HSE-PRO-001 Boating Procedure
Table of Contents
To provide an overarching guide for the responsible management of the JCU owned boats and non-JCU owned boats that are used for JCU activities for the purpose of meeting safety requirements stipulated at law.
JCU intends to meet its boating safety obligations by identifying hazards, removing any associated risks and / or installing control measures to prevent or minimise the level of risk to staff, students, contractors, volunteers and visitors engaged in boating activities at the University.
These requirements are set out in the applicable Workplace Health and Safety Regulations, National and State Maritime Regulations, Workplace Health and Safety Codes of Practice and Australian Standards.
The Boating Procedure applies to all people who carry out boating activities at JCU.
This includes people who take part in research or a recognised programme of study at JCU and includes undergraduate, postgraduate studies and collaboration with outside agencies.
The Boating Procedure applies to boating on Queensland waters, international waters and other waters. Other waters may be where JCU teaching and research projects involve the use of a boat on a body of water that is not within the definition of Queensland waters, for example ponds or dams or private property.
The Boating Procedure does not include diving as a boating activity. HSE-PRO-002 Diving Procedure should be referred to for diving activities at JCU.
The Boating Procedure does not include the procurement of boats for JCU.
Means any vessel which is used or is capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and includes a speed boat, dinghy, punt and inflatable craft.
For the purpose of this Procedure, the Boat Owner is the person that has legal interest in the boat i.e. James Cook University. The Boat Owner may not be the Boat Operator.
This means the person operating the boat. Subsidiary JCU documents may also refer to this role as Master, Skipper or Handler.
University Boating and Diving Officer
The person appointed by the Boating and Diving Safety Sub-Committee that is responsible to oversee all vessel-based operations at James Cook University.
A qualified person(s) that may assist the Boat Operator in the operation of the boat.
A person carried on a JCU owned boat that is not the Boat Operator or a member of the crew
Group Boating Officer
The person, appointed by the Boating and Diving Safety Sub-Committee, that has responsibility for safety compliance, maintenance and administrative functions of a boat owned by JCU and that is not directly managed by the University Boating and Diving Officer.
Boating and Diving Register
An electronic system that is used by Diving and Boating for the management of diving and boating operations JCU
Are carried on board in connection with the special purpose of the vessel, are not passengers or crew, and have knowledge of safety procedures and handling of safety equipment on board
Field Trip Leader
The person authorised by the Director / Dean to lead the field trip, and is responsible for the health and safety for all persons attending for the duration of the field trip.
4 Duty, Obligations and Responsibilities
James Cook University has obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Staff, students and volunteers have obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and for the health and safety of other persons.
4.1 Boat Owner
The Boat Owner has obligations under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 to ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ to ensure the safe operation of boats.
The Boat Owner must implement and maintain Safety Management Systems (SMS) on their boat to comply with their statutory safety obligations.
The Boat Owner must adhere to the boat SMS, Operating Procedures and laws administered by Maritime Safety QLD, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and local Port Authorities.
4.2 Boat Operator
The Boat Operator must strictly adhere to all aspects of the boat SMS, Operating Procedures and laws administered by Maritime Safety QLD, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and local Port Authorities.
The Boat Operator must provide evidence of required certifications / qualifications, and receive approval from the UBDO or Group Boating Officer prior to operating any JCU owned boat.
4.3 University Boating and Diving Officer
The University Boating and Diving Officer (UBDO) oversee all vessel-based operations conducted under the auspices of James Cook University.
The UBDO directly manages the boats owned by JCU kept on-campus, Townsville.
The UBDO can restrict or suspend persons from operating JCU boats if it is believed they have not adequately fulfilled their responsibilities as a Boat Operator.
The UBDO manages the Boating and Diving Register and assures Group Boating Officers manage all JCU owned boats to operate to this Procedure
The UBDO facilitates general boating and boat specific inductions.
It is the responsibility of the UBDO to hold, as a minimum, a current coxswain ticket to fulfil the duties of this role.
The UBDO provides recommendation to the Boating and Diving Safety Sub-Committee for the appointment of the Group Boating Officer.
4.4 Group Boating Officer
The Group Boating Officer (GBO) ensures JCU owned boats are operated to this Procedure and can demonstrate this to the UBDO as necessary.
The GBO manages the boats that are owned by JCU and that are not permanently garaged at the Diving and Boating compound at the Townsville campus.
These boats may be kept on or off-campus. For example a GBO may be responsible for a boat that is assigned to a specific JCU research group, which may be based at the Townsville campus or another location.
The GBO is an appointment made by the Boating and Diving Safety Sub-Committee.
To be considered, the applicant must:
- Have completed adequate training relevant to the role;
- Have adequate relevant experience to the role; and
- Be recommended for appointment by a UBDO
Crew must comply with the lawful directions of the Boat Operator and to comply with the approved instructions that have been developed to provide for their safety and that of others.
Crew of JCU owned boats have a responsibility to ensure they hold the required certifications and qualifications required to undertake the activity prior to undertaking that activity.
Crew must provide evidence of the required certifications / qualifications and receive approval from the UBDO or Group Boating Officer prior to assisting in the operation of any JCU owned boat.
