How many times have you consciously gone through your SMS (Safety Management System)? Do you belive in your SMS? Have you considered to change or amend any of the procedures on it? Do you own your “SMS – FRC launching procedure” like if you are a champion? Knowledge is power and sharing knowledge is empowering!
Let´s say you are almost a week on board, and as per SOLAS Chapter III “Life Saving Appliences and Arrangements” – Regulation 20 “Operational readiness, maintenance and inspections”; you should carry out an inspection and test report, to be entered in the vessel´s Log Book.
FRC checks can be summerized as Weekly and Monthly checks to be done following SOLAS Ch. III Reg. 20.
To comply with Weekly checks, first of all we must visually inspect our rescue boat readiness, conditions of hooks, their attachment to the FRC, davit hidraulic system (each davit brand has it own tricks, working pressures, control panel). In the second place, FRC engines shall run for a total period of not less than 3 min. provided the ambient temperature is above the minimum temperature required for starting and running the engine. And finally the general emergency alarm system shall be tested.
Experience has shown that holding frequent FRC drills furthers the goal of making the crew familiar with the life-saving systems on board their ships and increasing their confidence that the systems will work and will be effective in an emergency. FRC Drills give the crew opportunity to gain experience in the use of the safety equipment and working in cooperation with each other.
Some people avoid paper work, and believe that is not useful. What if you have spent a few days learning your ISM, common tasks on board, keeping your TBTs, RAs, and PTW ready when the moment cames. Work hard and get close to Bosun and your people and make your best to learn the proper vocabulary, think about what can happen next, look after your family on board.
TBT Tool Box Talks rock! You can make it extremely boring or super cool, I do believe that the challenge is all about getting your people involved. Ask them their opinion on safety and ops procedures. Bosun, ABs, OS without a doubt know the equipment really well. Learn to delegate. Make them champions. Build up your leadership.