What Are The Duties Of Ship Safety Officer (SSO)?

Under the International Safety Management (ISM) code, every ship must appoint a ship safety officer (SSO) who has the knowledge, experience, and skills to look over the important safety issues related to ship and its crew’s health.

According to the ISM code a ship safety officer should have minimum of two years of consecutive sea service. In case of tanker ships the safety officer should have six months of experience ontanker ships in addition to two years of consecutive sea service.

The appointed ship service officer should have the necessary qualities to properly take the responsibilities imposed under the relevant provision of the ISM regulation. He should also help in proper implementation of the ISM code on the ship.

Duties of ship safety officer

The safety officer of the ship is entitled to look over all the duties related to safety of the ship. Some of the important duties include:

  • Look into all the potential hazards to the health and safety of the ship and its crew
  • Ensure that the crew maintains high standard of safety consciousness and knows all theimportant aspects of the ISM code related to safety
  • Ensures that the provisions of the code of safe working practices and safety instructions, rules and guidance for the ship’s safety and health are complied with
  • Ensure that safety inspection of the ship is carried out at least every three months or more frequently if required
  • Help ship safety committee to take substantial steps for enhancing the safety of the ship
  • To look into crew complaints related to health and safety
  • Make recommendations to the ship’s master to remove a potential hazard which might lead to an accident or harm to the crew
  • Help in making an efficient safety management system (SMS)
  • Provide information to the ship’s master regarding deficiencies related to ship’s health, safety, and security
  • Properly investigate any accident involving death of a crew and major or minor accident
  • Inform the master when someone from the crew fails to work according to the regulations mention in the ISM code
  • Recommend important aspects related to safety in ship’s maintenance plan
  • Maintain a record of all the accidents taking place on the ship, including death, major or minor injury, and near death experiences. Also, make this information available to the ship’s master, safety representative, or any official of the company
  • Stop any ship operation, which might cause damage to the ship or harm to any of the ship’s crew. Inform about the same to the ship’s master and take necessary steps

Ship safety officer is not required to perform any of the above mentioned duties when an emergency action or response is being taken to safe guard life or safety of a ship. Moreover, he is also not the in charge of any kind of medical treatment or first aid in case of an emergency.