A passenger must comply with the lawful directions of the Boat Operator and Crew to comply with the instructions that have been developed to provide for their safety and that of others.
5.1 Safety Management System
Both National and QLD Maritime Regulations require specific work health and safety mechanisms to be in place for boat operations.
The primary tool used to achieve this is by having a boat Safety Management System (SMS) in place. The SMS is more generic system for managing boat operations in comparison to the Boat Operating Procedures.
The objective of the SMS is ‘to prevent human injury or loss of life, avoid losses due to damage…and avoid damage to the environment’ (NSCV Part E).
An SMS must be implemented and maintained for every boat owned by JCU.
All Boat Operators must have an understanding of the SMS for the boat they intend to operate.
5.1.1 Boat Operating Procedures
The Operating Procedure provides boat specific information and provide the essential information on how to safely operate and conduct work from that particular boat.
Every JCU boat must have a current Operating Procedures manual.
Where practical, the Operating Procedure should be kept on that boat.
A typical Operating Procedures manual contains information on the following:
- Standard equipment for the boat
- Pre-departure checks
- Safety equipment and personnel briefing
- Propulsion and fuel systems
- Loading, trim and boat handling
- Anchor and mooring
- Radio and other instrument operation
5.2 Document Management
The Safety Management System, operating procedures, training and induction requirements must be regularly reviewed by the Boating and Diving Unit to ensure currency.
Examples of events that may initiate a document review:
- As part of normal cyclic review processes
- Internal or external audit finding
- Infringement notice
- Legislative change
- Post incident investigation
- Changes to equipment or boats
All changes to the SMS must be approved by chair of the Boating and Diving Safety Sub-Committee.
Changes to the operating procedures, training and inductions are managed and approved by the UBDO or GBO.
Changes to the Safety Management System, operating procedures, training and induction must be communicated to the relevant stakeholders including Boating and Diving Safety Sub-committee.
Master copies of the current approved versions of the Safety Management System, operating procedures, training and inductions are to be kept in the Boating and Diving Register.
5.3 Identification of Risk and Assessment
A risk assessment must be undertaken for all work conducted from a boat, including the operation of the boat itself.
5.4 Boat Compliance
5.4.1 Safety Equipment and Communication Devices
It is the responsibility of the Boat Operator to ensure the boat is equipped with the communication devices and the safety equipment of a type, quality and quantity to control the risks associated with the operation of the boat, the number of persons on board and the potential risks.
All safety equipment must be regularly maintained and stowed in an area that is accessible at a time of need.
The boat must be regularly maintained to make sure it is in a seaworthy condition.
5.4.2 Pre-Departure Checks
Pre-departure checks must be undertaken and acknowledged prior to departing on any trip.
5.5 Emergency Procedures
Each SMS provides instructions for what to do in the event of an emergency on that boat.
All persons on board must have sufficient information and knowledge to effectively use all available safety equipment at time of need and facilitate search and rescue operations during daylight or at night.
5.6 Incident Reporting
The JCU Incident Management Policy and Critical Incident procedures provide the overarching instructions for response to, and the management of an incident.
All incidents involving JCU owned boats and JCU activities must be reported into the JCU incident reporting system, RiskWare.
In addition, some boating incidents are reportable to regulatory bodies. Refer to section 5.6.2 below for details on what constitutes a reportable marine incident, and JCU processes for reporting. Refer to Appendix 1 Flowchart – Reporting Boating Notifiable Incidents.
5.6.1 Immediate response to a boating / diving incident
Boat Operator / Field Trip Leader:
To ensure that the Boat Operator is able to focus on the emergency event, JCU as the Boat Owner requires the Boat Operator / Field Trip Leader to:
- Immediately enact emergency plan (as detailed in the vessel SMS);
- As soon as practicable, phone JCU Security Control Centre and provide them with the details of the incident (for minor incidents during office hours, the field trip leader / boat operator may choose to contact his / her Line Manager / Boating and Diving Officer directly);
- Continue managing the emergency situation; and
- Complete RiskWare incident report and if required, Form 2 – Diver Injury Report (Scientific Diving Operations Manual).
On notification of a boating or diving incident, JCU Security will follow the ‘Security Control Centre Protocol – JCU Boating and Diving Incident Response’ (appendix 2). If required, the critical incident management response will be initiated by the University’s Critical Incident Coordinator, the Chief of Staff.
JCU Boating and Diving Team:
The JCU Boating and Diving Team member receiving the notification of a boating / diving incident is responsible for providing assistance / guidance to the Boat Operator / Field Trip Leader to manage the emergency. The JCU Boating and Diving Team member is also responsible for reporting serious incidents to the HSE unit and work with the HSE unit to ensure regulatory reporting requirements are met.
The HSE unit in conjunction with JCU boating and diving team will determine if an incident is notifiable and coordinate notifications to Work Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and / or Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as required. The HSE unit are responsible for investigating any notifiable / reportable incidents. Refer to HSE-PRO-014 Incident & Hazard Management for further information on reporting to WHSQ and incident investigations.
