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MSA Looks At Alcohol And Drug Use At Sea

MSA Looks At Alcohol And Drug Use At Sea



The Maritime Safety Authority is calling for comment on a discussion document addressing the use of alcohol and drugs by seafarers working on commercial ships.

The document raises the following issues:

1. Who should be responsible for managing the risk of seafarer impairment due to alcohol and drugs

2. Whether sufficient information is available on the issue of drug and alcohol use at sea

3. How much alcohol and drug use at sea contributes to safety risks

4. Possible limits on watchkeeper use of alcohol on ships that are covered by the 1995 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 95)

5. Possible limits on use of alcohol by other seafarers

6. Screening and testing for alcohol

7. The misuse of controlled drugs and prescription medicines

The discussion paper suggests ways that existing controls could be enhanced, for example, by the MSA providing guidelines and information on drug and alcohol management to seafarers and seafarers' employers. It also identifies several possible management initiatives, such as legislating for a maximum permitted blood/alcohol limit for seafarers in safety sensitive positions.

"At the moment we don't understand enough about alcohol and drug use on board New Zealand ships and we need more information so that we can clearly define any link between accidents and alcohol and drugs," said the Director of Maritime Safety, Russell Kilvington.

"We also need to ensure that the safety benefits of any possible new measures are greater than the costs involved."

The public is invited to make submissions on the document by 8 September. For a copy of the discussion document call Pushpa Soma toll free on 0508 22 55 22, or write to the Maritime Safety Authority PO Box 27 006 Wellington; email or download the document from the MSA's website:


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