Monday, April 21, 2014

ISM RISK MANAGEMENT


SECTION 11: ISM RISK MANAGEMENT
CONTENTS
11.1.    GENERAL
11.2.    RISK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
            11.2.1. WHY USE RISK ASSESSMENT?
            11.2.2. BACKGROUND TO RISK ASSESSMENT
            11.2.3. INTRODUCTION TO THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS
            11.2.4. METHODS OF HAZARD IDENTIFICATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT
            11.2.5. RISK ASSESSMENT IN PRACTICE
11.3.    CHANGE MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL
            11.3.1  DETERMINING THE NEED FOR CONTROLS
            11.3.2. RECORDING AND DOCUMENTING THE RESULTS OF CHANGES
11.4.    ONGOING REVIEW 
11.5.    RECORDS
ANNEX - A     A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO RISK AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT
ANNEX - B     LIST OF HAZARDS
ANNEX - C     TUG PROCEDURE (AN EXAMPLE OF FOLLOW-UP PROCEDURE TO AN EXISTING RISK ASSESSMENT)


Any risk assessment will be completed through a procedure, which will be finally delivered onboard through a ‘Standing Instruction


11.1. GENERAL

ISM Code
1.2.2 Safety management objectives of the Company should, inter-alias:
.2 assess all risks to ships, personnel and the environment and establish appropriate safeguards.

At MSC 85, IMO adopted a number of amendments to the ISM Code. Among those changes was a revision of clause L2.2.2, which introduces for the first time a formal requirement for companies to assess the risk to ships, personnel and the environment arising from their shipboard operations.

The revision has prompted the following questions:
            1. How should companies respond and what should they do to demonstrate compliance?
              2. How should auditors interpret the new requirement and what evidence should they look for to satisfy themselves that companies have addressed it adequately?

Although it is not often referred to as such, the development and implementation of a documented safety management system is an exercise in risk management. The drafting or amendment of written procedures involves looking at the company's activities and operations, identifying what could go wrong, and deciding what should be done to try to prevent it. The documented procedures are the means by which the controls are applied.

The implementation of a risk assessment process in the context of ship and fleet management generally will include a definition of processes, as well as hazard identification, including a risk assessment. The underlying philosophy is to help develop an effective safety culture in companies and on board ship, where the human element is given regular and effective consideration. Its purpose is to facilitate and embed a culture of continuous improvement in safety performance without the requirement for additional regulation.

The Company will need to apply the process of hazard identification and risk assessment to determine the controls that are necessary to reduce the risks of incidents. The overall purpose of the risk assessment process is to recognize and understand the hazards that might arise in the course of the organization's activities and ensure that the risks to people arising from these hazards are assessed, prioritized and controlled to a level that is acceptable (requirements are included in different standards like ISM Code, IS09001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007, MLC 2006 ...).


The focus of the newly ISM Code amendment is therefore on the application of the risk management process for assessing and improving ship operation with respect to the reduction of fatalities, damage and environmental damage.


Companies holding a DOC will need appropriate procedures to fulfill the requirements of the ISM- Code. Hazard identification and risk assessment methodologies vary greatly across maritime industries, ranging from simple assessments to complex quantitative analyses with extensive documentation. Individual hazards can require that different methods be used, e.g. an assessment of long-term exposure to asbestos can need a different method than that taken for equipment safety or for assessing an office workstation.

Each organization should choose approaches that are appropriate to its scope, nature and size, and which meet its needs in terms of detail, complexity, time, cost and availability of reliable data. In combination, the chosen approaches should result in an inclusive methodology for the ongoing evaluation of all the company's risks.



The management of change needs to be considered for changes m assessed risks determination of control or the implementation of controls. Management review should be used to determine: whether  changes to the methodology are needed overall To be effective, the organization's procedures for hazard identification and risk assessment should take account of the following:
   -   hazards,
   -   risks,
   -  controls,
   -  management of change,
   -  documentation,
   -  ongoing review.

Risk assessment techniques can be applied m almost all areas of maritime industries. Ship owner know that to be successful they must have a good understanding of their risks and how risks impact the people associated with their operations, their financial performance and corporate reputation.

Those objective values might be used in an optimization process to:
-       achieve a reduced level of risk with a prescribed amount of money,
-       reduce the costs that are required to achieve a target risk level.

Furthermore, compared with traditional root cause analysis approaches, risk analysis/ assessment is proactive (e g, 'pro-active' means that hazards are identified before the un-wanted event occurs), hi that sense risk analysis helps to avoid fatalities, environmental pollution and economic losses.

