The notice provides details of the 2022 amendments to the code of safe working practices for merchant seafarers (“the Code”, also “COSWP”). A comprehensive review of COSWP has taken place.
A new edition will be published in the Spring of 2024 and the current 2022 amendment 7 will remain valid.
The code covers the regulatory framework and provides best practice guidance for health and safety on board ship.
It also gives guidance on safety management and identifies statutory duties underlying the advice and includes practical information for safe working on board.
1.1 An amendment to the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (“the code”) was issued on 24th October 2022 after consultation with industry.
1.2 The code is an authoritative best practice manual on health and safety on board ships and is endorsed by the National Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Committee (NMOHSC).
It deals with the regulatory framework for health and safety on board ship, safety management and statutory duties underlying the advice and gives practical information on safe working.
2.1 The following table summarizes the changes that have occurred for the 7th amendment of the code, following stakeholder engagement and review by the COSWP Working Group, which consists of representatives of the shipping industry, seafarers, and seafarers’ unions in collaboration with MCA policy leads.
2.2 In addition, in various chapters references have been updated and typographical corrections made (not detailed below).
3. Table of Amendments 2022
Reason for chapter 4 2022 amendments; comments from stakeholder engagement exercise and chapter sections and annex 4.1 updated to reflect the new entry into enclosed spaces regulations 2022.
Reason for chapter 8 2022 amendment; chapter sections updated to reflect the new entry into enclosed spaces regulations 2022.
Reason for chapter 11.8 amendments 2022; reference to 17.3 added for guidance on inspecting the conditions of the ladder and 11.10 sections updated to reflect the new entry into enclosed spaces regulations 2022.
Reason for chapter 14 amendment 2022; annex 14.1 updated to reflect the new entry into enclosed spaces regulations 2022.
Reason for chapter 15 amendment 2022; new chapter title and sections updated to reflect the new entry into enclosed spaces regulations 2022 and comments from stakeholder engagement exercise.
Reason for chapter 17 amendment 2022; section 17.3.2 to 17.3.4 updated to reflect Health and Safety Executive and Ladder Associations LA455 use of ladders and stepladders and comments from stakeholder engagement exercise.
Reason for chapter 26 amendment 2022; comments from stakeholder engagement exercise.
Reason for amendment 2022; chapter updated to reflect the new MGN 653 (M) electric vehicles onboard passenger roll-on/roll-off ferries and the MAIB safety bulletin (ClipperPennant) in respect of safe movement risk assessment.
4. GOV.UK Digital Version:
4.1 Changes in respect to the presentation of the code on GOV.UK will occur from 2024 to improve accessibility and comply with central government policy. An illustrated version of the code has been available on GOV.UK to date, including this year.
4.2 Starting in 2024, text-only summarised content from the code will be made available on GOV.UK in an accessible format. The full code, including illustrations and diagrams (intended for ship owners and operators), will continue to be available for order in print from The Stationary Office (TSO).
4.3 The MCA proposes to produce chapter summaries with useful information, including when content was last updated and links to the most current MCA marine notices and governmental legislation referenced. Comments on this proposal are welcomed; please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. COSWP Review 2023:
5.1 COSWP has developed since its publication in 2015 to become an internationally recognized maritime industry standard of best practice. Through industry consultation, it has been indicated that the manual requires more clarity in language and presentation. Therefore, the MCA has commenced a review, aiming to redesign and modernize COSWP. This will improve the structure, ensure consistency, and simplify its language, incorporating recurring design features.
5.2 Several stages of consultation with representatives of industry and seafarers have been undertaken over the last 18 months. A public consultation is planned for 2023 on the new design of the code, and notification to industry will be made nearer the time. For further information, please contact email@example.com.