ISM Code and Vessel Safety Management Systems

This article discusses how all passenger ships must comply with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code that is enforced through the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The code requires these passenger ships to employ a safety management system (SMS). A typical cruise ship SMS is a large, multi-layered system that consists of thick volumes of books and manuals — or, more commonly, computer-based references. The SMS contains all the rules, regulations, policies, processes, and procedures a company and ship employ to make sure everyone uses the same rulebook for consistency. First, a company designs, develops, and implements its SMS and shipboard personnel play an importantl role in SMS self-management. If a policy or procedure is not working, the crew member must use the lines of communication within the safety management system to report the shortcomings.


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  • Accession Number: 01608191
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2016 11:05AM