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Health and safety

Revamped health and safety handbook for seafarers promises accessibility and clarity

2 April 2024

In a bid to enhance safety measures at sea, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has released the updated version of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (COSWP), heralding it as 'more accessible and easy to use' than ever before.

After revisions driven by industry and stakeholder feedback, the COSWP has undergone a significant makeover. The emphasis was not only on retaining the guidance it offers to seafarers but also on streamlining its language, design, and structure to ensure simplicity and clarity. One notable change is the transition from loose-leaf to bound format.

The revamped version of the code underwent a rigorous consultation process late last year, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from stakeholders.

Virginia McVea, chief executive of the MCA, said: 'The Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers is such an important tool, and we're excited to finally share the latest version. It has been our constant aim to reflect industry feedback and address concerns, ensuring the best version of the code is available to all that need it. There are real benefits that come with this new version – most importantly, it's more accessible and easy to use.'

The code is available for purchase through the TSO webshop.