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The 2019 edition of the Code of Safe Working Practice for merchant seafarers has been published

Published on: 12 December 2019


The changes to the proposed fourth amendments to the Code of Safe Working Practice for Merchant Seafarers (COSWP) which ran from 26 April to 21 June 2019 have now been published.

The fourth amendment to the COSWP 2015 edition provides updates to Chapters 1, 3, 10, 13 and 24 which are as follows:

  • Update to Chapter 1, with risk assessment forms added
  • Update to Chapter 3, with updated information on the safe use of e-cigarettes
  • Update to Chapter 10, with updated information on the safe rigging of pilot ladders
  • Update to Chapter 13, with a list of human and organisational factors that may have contributed to an accident
  • Update to Chapter 24, with more information about welding fumes

The COSWP provides guidance on improving health and safety on board vessels and articulates how statutory obligations should be fulfilled. The Code details the regulatory framework for health and safety on board ship, safety management and statutory duties underlying the advice in the Code and the areas that should be covered when introducing a new recruit to the safety procedures on board.

It is a statutory requirement for the current edition of the Code to be carried on board all UK ships, other than fishing vessels and pleasure craft. The Code contains essential health and safety information and it must be made available to any seafarer on board the ship who requests it.

This title amends the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers, ISBN: 9780115537127, published 4 September 2015. The 4th amendment the COSWP can be purchased through The Stationery Office shop found here.

British Marine member seeking further advice can contact the Technical team on