New dry bulk management standard launched

New dry bulk management standard launched

The new Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS) to support the improvement of safety and risk management standards within dry bulk shipmanagement was officially launched yesterday.

The Dry Bulk Management Standard was kickstarted by risk management firm RightShip with an aim to drive collaboration, conversation and increased standards in the dry bulk sector.

The concept of a set of safety and risk management standards for dry bulk shipping was first seeded more than ten years ago by David Peel, manager, EMEA at RightShip and George Sarris, managing director of Enterprises Shipping and Trading. Over the last decade, Peel, Sarris and leading owners and operators from the global dry bulk industry have collaborated to bring the idea from concept to its current draft status, with a view to generally improving safety, sustainability and welfare for all vessels and crew operating within the segment.

The standards are still in their draft format to encourage input from all industry players. They can be found on the newly launched DBMS website, where owners and operators can download them and provide feedback.

The voluntary programme is designed to allow shipmanagers to measure their Safety Management System (SMS) against agreed industry standards, with the aim of improving fleet performance and risk management. This will ensure an operator’s policies align with industry best practice to both advance their performance and attain high standards of health, safety, security and pollution prevention.

DBMS will provide expectations and targets against which companies can assess their own safety management systems. The standard will also benchmark a company’s management system against four key levels: basic, intermediate, advanced and excellence as well as allowing the creation of self-assessment results that can be used to develop phased plans to support continuous improvement of shipmanagement systems.

The draft guidelines focus on 30 areas of management practice across the four most serious risk areas faced in vessel operations; performance, people, plant and process. The DBMS will grade the excellence of a company’s SMS against measurable expectations and targets without involving the burdens of excessive inspections. While the DBMS won’t be a replacement for the ISM Code, it will build upon industry standards and provide a systematic approach to encourage ship managers to move from minimum compliance to operational excellence.

Luke Fisher, project lead, DBMS, commented: “Importantly, this voluntary scheme is based on the principle of comparisons and collaboration. Designed by the industry, for the industry, we are confident that the new standard creates a clear pathway of actions for owners and operators who wish to go well beyond the compliance baseline.”

Sarris from Enterprises Shipping and Trading commented: “New technologies and new regulations alone will not improve shipping standards, unless we perceive things differently. The enhancement of a safety culture across the industry is a necessity, and moving on from paper compliance and mandatory certification models to self-regulation and self-assessment will help us achieve our goals and bring about a better dry bulk segment.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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