Safety barriers and controls.

One of the fundamentals of all safety systems is the understanding of the safety barrier principle Whenever we design safety critical systems we provide them with a certain recovery potential If a hazard occurs it might  not affect the system because of pre-installed safety barrier. Those barriers do not have to be a physical protection . such as safely boots or gloves they can also be of organizational  nature, etc. An overview is given below:
image1



When barriers are designed and integrated in the systems one has to pay specific attention to the nature  of the target of a hazard: the ship, the cargo, the crew or other humans involved, external target (e.g. port facilities, other ships etc,), the environment. Different hazards and targets require different barriers.
Safety management is therefore a continuous process of assessment of safety barriers because the existing barriers are monitored constantly. After accidents an analysis of the function of our pre-installed safety barriers is carried out. These barriers were not always installed basal on previous experience . They can also be installed based on personal judgment etc . It is therefore vital to analyze if the safety barriers in each system have the right dimensions . Accidents, unfortunately , are practical tests for our barriers . If they did not function , We have to improve them .

Before we install safety barriers we assess our systems ; risk management is a complex process , which consists of the following phases :
   - Risk analysis and estimation
   - Risk assessment
   - Risk management and control

During the analysis the vital components of technical/ operational systems and potential hazards endangering the functionality of those systems are identified.

The next step is concerned with the estimation of frequencies of the appearance of these hazards and the resulting consequences . During risk assessment suitable Risk Control Options (RCOs) are identified , evaluated , and the most appropriate Risk Control Measure (RCM) selected . The selected . RCMs are the barriers that should prevent a hazard from hampering the vital components in our technical / operational systems .

The risk management process is clearly illustrated on the next page.
Risk analysis,  is a decision-making aid (How safe?)- it can be of great help in considering alternatives .but it fails if it is not known which questions have to be answered. The main advantage of a risk  analysis is that it provides a structured access or identification to the hazards combined with a system or a process and thus Providing a decreasing quantity of not realized hazards.

Risk Assessment (How safe is safe enough?), follows the risk analysis. The main task of the nsk assessment is the risk evaluation (i.e.: to decide if the estimated risk is acceptable) The usual procedure m risk calculation involves addition or multiplication of the parameters frequency and severity". The qualitative results are then presented m a risk matrix The evaluation requires an acceptance criterion.

Risk management and control {How to achieve an adequate level of safety?), as the whole process, which includes the risk evaluation - the judgment whether a risk is acceptable or not is the process whereby decisions are made to accept a known or assessed risk and/or the implementation of action to reduce the consequences or probability of occurrence.

The hazard identification and risk evaluation are key elements of the risk assessment. In this context the terms acceptable and unacceptable risk are important. In order to demonstrate that a specific risk is
ALARP (As Low As Reasonable Practicable) so-called risk control measures are analyzed Risk
Measures are introduced to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.


image2


11.2.4. Methods of Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment.    
For any practical approach, the identification of hazards is the first and most important step in risk
estimation.

The "typical methods" are to be understood as practical risk assessment instruments. In general, the methods are based on checklists and primarily permit qualitative risk identification. It should be noted ^ designations and implementation of individual methods may vary, the fundamental
principles remain unchanged.

The hazard identification may be performed, dealing with the question "What can go wrong?". Hazard or danger is posed  by a situation in which there is an actual or potential threat  for the crew, the ship or
the environment.

The question "When is the risk small enough to be ignored?" can really only be answered by your conscience /  judgment; personal experience cannot be ignored! Nonetheless a distinction must be made between unknown  risks and those, which are accepted for reasons of expense. Due to the pressure of cost and time, many unknown risks remain  unspecified.

Incidents and accidents are reality. Incident investigations provide important information of significant risk contributors. Appropriate methods are include:
-                              Analysis (statistical) of historical data
-                              Root-cause analysis.

A simple example using a few of these terms regarding risks associated with an electrical power
supply line:

Hazard » High voltage
incident » Wire gets exposed
Accident  Personal » contact resulting in shock
Consequence» Burns / electrocution
11.2.5. Risk Assessment in practice.
Risk Assessment and control is a continuous process  . Hence, written  risk  assessments should be subject to  periodic formal reviews to confirm the validity of the assessment and whether the risk controls are still effective and adequate (e.g. relating to type of ship, the nature of operates and the type and extent of the hazards and risks).

The focus of this risk assessment is on the:
-                              implications to the existing system,
-                              interrelation to other changes and development.

