Surveyor Questions

Function I

  • Transit Bearing
  • ECDIS or Paper Chart, which one you preferredIAMSAR
  • Red star sighted on Three points from Starboard-bow
  • Flag- H, W, O
  • Cards- NUC Aground, Fishing Vessel
  • Fishing vessel light at anchor
  • A pilot vessel in restricted visibility with the pilot on board.
  • How will you know the barometer shows the correct reading?
  • SD correction not done from last three years
  • ROR situation- power-driven vessel overtaking by CBD vessel from Starboard side and one power-driven vessel rt ahead.
  • two sailing vessels one on Port and one on Starboard side fwd of beam o/v power-driven vessel normal and restricted visibility.
  • Own Vessel, Power-driven, target vessel on 2 points Starboard-bow risk of collision exist

Internal Surveyor Questions

  • Abort Point and No-point of Return. Define and draw.
  • What is ZOC? and if you don’t have ZOC chart onboard how you will navigate.
  • Define Shallow and Safety Contour. Explain with an example of how to calculate.
  • How you will know RADAR is working properly?

MMD Mumbai | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 11 Oct 2018

  • Venue: Old MMD
  • External Surveyor: Capt. Deshpande
  • Internal Surveyor: Capt. Azad

Function I

  • Passage Planning on ECDIS?
  • Contents of ALRS?
  • List of various alarms on ECDIS?
  • List of Isobaric Patterns? 
  • The pattern of TRS? 
  • How to avoid TRS?
  • Factors affecting Manoeuvring characteristics of vessel? 
  • Draw Advance and tactical Diameter?
  • The requirement for Advance and Tactical Diameter? And under which IMO Resolution is that mentioned? 
  • Which side turning circle will be smaller?  
  • What is Safety Contour? What is it and how does it help?
  • How to get Navigational Warnings?
  • How to get medical assistance on board? 
  • Different ROR Situations.

Function II

  • Draft Survey? 
  • Precautions of loading coal?
  • Taking over cargo watch at Port? 
  • Marpol annex 6 all criteria? 
  • Contents of BWM? 
  • Contents of ISGOTT? 
  • Contents of IMSBC? 
  • Contents of IMDG?
  • Precautions before entering the cargo tank? 
  • What is LEL?
  • What is Purging? 
  • What are the contents of IG?
  • How do you strip the cargo? 
  • COW System requirements and how to carry out COW?
  • How will you calibrate Oxygen Analyser? 
  • Container lashing? 
  • Contents of Chain Register? 
  • IMDG classes? 
  • CSM and its contents? 
  • Hydraulic pump line leakage while closing hold, what will you do? 
  • How to close hold in that situation and it suddenly started raining?

Function III

  • Frequency of lifeboat lowering. 
  • Frequency of rescue boat lowering. 
  • Items in Lifeboat. 
  • List of contents of Liferaft. 
  • The requirement for Life Buoys? 
  • SOLAS Chapters? 
  • Fixed CO2 system draw and explain? 
  • DCP extinguisher refilling? 
  • High expansion and low expansion foam ratio? 
  • SCBA Requirement? 
  • Difference between TPA and Immersion Suit?
  • SOPEP Contents? 
  • Discharge criteria for Cargo Residues 

MMD Mumbai | 2 MFG Oral Questions | 10 Jul 2018


Venue: New MMD
External Surveyor: Capt. JB Singh
Internal Surveyor: Capt Azad

External Surveyor Questions

  • Limitations of Gnomonic Charts?
  • Long by Chron and Intercept? which one is better
  • Meridian Altitude is 90°. What does it mean?
  • Errors of Echo Sounder
  • If the Magnetic Compass is not electric, how does it is showing heading?
  • ROR Rule 5
  • ROR Rule 10
  • Cardinal marks, Top Mark, missing all…..
  • Principle of Gyro Compass