Australia: AMSA withdrawal of alternative safe working arrangement policy

Port news

Published: 26 November 2013

Members trading to Australia should be aware that as of 13 November 2013, AMSA has formally withdrawn the policy of permitting alternative safe working arrangements previously permitted in conjunction with Marine Order 32 (MO32), and going forwards the terms of MO32 will be strictly applied.

As part of the New Order, AMSA has advised that where non-compliance is found the next step is dependent on whether MO32 provides that a matter is a "must" or a "should".

In case of a mandatory "must" provision, non-compliance will mean a prohibition of work.

For a recommended "should" provision, non-compliance still leaves room for the arrangement of an alternative safe working practice. This, however, will have to comply with the local work healthy & safety regulations of the particular State or Territory (of Australia) where the vessel is located / operating.

As there will be no prospective / advance approval from AMSA, all vessels affected by MO32 should carefully review their working practices and ensure that prior to any call in Australia all necessary steps for compliance are taken. This should be done irrespective of whether, prior to 13 November 2013, the vessel had no problems calling in Australia.

Ultimately, a failure to comply, may mean the vessel will not be allowed to undertake cargo operations at all while in the state of non-compliance.

Members may wish to refer to the Norton White update published here.

Members may also wish to refer to the Australian Government website publishing Marine Orders.

The Association is grateful for the submission of information in respect of this matter from Nathan Cecil of Norton White Lawyers.