Assuming that a complete risk assessment exists we re-assess:
-                              how the likelihood is affected,
-                              how the consequences change,
-                              how existing barriers are affected.

The risk assessment should follow the steps given in ANNEX-A.

What should be assessed?
The assessment should cover the risks arising from the work activities on the ship. The assessment is not expected  to cover risks that are not reasonably foreseeable. Employers are advised to record  the significant findings of their risk assessment. Suitably experienced personnel, using specialist advice if
appropriate, should carry out the process of risk assessment.



Risk assessment should be seen as a continuous process.

In practice, the risks in the workplace should be assessed before work begins on any task for which no valid risk assessment exists.

This risk assessment has to be documented; the form or checklist for risk assessment may be used and has to be filed. The risk mitigation measures resulting from the risk assessment have to be taken up m the records.

RISK=  FREQUENCY x CONSEQUENCE

In other words, risk has two components: likelihood of occurrence and severity of the consequences. And thus risk is always expressed with a time dependent dimension. The risk matrix (used for the determination of the RPN - risk priority number) shows a simple method for estimating risks according to the potential seventy of and the likelihood, as described above.

CONSEQUENCE
SEVERITY
4
Catastrophic
MEDIUM
HIGH MEDIUM
High
MEDIUM
HIGH
3
Severe
MEDIUM     LOW
MEDIUM
HIGH
MEDIUM
HIGH
MEDIUM
2
Significant
LOW
MEDIUM LOW
MEDIUM
HIGH
MEDIUM
1
Minor
LOW
LOW
MEDIUM LOW
MEDIUM

Extremely remote
Remote
Reasonable
probable
Frequent



1
2
3
4
OCCURRENCE FREQUENCY ----------------------------- >

  Risk level acceptable
Risk level tolerable

Risk level is not tolerable

Having determined the significant risks, the next step is to decide what action should be taken improve safety, taking account of precautions and controls already in place.

The outcome of a risk assessment should be an inventory of actions. Any action plan should be reviewed before implementation, if the revised controls lead to tolerable risk level.

Table I Rating Scale - Severity
Severity Index
Severity
Effects on human safety
Effects on ship
Effects on Environment
1
Minor
Single or minor injuries
Local equipment/ structural damage
Non-significant spill up to a few barrels of pollution to sea
2
Significant
Multiple or severe injuries
Non-severe ship damage
A few tones of pollution to sea; situation is manageable
J
Severe
Single fatality or multiple severe injuries
Severe damage
Significant pollution demanding urgent measures for the control of the situation and/or the cleaning of affected areas
4
Catastrophic
Multiple fatalities
Total loss
Major pollution with difficult control of situation and/or difficult cleaning to affected areas
Risk Assessment and control is a continual process. Hence, written risk assessments should be subject to periodic formal reviews-to confirm the validity of the assessment and whether the risk controls are still effective and adequate

Frequency Index
Frequency
Definition
4
Frequent
Likely to occur once per month on one ship
3
Reasonable probable
Likely to occur once per year in a fleet of 10 ships, a few times in a ship life
2
Remote
Likely to occur once per year in a fleet of 1000 ships, once in the total life of
several similar shins
1
Extremely remote
Likely to occur once in 10 years in a fleet of 10000 shins


The Company should:
-         manage and control any changes that can affect or impact its hazards and risks. This includes changes to the organization's structure, personnel, management system, processes, activities, use of materials, etc. Such changes should be evaluated through hazard identification and risk assessment prior to their introduction.
-       consider hazards and potential risks associated with new processes or operations at the design stage as well as changes in the organization, existing operations, products, services or suppliers.

The following conditions that should initiate a management of change process:
*  new or modified technology (including software), equipment, facilities, or work environment,
*  new or revised procedures, work practices, designs, specifications or standards,
* different types or grades of materials, cargo etc.
* significant changes to the site's organizational structure and staffing, including the use of contractors,
*  modifications of health and safety devices and equipment or controls.

 11.3.1 Determining the need for controls
Having completed a risk assessment and having taken account of existing controls, the organization should be able to determine whether existing controls are adequate or need improving, or if new controls are required. If new or improved controls are required, their selection should be determined by the principle of the hierarchy of controls, i.e. the elimination of hazards where practicable, followed in turn by risk reduction (either by reducing the likelihood of occurrence or potential severity of injury or harm), with the adoption of personal protective equipment as a last resort.

