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Inspections On Board
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Inspections On Board


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A general guide to inspections carried out on ships, esp tankers

A general guide to inspections carried out on ships, esp tankers

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  • 1. Inspections on board Abhijith Balakrishnan, MNI
  • 2.
    • Ship should always be ready for inspections
    • Do not work just to impress Inspectors
    • Work to achieve a safe and efficient ship
    • Ensure all systems are always in good order
    • Should be aware of any systems not in good order- action should be taken
  • 3. Vetting vs. Inspection
    • Vetting is a process of examination and evaluation, generally referring to performing a background check on the ship before offering an employment.
    • Inspection is the process of physically examining a ship and its related systems to collate data to help in vetting the ship later
  • 4. When inspection is expected
    • Master to chair a meeting
      • Remind everyone of their duties
    • Use VIQ /VPQ to conduct a check or a pre-inspection
    • Ensure records are updated
    • Advise office if anything is outstanding or any shortcoming is noticed
    • Carry out pre-operational checks and record
    • Enhance general housekeeping
    • Make available all documents for inspector
    • Refer to previous List of Observations send from the office
  • 5. Delegate to achieve maximum compliance
    • Certification and documentation
    • Vessel Particulars
    • Crew Management
    • Safety Management
    • Navigation
    • Radio Equipment
    • LSA / FFA
    • Bridge
    • Cargo /Ballast
    • Mooring
    • Pollution Prevention
    • COW
    • Loadline
    • Engine Room
    • Steering Gear
    • Inert Gas System
  • 6. Documents and plans
    • Prepare copies of various vessel certificates
    • Arrange all documents required as per the order in the VIQ /VPQ
    • Update the VPQ
  • 7. Prepare copies of
    • Classification Document
    • Certificates
      • Registry
      • SAFCON
      • SEQ
      • SRT
      • LL
      • IOPP + supp
      • Crew List
      • Safe Manning Doc
      • Etc.,
  • 8. Make Available
    • Officers’ licenses
    • Approved Manuals ( IG, COW, ODME, etc.,)
    • Log books
    • Oil record books
    • Proof of Authorised servicing of
      • FFA, Liferafts,
    • Settings for various safety devices
      • PV Valves etc.,
    • MSDS
    • SMS Manuals
    • Company policies
  • 9. Be prepared to Calibrate and Demonstrate
    • Fixed gas detection system
    • Portable gas detectors
    • ODME
    • COP Emergency shutdown
    • High level alarms/OF alarms
    • QC valves
    • IGS Alarms
    • OWS
    • Fire Fighting systems
    • Steering gear
    • Emcy generator
    • LB engines
    • ER ventilation shut downs
  • 10. Also prepare
    • Fireman’s outfit
    • ISC
    • Navigational Equipments
    • Charts and Publications
    • EPIRB, SART,Pyros,
    • Flame Screens on air pipes
    • Paint locker smothering system
    • Marine Sanitation systems….etc.,
  • 11. First Impression
    • You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression
      • Gangway to Ships office very important
      • Inspectors are supposed to be objective
      • Inherent human nature to base future actions on initial subjective impression.
      • May look for objective evidence to reinforce his initial subjective opinion
    • Good first impression
      • Probably quick and hassle free inspection
  • 12. First Impression- How to?
      • Gangway
        • Properly rigged
        • Lifebuoy
        • Warnings- no naked light etc.,
      • Crew
        • PPE as reqd-clean boiler suits, hard hats..
      • Deck Watch
        • Present at the gangway
        • Proper PPE
        • Walkie Talkie
  • 13. First Impressions
    • FFE at the manifold
    • Deck free of oil
    • Scuppers-plugged
    • Moorings- being monitored
    • MSDS posted as required
    • Emergency Equipment-marked and readily available
    • Accommodation- Doors/vents closed.
      • Slight positive pressure inside
  • 14. First Impressions
    • Deck Watch (ISPS)
      • Polite, courteous, firm
      • Identify- Photo ID?
      • Purpose of Visit?
      • Who do you want to see?
      • CREW to make entries in the Visitor log
      • Offer helmet if inspector not wearing one.
      • Call D/O on radio and advise
      • Escort Inspector to Ships Office
  • 15. General Awareness
    • Crew
      • To have general information of cargo
      • Especially about the hazards
        • H2S, Benzene,
      • Where can you find the information
        • MSDS- where is it posted?
        • Brief the crew during the meeting
  • 16. Ships Office
    • Master to meet Inspector in the Office
    • Brief him regarding his muster station
    • Offer refreshments
    • Be courteous
    • Inspector not onboard only to find faults
    • Extend full cooperation
    • Inspector should always be accompanied
    • Inspector is a fellow professional
  • 17. Pre Inspection meeting
    • Master and Chief Engineer to be present
    • Preferably all top four if ship operations permit
      • Scope of inspection?
      • Approx time for inspection? Boat for dep?
      • Order in which he intends to carry out inspection
      • Equipments/alarms he may want tested or demonstrated
  • 18. Pre Inspection
    • Master to ensure that the inspection is conducted without disrupting vessel operations or STCW rest hours
      • Suggest change in order of inspection
      • Any equipment to be tested should not interfere with safe operations
  • 19. During Inspection
    • Inspector to be always accompanied
      • By Master (or other top 3) and one assistant
    • Ensure safety of inspector
    • Do not argue with inspector
    • Do not intentionally give false information
    • Do not embarrass the inspector
      • no. of years at sea/qualification etc.,
    • Do not agree to any unsafe practices
    • Do not offer any opinion on observations
    • Do not volunteer information to impress Inspector
  • 20. General Crew Attitude
    • Ensure crew attitude projects a safe and professional ship
      • Regular rounds
      • Reports on UHF Radios
      • Moorings checked
      • No sitting/chatting at manifold
      • Officers alert/ active
      • Bridge/ER to appear to neat and tidy
      • Instructions from superiors being followed
  • 21.
    • Close out all small observations before inspector departs
      • Do not compromise ship safety, the operations or STCW rest hours.
  • 22. Post Inspection Meeting
    • Request an opportunity to discuss observations
    • Request a written report
    • Cross out blank areas on the report and keep a copy
    • Do not hesitate to point out remarks that you feel are incorrect
    • One senior off (Pref CE) to be present
    • Clear any misunderstandings
    • Not ask for opinions’ on how to clear observations
  • 23. After Inspector departs
    • Inform office regarding the inspection
    • Send copy of inspection report with remarks as necessary
    • Advise office of plan to tackle observations
    • Request office assistance as necessary
    • Follow up action to satisfy the requirements
    • Keep the ship ready for the next inspection!!!
  • 24. Source of information
    • A guide to the Vetting Process by Intertanko