A vessel used in the commercial fishing and aquaculture industry is now considered a workplace under Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) law, and boat owners and skippers are required to take “…all steps deemed reasonably practicable….” to minimise risks to crew health and safety. A failure to meet this obligation could result in a significant fine for a boat owner or skipper if one or more individuals onboard are injured or worse. It could also result in their jail time under recently introduced industrial manslaughter laws. This law also requires all crew members to take proactive steps to minimise safety risks to themselves and others onboard, and crew also have a right to expect safety training from the boat owner or skipper.
Fortunately, all vessels in this industry are now required to carry onboard a Safety Management System (SMS). The SMS is a written document that identifies onboard hazards and risks, assesses the likelihood and consequence of each risk, and identifies steps to protect against those risks. The SMS must be readily available for crew to read, to raise their awareness, and to help minimize risks to their safety and others onboard.
While these developments represent important progress in improving safety performance at sea, risky workplace practices still occur all too frequently, and too many individuals are injured or do not come home from sea. SeSAFE training has been designed to provide a complementary, low-cost, and convenient opportunity for crew in this industry to receive important safety training. This includes:
- Delivering safety training to new, inexperienced (green) crew before they step foot on board a boat, rather than afterwards;
- Delivering safety training to experienced crew in need of refresher safety training;
- Delivering safety training on topics that complement an SMS and safety induction program
- Delivering safety training on topics that that may not be covered in an SMS or induction program.
SeSAFE subsequently helps a boat owner or skipper provide a full and complete approach to safety training, when combined with at-sea training and other requirements as part of a broader safety management system.