“Is Your Bridge Safe?”
.. It’s a big question, one which we may not want to face, or more worryingly, be concerned about. But really the bridge is the central hub of all vessels, the place where things can go well or go wrong, so we need to be concerned for the safety of not only the bridge crew, but also everything and everyone on the ship which is affected by them.
How can we make our bridge safer?
There are many different options available, none of them are definitive, and all are subjective to how we work and our own situation. You may, for instance, simply conduct an internal audit by sending staff or crew onboard and complete some simple safety checks. Or you may feel this will inherently include a bias towards a positive outcome.
There are plenty of 3rd Party companies who offer an onboard bridge audit where they will complete the visit and provide a list of recommendations which you are under no obligation to complete. However this will provide you with an external perspective, maybe noticing things you as a company may not.
A simpler and quicker solution may be to purchase externally produced SMS procedures, again this will likely include an initial ship visit, but then all the hard work is done for you. There is of course an increased cost involved, but to take this task away from already busy crew will undoubtedly reap the benefits in the long run.
Whatever you decide to do, there’s no question you must ensure the safety of your vessel and your crew.