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Updated health and safety handbook for seafarers

Posted inSeafarerbyYasmin Talbot

The Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers, also known as COSWP has been given a refresh following feedback from industry and stakeholders.  

COSWP provides best practice guidance for merchant seafarers around safety and health on board ships and is aimed at all ranks and ratings, including those accountable for safety ashore. It covers safe working practices for various situations that can arise on a ship and covers areas such as fire precautions, entering enclosed spaces, hazardous substances and mixtures, plus more.  

Updates have been made to the design, structure and language of the handbook to make the information included, clearer to understand and easier to follow.  

Before publishing the code, part of the improved version went to consultation from August to November 2023 to seek further views on the design and structure, improved language and clarity, diagrams and functionality; it received a positive response overall.  

To make the document more accessible, the printed version of the code has been changed to a bound copy rather than loose-leaf and this can be purchased on the TSO webshop. Other formats available for purchase include an eBook and PDF. 

We’d like to remind everyone that there is a legal requirement for COSWP to be carried and readily accessible, onboard UK flagged merchant ships.

To read the original press release from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, head over to GOV.UK.