UPDATED COVID-19 ADVICE FOR SURVEYORS
We hope to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that some surveyors are experiencing.
As with other professions such as teachers, medical workers, pharmacists and all transport and logistics workers, marine surveyors provide essential services to our country. Keeping our shipping industry moving is vital to our livelihood, our country and the global economy.
Fortunately we are a hardy bunch and risk management is a tool we use daily.
I have spent some time this week talking to our regulators and am confident that there are measures in place that will keep surveyors as safe as possible.
Australia has put in place additional border control measures and there are legal requirements for reporting any sickness of crew on board vessels arriving in Australia. Vessels reporting that crew are ill or are displaying symptoms are subject to these new controls and it is our understanding that an S175 Form would not be issued to surveyors or any other shore based personnel for clearance to board.
It is important for surveyors to understand that, as per normal surveys, they are responsible for assessing any potential risks they may face and must identify and implement their own personal WHS risk mitigation strategies and continue to be vigilant in regard to all health risks and other hazards when carrying out their work.
While Pilots and many shore staff are refusing to board foreign vessels marine surveyors are largely going about their work and assessing their risks as they go, vessel by vessel, survey by survey.
If a vessel is deemed to be high risk (by you or anyone else) either choose not to board or take appropriate precautions in line with the level of risk identified. Use the appropriate PPE equipment and make sure that your employees do the same.
On disembarking a vessel or leaving a wharf or dock make sure that you properly dispose of rubber gloves and face masks, wash your hands thoroughly and observe social distancing as all members of the public are now doing.
As all foreign vessels are subject to Border Force controls they may be required to isolate for 14 days. If they have not actually been quarantined and have declared all crew free of illness it is relatively safe for surveyors to board but PPE and safe working practices are still required.
As noted in the attachment below, with appropriate precautions, it is extremely unlikely that any illness or symptoms marine industry staff develop will be related to this virus.
Domestic Commercial Vessel surveyors are unlikely to face the same type of risks as surveyors boarding foreign vessels however, given the nature of their surveys maintaining the 1.5 metre distance precautions are required but are more easily observed.
DCV vessels are highly unlikely to have transited through any banned or high risk locations and crew are more likely to be free of any virus or infection however the same WHS safety requirements should be observed as those being observed within the general population. Extra precautions should be observed if you deem a vessel to be high risk.
Please read the attachment here coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-marine-industry_0.pdf published by the Department of Health for our industry.
Keep up to date with information on the Departments website via this link https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources#find-the-facts
This publication was also forwarded to us by a member. Updated advice for commercial vessels dated 17 March 2020.final.pdf
As always, we encourage any member who would like further information to contact us directly and if members have additional information that would be helpful to others please forward it to us for distribution.
We are marine surveyors, merchant seafarers and coastal seafarers. We provide an essential service, and always have, so let's continue to do our work and keep the industry and those who depend on it as safe as we can during these very uncertain times.
AMSA SENDS NOTICE REGARDING MISREPRESENTATIONS BY ACCREDITED SURVEYORS
AMSA today forwarded a letter outlining their response to several complaints raised by the AIMS over the past few months regarding AMSA accredited surveyors misrepresenting their accreditation or using misleading advertising.
AIMS has received complaints from shippers and members advising that some AMSA accredited surveyors are engaging in misleading practices. Shippers advise that they are confused as to whether the surveyor is an AMSA PSC surveyor and whether the scheduled survey is actually being carried out on behalf of AMSA.
AMSA do not outsource PSC inspections to private surveyors and shippers and AIMS members should note that AMSA accredited surveyors are not accredited to carry out PSC or Flag State Inspections. They are only accredited to carry out statutory surveys for domestic commercial vessels under 35 metres.
A copy of the AMSA response can be downloaded here