Maritime Health and Safety


Our Ref: HSS/4/6
Head Office Circular: NP/081/14
15th April 2014
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Southampton Shipping Branch submitted the following resolution:

“We Southampton Shipping Branch note with concern our lack of expertise in maritime health and safety as a union. Health and safety should be viewed in the same light as industrial matters and not as an inferior issue.

We request the following:

•    All present maritime health and safety reps to be identified
•    The creation of a maritime H&S card for all RMT trained reps
•    A strategy to enable us to increase our knowledge in Unity House
•    Improved correspondence to health and safety reps
•    A consultation of Shipping Branches and Regional Councils regarding maritime health and safety understanding concerns and ideas

Furthermore, the National Secretary to investigate the setting up of a maritime health and safety advisory committee.”

The resolution was considered by the Council of Executives who adopted the following report from the CofE Health and Safety Sub-committee on 6th March 2014:

“We note the resolution from Southampton Shipping Branch and the clear desire to improve the Union’s expertise on Maritime health and safety. The Union has a number of initiatives around improving representation such as the Maritime     health     and safety courses and a handbook for our Representatives. Unfortunately     however, there is no statutory requirement for shipping companies to release our members to attend these courses. We also note that the Union already provides Health & Safety representative credentials to general grade H&S Representatives. These should be made available to all accredited RMT Maritime H&S Representatives. In addition the Union also has a Health and Safety Advisory Committee set up in accordance with the Union’s rule book.

We believe the union can improve communication with our maritime Health and Safety Representatives. As a first step we should identify all Maritime Health and Safety Representatives within our membership system. Further the General Secretary is instructed to write to our Shipping Branches and Regional Councils seeking the views and concerns of our Maritime members in respect of health and safety, and any suggestions they may have to improve the representation and this matter placed back before the Council of Executives for further consideration to adopt a strategy for Maritime Health and Safety and any actions which may be deemed appropriate to increase our knowledge of Maritime Health and Safety. Furthermore we instruct the General Secretary to link this file with the SEAFARER SAFETY REPS EQUAL STANDING WITH LAND BASED REPS.”

With the above resolution and decision in mind, please forward to me any ideas or concerns you may have of a Maritime Health and Safety nature. I will ensure that they are compiled and put before the Council of Executives for further examination and report.

I wrote to all Shipping Branches in September last year asking Branch Secretaries to check and update their membership files with all H&S reps within their branches. The reason I am asking you to do this is because not all of our reps are on the membership system. I would like you to check that your branch H&S reps are on the membership system and then to send a list of all your H&S reps to Stephanie Mackay on If you have any difficulty in updating the system, Stephanie can assist you. This is important as it will help us to improve communications with our H&S reps.

Please make the contents of this circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
Acting General Secretary