20Aug2017Headlines:

Drug And Alcohol Policy On Ships

drug and alcohol policy

Drug And Alcohol Policy On Ships

Drug And Alcohol Policy

The drug and alcohol policy on ships are very strict and are followed very closely so that no incidents ever occur in the sea because of these substance abuse. We will now discuss a little more on the same. The rules have been set by the IMO (international maritime organisation) itself. All ships irrespective of being a container ship or a passenger ship must strictly follow these guidelines.

The first drug and alcohol policy on ships states that the sailors before boarding the ship must be checked if they have had any alcohol or drug. A proper medical test is conducted prior to sailing. The doctor is just responsible to check the fitness and report the same to the shipping company. They don’t disclose the details of the findings. The details of the report are mailed to the sailor alone.

No sailor should board the ship under the influence of a drug or alcohol. If they are found under the influence then the captain of the ship must give them a warning letter immediately. This incident if repeated in the future then it can also lead to termination. The sailors are made fully aware of this requirement and they must ensure that no breach of duty happens. The captain at random interval can check the alcohol intake with breath analysers. Another officer or crew member must be present at the time of these tests being done. The records are maintained in the ships medical log book. The same is also mailed to the human resource departments from time to time. It is not done to search for a culprit the basic intention is to ensure a safe voyage. This is also one of the duties that the master of the ship must perform.

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There is a room in the ship where alcohol is kept. The key is with the captain. It is absolutely the discretion of the captain. He can open the room and sell the alcohol to the crew if he feels the need to and if he feels that the time is right for it. The captain also needs to maintain a written record of the sale that he is doing to the crew. A day before arrival to the port the captain can stop supply of alcohol to the crew as this may reduce their visibility. In some ports alcohol is also used to distribute among the people doing the port duties. All these decisions are purely left to the captain and what he feels is right. No one else has a say in this matter. The people working at the port must ensure that they don’t consume this alcohol near the ship or on duty.

It is clearly stated by IMO in its guidelines on drug and alcohol policy on ships that no one should be allowed to get drugs and alcohol into the ship. The bags that the sailors bring in are checked to ensure that this regulation is kept in followed. If someone is caught with these substances then the necessary steps can be taken by the shipping authority and even the career of the sailor can be affected.

The OCIMF guide-lines (Oil Companies International Marine Forum) clearly state that forty mg is the limit of alcohol in blood that is acceptable. Anything over this is a concern area. The rules are stricter for containers that carry oil as these have a higher risk of meeting with accidents. This makes it clear that anyone who is a regular drinker or a heavy drinker will not be able to join a tanker ship for sure.

In the olden day drug and alcohol were very commonly used with sailors. There are many characters from literature that have been closely associated with alcohol. For example captain haddock in Tin tin. However, the case is very different now. No sailor is allowed to drink when they are sailing. It is now a code of conduct for all sailors across the world as we have already discussed in this article. This has ensured that a lot of mishaps in sea can be avoided. I hope now you have a better idea of drug and alcohol policy on ships. These policies are very important for the safety of the crew and the ship.

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