Cuts to Maritime Safety Regulations

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Circular No: NP/117/14

TO ALL SHIPPING AND OFFSHORE BRANCHES, REGIONAL ORGANISERS, REGIONAL COUNCILS, & COUNCIL OF EXECUTIVES.

Our ref: S6/2/14

4th July 2014

Dear Colleagues

Cuts to Maritime Safety Regulations

Under the Coalition Government’s Red Tape Challenge, the following safety regulations in the maritime sector have been proposed for deletion:

•    Merchant Shipping (Means of Access) Regs 1988 Require employers to provide safe access to UK ships, including gangways, accommodation ladders, portable and rope ladders and ancillary safety equipment.
•    Merchant Shipping (Safe Movement on Board Ship) Regs 1988 Require employers to maintain safe ways of moving around ships to avoid people having slips, trips or falls, including the provision of guard rails and properly constructed ladders.
•    Merchant Shipping (Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen) Regs 1998 Require UK ships, other than fishing or pleasure vessels, to have available to workers aboard copies of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen. (The Code itself is currently under review by a Working Group which RMT is represented on and a separate circular covering this will be sent out shortly.)

The MCA is consulting maritime unions and the shipping industry on the proposal to revoke these regulations. If RMT seafarers have any points for inclusion in the union’s official response to the MCA, then it would be appreciated if they could be emailed to d.crimes@rmt.org.uk by 18th July 2014 at the latest.

The Government will also be consulting later in the year on the revocation of the Merchant Shipping (Diving Safety) Regulations 2002 which is currently the subject of discussion between the MCA and the Health and Safety Executive.

You will be alerted to any further developments in the Government’s politically motivated tampering with the regulatory framework underpinning the transport and offshore industries where our members work. Please bring the content of this circular to the attention of members in your Branch.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
Acting General Secretary