The following provides examples of implementing the hierarchy of controls:
             1. Elimination - modify & design to eliminate the hazard, e.g. introduce mechanical lifting devices to eliminate the manual handling hazard;
             2. Substitution - substitute a less hazardous material or reduce the system energy (e.g. lower the force, amperage, pressure, temperature, etc.);
              3. Engineering controls - install ventilation systems, machine guarding, interlocks, sound enclosures, etc.;
             4. Signage, warnings, and/or administrative controls - safety signs, hazardous area marking, photo luminescent signs, markings for pedestrian walkways, warning sirens/lights, alarms, safety
              5. procedures, equipment inspections, access controls, safe systems of working, tagging and work permits, etc.;
              6. Personal protective equipment (PPE) - safety glasses, hearing protection, face shields, safety harnesses and lanyards, respirators and gloves.
In applying the hierarchy consideration should be given, to the relative costs, risk reduction benefits, and reliability of the available options.



11.3. 2 Recording and documenting the results of change
The process for such change management shall be documented in a formal documented procedure; risk assessment  is a part of the change process and therefore has to be documented too As a
consequence of this the verification of the change management process must part of the ISM
certification (during document verification, office audit and shipboard audits).

The following types of information should be recorded and retained in SMS' files'
- identification of hazards,
- determination of the risks associated with the identified hazards
- indication of the levels of the risks related to the hazards,
- description of, or reference to, the measures to be taken to
- control the risks,
- determination of the competency requirements for implementing
- the controls .

11.4. ONGOING REVIEW

It is a requirement that hazard identification and risk assessment be ongoing  where conditions have
changed and / or better risk management technologies have become available, improvements should be
made as necessary. It is not necessary to perform new risk assessments when a review can show that
the existing or planned controls remain valid.

The Company decides to perform annual risk assessment within the limits prescribed in the annual internal audit schedule.

11.5. RECORDS

SMM/CH.11 01/01      Rev:01             Issue date: Jul.2010                 Identified risk proposal form
SMM/ CH.11 01/02     Rev:01             Issue date: Jul.2010                 Identified risks' record



Risk guide - a practical step-by-step approach to risk and change management
Step 1              Classify work activities.
Investigation about hazards, key process, detailed task, subtask

Step 2              Identify hazards for the work activity (see Annex - B).
Consider different scenarios under different conditions e.g. new crew, darkness, stormy weather, rain
Step 3              Identify risk controls.
Safeguards against risk, safe working practices, procedure's and instructions, familiarizations

Step 4              Determine risk. Assess likelihood and potential consequences of the scenarios.
Determine the potential severity of harm and the likelihood that harm will occur, apply the IACS rating scale for severity, scale for frequency to decide on likelihood ...

Step 5              Decide if risk is tolerable.
Calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) by use of risk matrix, evaluate the risk I and decide on further action ...          

Step 6              Prepare a risk control action plan to improve risk controls as necessary.
Develop additional Risk Control Options-RCO, list measures to implement changes, ensure that risk is reduced to ALARP [As Low As Reasonable Practicable] level.

Step 7              Review adequacy of action plan, confirm whether risk are now acceptable or tolerable.
Investigate the effect of the additional Risk Control Measures (RCM), compare the benefits with time and efforts.

Step 8              Ensure risk assessments and risk control measures are effective and up to date.
Monitor implementation, review change, regular review the adequately and effectiveness of the risk controls



ANNEX –B
LIST OF HAZARDS

The hazard list may help with the identification of hazards for work activities. The list is not exhaustive and should be updated as soon as new hazards have been identified and which are not
the list.

