Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/665311
13 Spring 2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings After all, a key indicator of a functioning SMS is not the absence of nonconformities, but rather a clear indication that when a nonconformance is identifed, it is reported in accor- dance with the established procedure, analyzed, and that corrective action is undertaken in a timely manner (prove that you do what you say you do). This is the premise for effec- tive continuous improvement. Compliance Today, compliance with the International Safety Manage- ment Code is associated with nearly every other aspect of overall regulatory compliance. The Coast Guard's oversight of the ISM Code is an element of safety assurance verifca- tion that occurs constantly as a part of many routine activi- ties. Coast Guard personnel perform this oversight as the fag administration for U.S. vessels as well as under the Port State Control program for foreign vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Examining a vessel for any purpose provides an opportunity to evaluate safety management system effec- tiveness. To leverage the maximum beneft of this approach, the Coast Guard has undertaken a review of existing code oversight policies with a view to rebooting the guidance to better focus feld resources. 3 shipping. This means we take a more proactive role in administrating the activities of recognized organizations, overseeing auditing and verifcation processes, and con- ducting trend analyses of possible SMS failures and major nonconformities on U.S. vessels. By monitoring potential failures and major nonconformities from a central view, the Coast Guard has been better able to identify trends indicat- ing a systemic SMS issue across a common feet manage- ment. Once the trends are identifed, the Coast Guard can direct appropriate resources for focused oversight. Noncompliance Although safety management system indiference is generally the exception and not the rule, it is an unfor- tunate reality, nonetheless. That's why the Coast Guard initiated a campaign in 2011 focused on holding repeat ofenders accountable by targeting the company SMS for increased oversight and compliance verifcation at the management level. In a precedent-setting case, objective evidence of continued noncompliance with the requirements of the ISM Code, applicable international conventions, and fag state regulations — as well as a systemic failure to adequately implement company policies and proce- dures — led to the frst-ever revocation and cancellation of a U.S. company's ISM document of compliance (DOC) for cause. A review of attendance reports that various authori- ties, including port state control and the Coast Guard, documented clearly established a pattern of habitual disregard for rules and regulations. The company also repeatedly failed to implement effective corrective action, which was indicative of an ineffective SMS. Indeed, the company's DOC was on the third short- term issuance because of an inefective response to externally raised nonconformances. As a result, the company's international feet was essentially grounded due to the invalidation of required convention trading certifcates (safety management certifcates). A key indicator of a functioning SMS is not the absence of nonconformities, but rather when a nonconformance is identified, it is reported and corrective action is taken. The management system is only as effective as its implementation. Vessel inspections and examinations provide a means of evaluating International Safety Management Code compli- ance, the most basic of which is verifcation that the vessel and company have valid ISM Code certifcation. The next step is to identify links between any defciencies or casual- ties noted during the course of routine inspections/investi- gations and the vessel's SMS. This requires marine inspec- tors, port state control offcers, and marine investigators to have a working knowledge of the ISM Code's key elements and the duties and training of shipboard personnel. Although ISM Code oversight may not be the primary pur- pose of an examination, inspectors remain cognizant of the important role a safety management system has in miti- gating defciencies and preventing casualties. To this end, when conducting an inspection for purposes other than verifying compliance with the code, the inspector may note any defciencies that most likely could have been discov- ered and managed if the SMS had been thoroughly applied. Oversight may also arise from investigations into vessel casualties and vessel crewmembers' reports. As a fag administration, we focus on improving methods to identify poor-quality vessels to eliminate substandard