Occupational safety and health inspections on board ships

Shipping - Occupational safety and health inspections on board ships

Either the shipowner or their representative must be present during the occupational safety and health inspection. A representative of the shipping company can also attend. The supervisor of whichever department is being inspected usually accompanies the inspector as they tour the workplace. A representative of the crew – usually the occupational safety and health representative – is also expected to be present during the inspection.

Length of the inspection

It takes approximately four hours to inspect a typical cargo ship, between four and six hours to inspect a larger ship and between one-and-a-half and two days to inspect a large passenger ship.

The inspector must have access to the following documents:

  • Copies of the crew list and minimum safe manning document
  • Medical certificates
  • Employment contracts and any traineeship contracts
  • Pay slips and collective agreement, where applicable
  • Record of working hours, showing working hours and rest periods (including watch and shift rosters)
  • Results of lighting, noise and vibration measurements
  • Logbook
  • Catering log
  • Occupational health care service agreement and a report of the occupational health care service provider’s workplace survey
  • Insurance policies (shipowner’s liability)
  • Results of risk assessments and analyses
  • Copy of the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and the latest versions of applicable laws
  • Certificate of inspection of the ship’s medical stores
  • On-board complaints procedure.

Inspection report and opinions to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency

An inspection report is drawn up within one month of the inspection and sent to the shipowner.

If the occupational safety and health authorities have no objections to the issuing of a maritime labour certificate from the perspective of occupational safety and health, an opinion supporting the issuing of a maritime labour certificate can be given to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency on the basis of the inspection. The shipowner is also sent a copy of the opinion.

If the inspection reveals that a maritime labour certificate cannot be issued due to non-conformances, the shipowner must either eliminate or rectify the non-conformances.

Inspections are usually carried out during office hours. However, out-of-hours inspections are also possible.

No fee is payable for occupational safety and health inspections carried out for maritime labour certification purposes. However, any travel expenses incurred by inspectors from having to carry out inspections abroad are charged to the shipowner.