[QUOTE=Tugs;192672]My Company rolled out their SMS System in the 90’s. Most of us on the Vessels looked at it as a way for the Office to Micro-Manage us and for a while it was used as a tool to mess with us more than a tool to help us do our jobs safely.
This slowly changed as they came out with updates that included input from the Sea Going Crews. That made it more user friendly.
People used to think I was nuts as I check all of the binders each and every tour for updates. This was done for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that I had reliefs that sometimes “forgot” to insert any revisions that came out.
Here is an example of something that a lot of CE’s were hit on during Vettings. It stated that ALL Gauges (both Electrical and Mechanical were to be checked for accuracy every year.
Once I read this requirement, I sent in a Req. for all of the meters and certified gauges to complete this task. When my PE called wanting to know why I needed all of these (as they were not cheap) I referred him to the section in the SMS that showed the above requirement. He approved my request and also asked my not to share this information with any other CE’s.
All was good for a year until I sent all of these Certified Meters and Gauges out to be recertified. He was not happy when I told him that this was the ONLY way that I could comply with “Our” SMS Guidelines. When he said what else could be done, I said change the SMS, which they did.
This is just an example of the Office writing these requirements and then bitching when they have to lay out the cash for us to meet them.[/QUOTE]
This is a good point.
I have also found that over time and about 5 or 6 versions deep with several CAR’s filed, things can improve. This is all predicated on the office seeking the vessel’s input as to how the SMS can be improved.
My biggest problem with any of these systems is and will continue to be that the office will often add complication to something that was already working fine which doesn’t replace anything else, just adds onto the pile. These are typically not sent out to the vessel’s for comment prior to implementation and typically don’t follow any new or impending regulations. They also usually reek of a new office employee trying to show their worth.
Your comment about checking for updates every time you rotate back is very astute and in keeping with the best qualities of seamanship. I go through all the paperwork I can in the first few days back aboard to make sure I’m not caught with my pants down during an audit or port state inspection. You really will have no excuse besides “I didn’t bother to look.”