THE MERCHANT SHIPPING AND FISHING VESSELS (PROVISION AND USE OF WORK EQUIPMENT) REGULATIONS 2006
Notice to all Ship Owners, Ship Operators, Charterers, Managers and other Employers of Seafarers, and Masters, Chief Engineers, Officers, Ratings and other workers on Merchant Ships, Fishing Vessels and Yachts and other vessels with paid crew and selfemployed persons carrying out operations on any vessels; Classification Societies, Certifying Authorities, Test Houses and Competent Persons.
This notice should be read in conjunction with MGN 20 which provides details, and guidance on interpretation, of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 and, where Work Equipment is used for the purpose of lifting, MGN 332, which covers the requirements of the Merchant Shipping (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006.
For a printable version of this document, click here: MGN 331 (PDF, 408 KB)
It should not however be regarded as definitive. The way these Regulations apply to any particular case can vary according to circumstances and from vessel to vessel. Each employer should therefore assess how the requirements of these Regulations apply to the specific circumstances of each vessel, and introduce measures to implement those requirements accordingly. Employers unsure of their legal position should consider seeking independent legal advice.
1.1 The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) Regulations 2006 were made on 8 August 2006 and come into force on 24 November 2006. These Regulations implement, in part, the provisions of EC Directives 89/655/EEC and 95/63/EC and apply to all UK registered ships, wherever they may be. Regulations 3(1), (3) and (4), 12, 13, 23, 38, 39 and 40 also apply to ships other than United Kingdom ships which are in United Kingdom waters.
1.2. The majority of injuries to crew involving work equipment occur as a result of persons being struck by or caught in moving parts of such equipment. The cause is often attributed to incorrect practices, inadequate training or to errors of judgement. Other types of serious accident are caused by the failure of work equipment, or missing safety guards. Accidents can be avoided through careful design and selection of work equipment.
1.3. These Regulations and this Marine Guidance Note are aimed at the prevention of accidents arising through mechanical failure, corrosion, fatigue, inappropriate repairs or modifications and poor maintenance as all of these can contribute to reduced safety margins.
2. GENERAL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS AND WHAT EMPLOYERS MUST DO
2.1 The Annex to this MGN sets out the provisions of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) Regulations 2006 and provides guidance on the legal obligations on employers that apply to fitting, maintenance and use of work equipment through implementation of European directives.
2.2. In line with the provisions of the EC Directive, these Regulations do not, in general, prescribe measures to be taken by an employer but place the onus on the employer to ensure that all work equipment is appropriate for its intended purpose and is safe to use.
2.3 The employer must also have regard to the provisions of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 which set out the general requirements for health and safety at work and, where work equipment is to be used in connection with Lifting Operations, the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006 which set out specific requirements relating to work equipment used for lifting. Detailed information on both sets of Regulations is provided in Marine Guidance Note MGN 20 and Marine Guidance Note MGN 332 respectively, or any subsequent replacements.
3. INSPECTION OF WORK EQUIPMENT
3.1 Where the safety of work equipment depends on the manner in which it was installed it should be inspected by a competent person after installation and before being brought into use and at regular intervals thereafter.
3.2 It is strongly recommended that the maximum interval between inspections should be 5 years for work equipment, or such shorter period as is recommended by the manufacturer. Further guidance on inspections should be aligned with equipment manufacturers' recommendations.
3.3 A “competent person” should carry out all inspections.
4. REGULAR MAINTENANCE
4.1 In order to ensure all parts of work equipment are kept in good repair and working order, regular preventative maintenance should be carried out.
4.2 Maintenance should include regular examinations by a competent person. It is recommended that these be carried out as necessary but at least once annually, and include checks for general material defects such as cracks, distortion and corrosion that will affect safety or ability to perform required function.
4.3 An appliance or item of equipment should be taken out of service until it can be subjected to examination when there is suspicion that it may not be performing correctly or has been subjected to treatment likely to cause damage.
4.4 Greasing should be thorough and frequent as dry bearings impose additional loads that can lead to failure.
4.5 The condition of all ropes and chains should be checked regularly for wear, damage and corrosion and replaced as necessary.
4.6 Shackles, links and rings should be renewed when wear or damage is evident.
4.7 Structures should be examined frequently for corrosion, cracks, distortion and wear of bearings, securing points etc.
4.8 Hollow structures such as gantries or masts should be checked for trapped water inside. If found the structure should be drained and then sealed.
4.9 There should be regular function tests of controls, stops, brakes, safety devices etc for work equipment, preferably before the start of operations.
5.1 Only those trained and competent to do so should operate any work equipment.
5.2 Instruction should be given to the vessel’s personnel to enable them to appreciate factors affecting the safe operation of work equipment.
5.3 For merchant ships and other vessels with paid crew (which includes yachts, work boats and small passenger vessels but not fishing vessels) training and safety information for those on board should include an understanding of the relevant sections of the MCA "Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen”.
6. MARKING OF WORK EQUIPMENT
6.1 Where appropriate work equipment should be clearly marked to indicate safe working load. It may be necessary to include more than one marking when used in differing configurations.
7. OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
7.1 All work operations must be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out to protect the safety of workers.
7.2 All reasonable measures should be taken so as to ensure that any equipment being used, or materials being worked on, cannot strike and injure someone or move or swing dangerously or fall freely.
7.3 Contact between bare rope, warps etc and moving parts of the equipment should be minimised by the installation of protective devices.
8. CONSTRUCTION, REPAIR AND MODIFICATION INCLUDING WELDING REPAIRS
8.1 Every item of work equipment, all parts of it and any part of the vessel used in support of it must be constructed such that it is suitable for the work to be carried out and capable of being used by workers without risk to their health and safety.
8.2 Modifications or repairs should be of equivalent strength, using compatible materials and account taken of the adverse effects of heat arising from welded repairs.
9. RECORDS OF EQUIPMENT
9.1 In service inspections are to be carried out in accordance with these Regulations.
9.2 Records and service history should be kept of equipment, of dates when and where it is brought into use, its maximum rating (if appropriate), any repairs, modifications, tests and examinations carried out.
10. SURVEY AND INSPECTION BY MCA SURVEYORS
10.1 Work equipment is subject to safety inspection by MCA surveyors at any time.
10.2 Enforcement will be subject to statutory enforcement procedures.
11. ADDITIONAL COPIES
Copies of this and other Merchant Shipping Notices, Marine Guidance Notes and Marine Information Notes can be obtained from MCA's distribution agents who will also arrange the supply of new notices on subscription. Their details are as follows:-
Mail Marketing (Scotland)
Bloomsgrove Industrial Estate
Tel: 011 5901 3336
Fax: 011 5901 3334
Seafarer Health and Safety Branch
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
105 Commercial Road
Tel : +44 (0) 23 8032 9246
Fax : +44 (0) 23 8032 9251
General Inquiries: 24 Hour Infoline
0870 600 6505
MCA Website Address: www.mcga.gov.uk
File Ref: MS 122/6/051
Published: September 2006
© Crown Copyright 2006
Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas
For a printable version of this document, click here: MGN 331 (PDF, 408 KB)
For a printable version of the appendix, click here: Annex (PDF, 138KB)