1. FOR SHIP OPERATION

1.1 Human-related hazards
1.1.1. Personal factors
- reduced ability, e.g. reduced vision or hearing
- lack of motivation, e.g. because of a lack of incentives to perform well
- Lack of ability, e.g. lack of seamanship, unfamiliarity with vessel, lack of fluency of the language used onboard
- fatigue, e.g. because of lack of sleep or rest, irregular meals
- stress
1.1.2. Organizational and leadership factors
- Inadequate vessel management, e.g. inadequate supervision of work, lack of coordination of work, lack of leadership
- Inadequate ship owner management, e.g. inadequate routines and procedures, lack of resources for maintenance, lack of resources for safe operation, inadequate follow-up of vessel organization
- Inadequate manning (e.g:. too few crew, untrained crew)
- Inadequate routines (e.g.: for navigation, engine room operations, cargo handling, maintenance, emergency
   preparedness)
1.1.3. Task features
- task complexity and task load, i.e. too high to be done comfortably or too low causing boredom
- unfamiliarity of the task ambiguity of the task goal different tasks competing for attention
1 1.4. Onboard working conditions
- physical stress from (e.g.: noise, vibration, sea motion, climate, temperature, toxic substances, extreme
- environmental load's, ( night - watch)
- ergonomic conditions (e.g. inadequate tools, inadequate illumination, inadequate or ambiguous information,
   badly-de-signed human-machine interface)
- social climate (e.g.: inadequate communication, lack of cooperation)
- environmental conditions (e.g.: restricted visibility, high traffic density, restricted fairway)
1.2 Shipboard hazards to personnel
- inhalation of harmful substances (e.g. toxic gases)
- burns from substances like acids
- electric shock
- person falls from height or slips
- person falls overboard
- other injuries, etc.
1.3 Hazards to the vessel
 1.3.1 Loss Of Watertight Integrity (LOWI)
- contact or collision
- fire / explosion
- flooding
- grounding or stranding
- loss of hull integrity, structural failure
1.3.2 Hazards external to the ship
- storms
- lightning
- uncharted submerged objects
- other ships



- attacks (pirates,  terrorism)
- war
1.4 Hazardous substances on board ship
1.4.1 Accommodation areas
- combustible furnishings
- cleaning materials in stores
- oil/fat in galley equipment
1.4.2 Deck areas
- cargo
- paint, oils, greases etc. m deck stores
1.4.3 Machinery spaces
- cabling
- fuel and diesel oil for engines, boilers and incinerators
- fuel, lubricating and hydraulic oil in bilges, save ails etc
- residual oils ,   refrigerants
1.5 Potential sources of ignition
1.5.1 General
- electrical arc
- friction
- hot surface
- incendiary spark        ^
- naked flame
1.5.2 Deck areas
- deck lighting
- funnel exhaust emissions
- hot work sparking
1.5.3 Machinery spaces
- engines exhaust manifold
- boiler(s) exhaust
2. FOR CARGO OPERATION
2. 1 Hazards of cargo
- flammability
- toxicity
- density
- corrosion
2.2 Operational Hazards
- pollution
- static electricity
- smoking
- naked lights
- use of electrical equipment
- use of tools
- use of communication equipment s
- spontaneous combustion
- enclosed spaces



ANNEX-C
TOWAGE TECHNICAL WORKING PROCEDURE



CONTENTS:


TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE

Firstly it has to be stressed that Towage Survey is neither a classification nor a statutory survey, but Surveyor acting as a third party. There are four reasons why towage surveys are done, namely warranties, safety, pollution prevention and success of project. Despite the different motives, all towage surveys look at the same things-the tug, the connection and the route, and then tow itself.

The towing vessel may be an ocean tug, costal tug, ship, fishing vessel or other vessel of opportunity, m each case, its suitability should be judged against the following criteria:

Main Engines
Type of Propellers
Bow Thruster 
Towing winches
Type of radio installation
VHF
Radar
Other navigational aids
Echo Sounder
Gyro
Auto pilot
Portable
Pumps
Fixed Salvage Pumps
Searchlights
Total Estimated distance of Tow
Distance between bunkering Ports
Estimate speed
Bunkers carried



Daily consumption
Water available
Victuals available
General Condition of tug
The vessel must be seaworthy for the intended voyage. Hull strength bow height, classification and load line must be considered. The record of similar vessels and operations should be taken into account

Propulsion may be conventional, cyclical, azimuth thruster or a combination. Thruster and cycloidal tugs, are generally as suitable for offshore towage as conventional tugs due to their comprehensive maneuverability, ability to reconnect tow when lost in poor conditions, and the fact that their arrangements. Some tugs with non-conventional propulsion are steered only by individual control of the main units. If this requires the constant attention of an experienced officer, then such a tug may not be suitable for anything other than short tows

There are various formulae for calculating the power required for a tow. Approximate formulae for ship shapes.
(a) Resistance of tow R= [2,5 (Ri + R2 + R3)]/ 2240 in tons
R1 = FSV2                           F = 0.01
                                    S = Wetted surface in ft2
                                                V= Speed of tow in knots
R2 = D2 x V2 x N          D = prop diameter in feet (of tow)
Size of vessel
Angle of
Resistance to tow (tons)
being towed
yaw
Speed through water 2kn
Speed through water 3 kn
24.000 tons deadweight
 10°
 20°
30°
2,3
5,5
8,7
13,0
4,3
11,4
18,7
28,3
68,000 tons deadweight
10°
 20°
30°
4,7
10,8
17,3
25,8
8,5
25,5
37,0
56,0
112,000 tons deadweight
10°
20°
30°
6,2
14,8
23,4
35,0
11,3
30,5
50,2
76,5
260,000 deadweight
10°
20°
30°
7,9
15,2
39,6 J
51,8    
14,0
30,0
85,0
112,7
                                    V= Speed
                                    N = number of propellers
R3 = 0,1 R2                         R3 = allowance for towing gear

