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Maritime Safety Week 2023

As Maritime Safety Week comes to a close and we mark the 35th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, it is clear that safety remains as important as ever. With thousands in Scotland and many more further afield working at sea, Maritime Safety Week aims to shine a spotlight on safety initiatives that have been introduced and highlight areas of potential improvement. As Sarah Treseder of the UK Chamber of Shipping commented “one death or injury at sea is one too many.”

It has long been recognised that fishing is one of the most dangerous professions in the world, with fishermen often facing challenging conditions at sea. There have been numerous advances in the safety sector over recent years, together with continuing efforts to increase awareness of the risks and mitigations that can be put in place.

In addition to the statutory safety requirements for ship owners and seafarers, such as wearing of Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), the use of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and developments in terms of Remote Electronic Monitoring systems (REM), the MCA regularly issue updated guidance on best practice.

Martin Sinclair, Partner in our Health and Safety Department, commented “Since the findings of Lord Cullen’s Public Inquiry were published in 1990, the continuous improvement of safety through engagement with the whole maritime industry has been a welcome theme over the years. Safety is something which we must all be aware of and strive to maintain. The hard work of everyone in this field deserves credit and will hopefully continue to save lives and reduce injuries. It is right that we should all take time to reflect and review within the spotlight of Maritime Safety Week.”

It is important that on occasions such as these, we consider that while there have been advances in the safety sector, there are still areas for improvement and this should be at the forefront of any activity being carried out at sea. It is crucial that risk assessments are sufficiently detailed and reviewed regularly and certification checks and inductions carried out for crewmembers.

Mackinnons can provide assistance in achieving compliance with the developing safety measures. For more information, please contact Martin Sinclair or Graham Jones or call 01224 632464.

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