This policy restates Scottish Canals (SC) Commitment to our harbour operations at Ardrishaig and Corpach and serves to recognise and fulfil the legal requirements as set out in the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC)

Accountability for Marine Safety

Key Measures to Secure Marine Safety

General Duties and Powers

Specific Duties and Powers

As a statutory harbour Authority Scottish Canals (SC) has outlined the above sections in this Policy Document to ensure proficient compliance of the PMSC and safe marine management practice. 

The policy has been created under guidance from legislation and safe management systems to ensure the safe and efficient operations of our harbours. These measures are key to the successful implementation of the Port Marine Safety Code PMSC.

SC Statutory requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC)

This policy does not create new legal duties but restates the existing duties and powers of Harbour Authorities relating to safe marine practice and operations. 

The manual was created to promote best practice and serves as a declaration of our commitment to conform to the PMSC and act as a framework for the preparation of policies and plans by harbour authorities in consultation with stakeholder users and other interests.

Port Operations 

Scottish Canals (SC) Port Operations gives a realistic assessment of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) created and published by The Department for Transport (DfT) and Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). 

These regulations have been created to ensure legal compliance and the safe operations of commercial freight and shipping conducted in Ardrishaig Port.

Scottish Canals is a Statutory Harbour Authority and is committed to ensuring a safe code of practice in all port operations.  This manual has been created to play an instrumental role in achieving a pragmatic approach to safety standards and is supported by a Marine Safety Management System (MSMS) underpinned by formal Risk Assessments.

Scottish Canals recognise and support the necessary legislation and standards to promote a nationally recognised safety standards for the Port. 

This document gives a realistic assessment of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and operations covered in the policy.

Introduction and general Policies

Scottish Canals (SC) is a non-departmental government body, sponsored by The Scottish Executive. 

As custodians of Scotland’s canals, our aim is to maximise their use for the many by investing in our people and working with Scotland’s communities. We care for over 200 miles of canals throughout Scotland for boating, freight, angling, leisure and commercial purposes. 

It is the ambition of Scottish Canals to create an expanded, vibrant, largely self-sufficient waterway network and establish the canals as go to destinations. Regarded as one of the nation’s most important and valued national assets, visitors will delight at the quality of the experience they receive visiting each of the destinations.

Declaration of intent to comply 

The safety of navigation is of paramount concern to SC. At all times, our priority is to ensure that the interests of navigation in its entirety, its users, the public and the environment are safeguarded. 

In preparation for the implementation of the requirements of the PMSC.  SC conducted a review of its Port operations and reviewed our Risk and Method to create a Marine Safety Management Standard (MSMS) policy. 

The purpose of this review was to carry out Risk Assessments of waterway activities and to determine existing hazards, identify new potential hazards and subsequently ensure the correct procedures and control measures are implemented and documented as best practice and within current legislation. 

The review included input from SC Health and Safety Advisors, Waterway Operators, Stakeholders, other users, and statutory bodies to give a comprehensive perspective of the risk.

Based on the findings from the review and development of our Marine Safety Management Standards (MSMS) SC draws together current legislation and Policies for all its functions into an overall system. 

This will be audited periodically and formally reviewed every 3 years in partnership with the MCA. 

The intention behind the MSMS is to ensure that risk arising operations are identified and assessed and that controls are introduced which reduce the risk to a level which is ‘As Low as Reasonably Practicable’(ALARP).

The system extends to the assessment of any changes in the business which alter the company’s risk profile, thus prompting a review and where necessary requiring new assessments to be undertaken and continually included in the policy review. It must be appreciated that Risk Assessment is a dynamic and continuing process. 

The initial Risk Assessment, therefore, provided the starting position from which the port's MSMS continues to evolve and change to the operational requirements of the Port. 

The system will naturally evolve as each of the hazards identified in the initial assessment is re-assessed, either routinely, or for example, following an incident which raises a doubt as to the effectiveness of a risk control measure. 

The MSMS, recognises SC Board of Directors as the ultimate Duty Holder in terms of accountability. 

The Board has appointed Marico Marine to advise them on matters affecting marine safety. Marico Marine are responsible for undertaking this role.

The MSMS also recognises the need for interaction with users to ensure an effective and adaptable approach to safety management within the Port. 

This will be achieved through regular user meetings and a consultation process with all Stakeholders and users on changes to policy. To underpin the prominence of the MSMS, SC also assumes the recommended ‘Hazman’ risk control system, which is  reviewed annually by a small, dedicated SC team comprising of the Harbour Masters from Ardrishaig and Corpach and SC Health and Safety Advisor.

In addition to Ardrishaig Port taking guidance from the PMSC and other current Marine management legislation, Scottish Canals have also developed the Ardrishaig Port Operational Documents, implementing guidance from HSE.

Declaration by CEO

Scottish Canals (SC) has a full understanding of the requirements and duties as set out within the Port Marine Safety Code so as to ensure the safe management of the port of Ardrishaig. 

By engagement of an independent ‘Designated Person’, SC ensures regular updates and annual reports from the Designated Person to the SC Board as Duty Holder. 

SC confirms compliance with the Code by 3-yearly letters of confirmation to the MCA.

Marine Safety Management Systems (MSMS)

The Code relies on the principle that duties and powers in relation to marine operations will be conducted in accordance with a ‘Marine Safety Management System’ that is informed by and based on formal risk assessment. 

The purpose is to establish a system covering all marine operations, which ensures that risks are either tolerable or as low as reasonably practicable.

Port Authorities must demonstrate compliance with the PMSC by producing a periodic statement setting out the policy adopted for discharging its duties to ensure that marine operations in the port and its approaches are properly regulated, and that they are reporting on the effectiveness of that policy, associated systems, and procedures.

It is no longer sufficient to demonstrate that a lack of incidents indicates effective safety management. To comply with the PMSC, a proactive and positive approach to safety management will be developed, implemented, audited, and reviewed. 

Although compliance with the PMSC and demonstration of an effective MSMS is mandatory, the scope, format, and content of that MSMS remains at the discretion of the individual port.

Scottish Canals have taken the following approach, which has resulted in the preparation of a ‘Marine Safety Management System’ which adopts the requirements of the PMSC and safety management policies and procedures within port functions.