UK fishing vessels will be required to put in place safe systems of work for enclosed spaces following the announcement of new legislation by the MCA.

The regulations come into force for fishing vessels from 14 May, 2023 and aim to tighten up safety for those who work in enclosed spaces onboard.

Enclosed spaces include chain lockers, cargo holds, duct keels and water tanks – or any area that has been left closed for any length of time without ventilation. Six people died over a 10-year period from 2009 to 2019 in UK ports while working in enclosed spaces.

MCA director of maritime services Katy Ware said: “We remain committed to protecting the safety of those who spend their lives working at sea.

“The risks from working in enclosed spaces are well known across the shipping world,
and all of us know that more needs to be done to reduce the number of fatalities. These regulations will replace and extend current legislation, which will go right across the merchant sector.”

Under current legislation, fishing vessels are not covered by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). However, the MCA says that given the ‘serious
risk to seafarers’ health and safety’, the new legislation has been extended to cover fishing vessels as well.

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This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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