Reporting in RiskWare:
All incidents or hazards must be logged into RiskWare within:
- 24 hours for regional incidents
- 48 hours for national incidents
- 72 hours or reasonably practicable for International incidents
Where this timeframe cannot be met due to significant circumstances and reasonable methods have failed, on their return, the person involved, must submit a reason to their Director/Dean or equivalent and a note made in the incident notification once the incident has been submitted into RiskWare.
Where details are not confirmed due to communication issues an incident report can still be logged and details later changed as they are known.
5.6.2 Reporting marine incidents to AMSA
The HSE Unit will coordinate the reporting requirements for all JCU marine incidents to AMSA.
The Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 requires the owner (Boat Owner) and the master (Boat Operator) of a vessel to report any marine incidents* involving:
- the death of a person;
- serious injury to a person;
- the loss of a vessel;
- the loss of a person from a vessel; or
- Significant damage to a vessel.
Additional Detailed Report
Within 4 hours
Within 72 hours
Incident Alert Form 18 (AMSA form)
Incident Report Form 19 (AMSA form)
All completed marine incident reports must be electronically attached to the associated incident that has been logged in RiskWare.
* Definition of a Marine Incident
Under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law), a marine incident is classified as:
- A death of, or injury to, a person associated with the operation or navigation of a domestic commercial vessel
- The loss or presumed loss of a domestic commercial vessel
- A collision of a domestic commercial vessel with another vessel
- A collision by a domestic commercial vessel with an object
- The grounding, striking, flooding or capsizing of a domestic commercial vessel
- A fire on board a domestic commercial vessel
- A loss of stability of a domestic commercial vessel that affects the safety of the vessel
- The structural failure of a domestic commercial vessel
- A close quarters situation
- An event that results in, or could have resulted in:
- The death of, or injury to, a person on board a domestic commercial vessel
- Or the loss of a person from a domestic commercial vessel
- Or a domestic commercial vessel becoming disabled and requiring assistance.
- The fouling or damaging by a domestic commercial vessel of:
- Any pipeline or submarine cable
- Or any aid to navigation within the meaning of the Navigation Act 2012 of the Commonwealth.
- A prescribed incident involving a domestic commercial vessel.
5.7 Licensing / Certification Requirements for Operating University Boats
The SMS will stipulate the licensing or certification requirements required by law to operate that boat.
Licenses or certificates of competency must remain current. The Boat Operator must ensure licence or certificates of competency do not elapse over the duration of the trip.
Evidence of renewed / updated licenses or certificates of competency must be provided to the UBDO or Group Boating Officer to ensure the Boating and Diving Register reflects the licensing or certification required by the Authority at all times.
5.8 Minimum Crew
The boat SMS must be referenced to determine the minimum number of persons that must accompany the Boat Operator on a voyage on that boat.
If deemed necessary for the Boat Operator to work alone, a system must be put into place to control the associated risks identified through a risk assessment and approval given by the Boating and Diving Office.
5.9 Non-JCU Boats
Any boat used for JCU work in Australian waters must be commercially registered, unless the law permits the use of an unregistered boat.
Any work proposed using non-JCU boats will be assessed by the UBDO based on the commercial registration details of the boat, the suitability of the boat for the task, safety compliance, crewing requirements and any other operational or compliance concern.
Only those people who have successfully completed the required training and who have adequate experience and who have completed the required inductions may be approved to operate a JCU owned boat.
Minimum training / experience / induction requirements will be stated in the SMS of that boat. The Crew and / or Operator must provide evidence of such prior to undertaking any boating activities to the UBDO.
In addition, all personnel on board a boat must be briefed by the Boat Operator on the risk assessment for the trip to be undertaken, and other specific safety aspects such as emergency procedures and safety equipment.
5.11 Boating and Diving Register
The Boating and Diving Register is a database that is used for the management of diving and boating activities at JCU.
The Boating and Diving Register provides a centralised data management process for diving and boating document management, certification of boat operators and users, regulatory boating compliance information.
Access and administrative permissions is managed by the UBDO.
Boat Operators and Crew are required to establish a profile on the Boating and Diving Register and upload all required certifications and qualifications prior to undertaking duties on JCU owned boats. It is a requirement of the participants to maintain the information kept in the system to ensure current documentation is maintained at all times.
The UBDO and GBO use the Boating and Diving Register to ensure all participants and operators have the relevant certifications and licenses to perform boating and diving activities proposed for a field trip.
5.12 Boating Field Trips
All boating field trips must be logged in the Boating and Diving Register prior to the trip. The Field Trip Leader must provide an appropriate risk assessment for the field trip and the proposed activities. The Field Trip Leader must demonstrate how the work will comply with any applicable operating procedures. The HSE Field Trip Procedure outlines the requirements for all field trips.
6 Related Documents, Legislation and Other Resources
NOTE: Printed copies of this Procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources
Date for next major review
Amendments to and clarification of processes around reporting of incidents.
Principal Technical Advisor, HSE Unit
Procedure naming convention amended to: HSE-PRO-001 - Boating Procedure
Health, Safety & Environment
Health, Safety & Environment
Boating incident, notifiable incident, boating field trip, RiskWare, boating compliance