(b) BHP required = [A R x V2] / 120    A = displacement of tow.
V = speed in knots
(c) Guide figures from OCIMF Towage Publication 'RESISTANCE TO TOW IN STILL WATER CONDITIONS' (For sea conditions, the forces can be three times greater than those tabulated ).




(d) Rule of thumb information from tug masters indicates that, up to 40.000 tones displacement, the tow urn. requires approximately 10 tones bollard pull per10,000 tones displacement.
For larger vessels the following figures give guidance:

Displacement of tow    bollard pull required
50 000   tonne             60 tonne
100.000 tonne             80 tonne
150',000 tonne             94 tonne
900.000 tonne             105 tonne
250,000 tonne             115 tonne

(e) other factors
Fouling of hull of tow, which may increase resistance substantially.
Resistance of towing gear - the catenary may increase overall drag by 10 %
Yawing of tow increase stresses dramatically.
Wind area of tow         .           . ,
Storm conditions may cause towing forces three times calculated,

(f) non-ship shapes
Resistance of Towing force for non-ship shapes is difficult to calculate hut may be double that of an equivalent size ship shape.

In General tugs have become more powerful, and industry standards have risen with what is available. This means that, for ship tows, power is rarely a problem , in fact  too much power may be available. For non-ship shapes the situation is made more complex. Here it is often Preferable to have multuiple tugs rather than beefing up a single tug a decision must be made as to the basis of the calculation . is the tug required only to hold the tow in bad weather or is it required to make good a certain speed in reasonable conditions?

The directional stability of the  tow may be poor, again increasing power requirements to cope with the tow sheering about.

(g) Bollard null or BHP are not the sole measure of towing ability The hull form and displacement can  compensate for lack of horsepower and is important for ocean and bad weather tows. .

The relationship between BHP and bollard pull is not fixed depends on the propulsion system and vessel size . for conventional screw vessels where bollard pull figures are not available, an estimated 1 tone static bollard pull per . 100 BHP can be used as a guide. Vessels with propellers operating in Kort-type nozzles may generate up to 1,3 tones per 100 BHP.
2.5 stability
Towing vessels must be able to withstand girting moments if the tow comes abeam or must have an efficient means to prevent this happening.

The Gobbing device is the means of restraining the towline near to the aft end of vessel to prevent girting. It can be a fixed lead, a pipe frame, a chain or wire or a wire lead to a powered winch.

Trawlers generally have good stability and tow wires lead through low leads right aft, acting as gobbing devices.



The means by which the tow can be released in an emergency should be inspected. The emergency may be the sudden sinking of the tow or the failure of the gobbing device allowing as capsizing moment to occur. Tugs have been lost through both causes.

Many modern tugs are fitted with a button in the wheelhouse, which releases the winch brake in an emergency. This is good practice.

If there is no remote quick-release device, the gobbing device must be ubstantial, and suitable arrangements for the manual release of the tow must be demonstrated.

Very large tugs often have sufficient stability to be able to resist the largest possible girting moment.

Calculations showing upsetting moments at the breaking strain of the tow wire superimposed on the GZ curve may be called for in doubtful cases.


The tug must carry an acceptable workboat / rescue boat.

If the workboat is an inflatable, check that the outboard power is matched to the boat specifications. The outboard should preferably have a shrouded propeller. It is good practice to have a back-up outboard available.

Protective gear and working lifejackets for the boarding crew should be provided.

The tug should have a searchlight or signal lantern capable of illuminating the tow or workboat.

An efficient means of communicating between the tug and tow and workboat should be agreed upon.

"Wallcy-Talky" portable radios-should be provided but must be a back-up signal system if these fail.

There must be sufficient spare gear to reconnect a broken tow using spare gear throughout.

A spare towing wire readily accessible must be on board.

Navigation gear must be adequate, charts to adequate scale and up-to-date.

Food, water and bunkers should show a reserve of 100 per cent for costal tows and between 50-20 per cent for ocean tows.

