A deep dive into the 4 focus areas of DBMS – People 

In this series, we will describe the four main areas of risk in the Dry Bulk Management Standard: – performance, people, plant, and process. In this article I will take a closer look at the area of people. 

Within this section, there are seven subject areas:


7. HR management and recruitment (office)

8. Technical & HSSE training (office)

9. Crew management & recruitment

10. Crew technical & HSSE training (vessels)

11. Crew familiarisation

12. Contractor management

13. Crew welfare


Five of these subject areas, numbers 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, are designated as priority areas.  These priority areas are intended to be a starting point for companies with limited resources, to start the self-assessment process, before including the remaining subject areas.   

Subject areas 7 and 9 cover the recruitment and management of shore and vessel staff, respectively.  The purposes of these subject areas is for the company to establish and maintain an organisation that allows it to deliver its objectives by the deployment of competent people and adequate resources onboard and ashore, in other words, having the right number of the right people in the right place at the right time.  Within these subject areas we cover topics, such as, recruitment procedures, authentication of qualifications, medical requirements, ensuring adequate resources, etc. 

Subject areas 8 and 10 cover the technical and HSSE training of shore and vessel personnel, respectively.  The purpose of these subject areas is for the company to maintain competent staff, onboard and ashore, with the appropriate qualifications, skills, and knowledge to meet current and future needs of the company.  In these subject areas we look at topics like training requirements, training records, etc. 

Subject area 11 covers crew familiarisation.  The purpose of this subject area is to ensure the company  has a programme to ensure crew members are familiar with the arrangements of the ship, as well as the location and operation of any on-board procedures, systems or equipment that they may be called upon to use. It covers topics like induction, familiarisation, and handovers. 

Subject area 12 covers contractor management.  This subject area ensures the company develops and implements a process for the management of contractors and sub-contractors, with an emphasis on the master’s and other officers’ and crew members’ related health and safety responsibilities.  Topics in this area include onboard familiarisation, pre-work meetings and supervision, as well as, selection of contractors.  Whilst this subject area was being drafted, there was a lot of discussion among the working group members, with some people not being clear, who is a contractor, and why this subject area is needed. Within the guidance notes, we have defined a contractor as “a third-party company paid to provide goods, services or activities aboard a vessel.”  Amongst this group you may find: – service technicians, private security personnel, and surveyors, but it is not intended to cover crew members employed through a separate company.  The reason why this subject area has been included, is the large number of accidents, where either a contractor has become injured, or a crew member has been hurt by the actions or inactions of a contractor. 


Finally, in this section, subject area 13 covers crew welfare.  This subject area aims to ensure the company has a programme to ensure the well being of vessel personnel.  Topics in this area include: – accommodation, recreation facilities, provisions, fatigue management, harassment and mental health. 


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