Skippers get easier compliance via Marine Card

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BIA's safety induction program to cover some commercial vessel operations.

The BIA has announced that following reforms implemented earlier this month, skippers of certain commercial vessels can now legally operate holding just a recreational boating licence and BIA's Marine Card issued as part of its Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) induction program.

The change is designed to make it easier for skippers to comply with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s National System for Domestic Commercial Vessels when operating certain vessels. In particular, it will benefit skippers of marina tenders and work boats being used for on-water jobs in marinas or mooring areas. It applies to vessels under 12m long with outboard engine power no greater than 250kW and inboard engine power no greater than 100kW.

These types of vessels are generally covered under Exemption 38 of the National Law. The new arrangements will make it easier for skippers to comply with those requirements. Previously they needed to complete specific training which was time consuming, costly, and hard to find, and generally mirrored what was covered in general boating licence training and safety inductions.

Howard Glenn, national CEO of the BIA said: “Whether we’re working on land or out on the water, we all want to go home safely. Over the past decade, the Boating Industry Association has developed and rolled out the Marine Card as an entry level induction for every worker to drive improved health and safety awareness, performance and compliance for our sector.

“In collaboration with AMSA, we’ve been able to establish a simpler pathway to safety for operators close to shore, in sheltered waters, where most marinas and mooring fields are. This substantially reduces the cost and off-the-job training time of skippers – many of whom are young people in apprenticeships, traineeships, or part-time roles at yacht clubs and marinas.”

The Marine Card induction is available to anyone (BIA membership is not a pre-requisite) and usually takes two hours to complete in a single sitting, or multiple sessions as suits the user.

On completion of the induction, a wallet card is issued and an online profile is established to which the inductee can upload insurances, qualifications, licenses or other documents. These profiles are freely searchable and viewable online so the Marine Card holder can easily share important information and documentation with employers, clients, controllers of site or vessel access, or AMSA.

The induction costs $130 and the card and online profile are valid for five years. To get a Marine Card or for further information, visit www.marinecard.org.au, or contact Alan Barrett at BIA on 02 9438 2077.

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