Medical stores must be to legal requirements.
The towing should normally be on a suitable winch; small coastal tjaws may be carried out on a hook



There should be an efficient means of recovering the tow connection when
shortening m and letting go. Particular attention should be paid to Ms when towing on a hook is proposed

 2.7 Manning
Manning must comply with flags state requirements ,  coastal state requirements and the STCW convention and IMO Resolution A 481. However these specify  minimums for safe navigating only. What is important for towag is that the officers have sufficient previous experience of similar tows, and that adequate hands are carried for handling the gear.

Deck crew requirements are relatively easy to assess, in terms of the heaviness of the towing gear, deck space and machinery More difficult is the experience of the officers an assessment of the way the tug is run.  access to logbook and captains and officer's seaman's books, and some delicate questioning will
often give a good idea of what the crew is like. If in doubt, there are tow ways out . one is to stay outright that the officers are inexperienced and must be replaced . The other is to beef up the whole project in other ways - better tug better connection etc. It is a very sensitive area, but it is the most important.  A
good seaman can nurse a tug and tow home m less than optimum conditions whilst an inexperienced master may put the best-arranged project m danger

3 The Connection
3.1 Materials
The connection maybe of wire, chain or rope or a combination of all of these All the gear, m use and spare, must be m a good condition.

Records of the following should be kept:
 Main Towing Wire Or Rope
Spare Towing Wire
Wire Pennants
Chain Pennants
Man-made Pennants
Other Ropes    
Towing Shackles


The size of tow connection should be related to the bollard pull of the tug.
 For small tugs Breaking Strain = 3 x Bollard Pull
The safety factor may be reduced to 2 x Bollard Pull or less for large tugs.
Odds – shaped vessels yaw considerably ; so particular attention should be paid to the strength of the gear used .


Conventional rigs are usually made up of a wire from the tow winch , shackled to a wire pennant and / or a polypropylene or nylon pennant , which in turn is fixed



to a short chain. This chain is made fast to the bow. The chain may form a bridle or be a single part. The use of a bridle is recommended as it reduces yaw by 60 - 90 per cent. Some tug masters like to have a pennant in the connection of a slightly lower breaking strain than their main wire, to protect the wire.

Applied seamanship is required to decided on the correct rig for" the tow. In general, a chain should be used if possible at the tow end to avoid chafe, and there-should be a shot of chain or a man-made fiber pennant in the gear to provide elasticity.

Shackles should be of the pin type, properly locked or moused. Screw shackles should be avoided, as they may be difficult to undo subjected to heavy loads.

Man-made fiber towlines may be used when it is important to have a light connection, e.g. if the trim of the tow may be easily affected by a heavy rig.

The required length of the towing gear is a function of swell length, tow size and distance. 500m is good minimum for ocean tows.

The connection to the tow must be examined. Lugs or bollards used must be well connected to the tow's structure and backed up. Keep a sketch or photo of the arrangement.

The fairleads are important and must be strong enough to bear the yawing stresses imposed on them, and to resist chafing. Panama leads are preferable to roller leads. They may need shoring up.

4  The Tow

Except in the case of small vessels, the tow should be manned if possible. The following criteria apply to all tows, with additional requirements for unmanned tows show in the section (4.4)

4.1 Seaworthiness (Use this section as a checklist, noting details)
 Name of Craft
Port of Registry
Displacement Tonnage
Length / Breadth / Depth
Sailing Draughts (Fore, Aft, Mid)
Freeboard
Type of Vessel
Date built
Number of  Decks
Number of Transverse Watertight Bulkheads
Number of Longitudinal Watertight Bulkheads
Position of Engine Room
Number of Double Bottom Tanks
Number of Hatches or Weather Deck Openings
Tonnage and disposition of oil on board
Other Pollutants
Last Dry-docking place/ date
Last Construction Survey
Last Load Line Certificate issued



Owner Master
Vessel manned / unmanned
Number of crew / runners
Number and type of working pumps on board
Fuel supply for pumps (number of hours)
Condition of Craft
State of shell plating and decks
State Machinery spaces
State of Bulkheads
Nature of any damage to craft
Note of any spaces flooded
Note of spaces under air pressure
Bilges should be clean and dry. If not note reason
All spaces to "be checked for loose gear
Note that the following are secured and watertight
All upper deck hatchways, doors and scuttles.
Deep tank cover.

Double bottom tank manholes.

Fuel tank covers.

Watertight doors.        

Goosenecks.

Ventilators as necessary.

Port holes in shell and lower decks of accommodation.

On barges, particular attention to be paid to manhole covers.

Check that any windows in vulnerable positions are suitably protected by steel or timber shutters.

All derricks, cranes, etc to be in the stowed position and properly secured.

Normally, propeller shaft should be locked.

Disconnecting propeller shaft may reduce tow load, at discretion of tug master, and tow owner. If connected, check lubrication arrangements.

Is stem gland watertight?
Is rudder secure?

If rudder carrier is situated below the waterline, check for leakage.

Is cargo well stowed and secure?

In instances where very large items of cargo are involved, the owners should provide stress calculations for the sea fastenings. Check that the assumed values of roll, pitch and heave are reasonable.



A line to be painted in a sharply contrasting color to the hull on each bow and each quarter to indicate the draught on sailing, and to be of such a size as to be visible form the tug.

Sea valves and manifolds not in use to be secured.

Note extent to which power is available for any of the ship's machinery.

Are runners and tug engineer  familiar with the operation of pumps on board?

Test the pumps.

Electric circuits not in use to be isolated.

Check whether any circuits in use are in apparent good order.

Check whether lifeboat securing devices are in good condition.

4.2 Ballasting

Stability booklet or calculations to be signed; if none available, surveyor's assessment of the situation. In doubtful cases an inclining test to be carried out.

Note probable range of stability

Craft to be upright within reasonable limits. Any list noted.

Number of slack tanks to be kept to a minimum. Any free surface effect to be checked against stability information. Note tanks in use.

Note ballast plan. Do not allow undivided tanks to be part ballasted.

Tow should be ballasted to give a stern trim of at least 0,75% LBp for ship shapes.

4.3 Equipment

An emergency bridle, which should be a duplicate of the main bridle if possible, should be rigged. The bridle should be connected to a pennant and a messenger. The emergency rig should be stopped in place with a light line ready to make a re-connection of the tows parts.

Runners to be supplied with up-to-date safety equipment.

Firefighting appliances, particularly extinguishers, to be ready for use. Emergency fire pump to be tested and proven in good working order.

Navigation lights as per international regulations to be in working order. Daytime signal to be displayed if tow over 200 meters.

Fog signal to be tested and ready for use.

A suitable anchor to be safety available for use.



Power on windlass desirable

Pilot ladder to be ready for use.

Cooking facilities with sufficient food and water to be provided.

Lighting and heating to be provided. If gas used, bottles to be outside of accommodation.

Pyrotechnic distress signals and signaling lamp with a battery to be provided.

Copies of general arrangements and / or capacity plans to be available aboard tug and tow.

All spaces to be sounded frequently and results recorded.

Full inspection of the vessels to be made at least once per day and reported to tug master.

Towage connection to be inspected at least twice per watch and fairlead to be greased if necessary.


All sea valves and manifolds to be secured chained shut and tested for water tightness.

Pumps shall be on board and tested before sailing.

The messenger to the spare towing pennant and bridle should be stopped off outside the rails and attached to a highly visible pick-up buoy, which should be trailed astern.

Efficient long-burning navigations lights to be installed and tested. Daytime towing signal to be displayed if tow is over 200 meters.

Emergency anchor to be considered except in minor tows where surveyor deems it unnecessary and where there is no threat of pollution.

One ladder to be rigged over side each side either as temporary or permanent structures.

Tug master to be provided with a copy of the general arrangement and / or capacity plan.


Surveyors should discuss the proposed route with the tug master. The depth of water en-route should be considered in relation to the expected depth of catenary. Formulae and computer programs exist for calculating catenary depth,



which is a function of speed, length and make-up of gear. When considering depth, as a rule of thumb the conventional wire/chain tow connection may have a catenary of + 50m depth over a 500m length.

The proposed distance off the coast should be sufficient to allow time to reconnect the tow or rescue the runners in the event of the tow parting. The possibility of a stranded tow causing oil pollution should be borne in mind.

The tug master should be aware of the latest navigational warnings and the route should be planned to give a wide berth to offshore structures and operations

A weather window may be specified for certain operations, particularly if the vessel is not suitable for unlimited conditions. Seasonal limitations must be considered, particularly for long deep-sea passages.

5.3 Communications
The coastguard, port authority and coast radio stations whose areas of responsibility cover the proposed route should be informed before departure, and kept informed of any changes to the schedule. Navigation warnings may be broadcast for some tows.


Upon satisfactory completion of the Towage Survey, the attending Surveyor shall issue
the Towage Survey Certificates, which shall be valid only for the particular towage taken into account.