List of Critical Equipment on Ship

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To ensure the safety of ship operations and comply with the EOHS system, it is necessary that the relevant machinery and equipment provided, and the function of the systems which mobilize such machinery and equipment are maintained properly.

Identifying Critical Equipment:

Critical equipment is identified by Shore Management by making a risk assessment considering the following aspects:

•    Which equipment;

•    Impact on crew, vessel, or environment if not working;

•    Back-up equipment/system;

•    Likelihood of failure.

A proper methodology should be developed, including identification of hazards for critical equipment failure, existing control methods, and evaluate the residual risk. If the residual risk is low, the Equipment will not be called Critical. However, if the residual risk is high, and further control methods can still not lower the risk, the Equipment will have to be called Critical, and thus processes will have to be identified to nullify the risk, including substitutes, minimum spares, etc. 

Dealing with each piece of equipment, identified as Critical will need to have a procedure to act, in the form of a checklist, if any of this equipment fails, including any training, drills, etc to mitigate the consequences.

These maintenance services should include the regular testing of stand-by arrangements and equipment that are not in continuous use. The maintenance for the critical equipment as prescribed in the ship’s manual, shall be implemented per the following standards: Overhaul inspections and maintenance (preventive maintenance) shall be carried out regularly by the maker’s maintenance standards. Operation checks shall be carried out once a month, using the checklist recommended.

Engine Critical Equipment

If a sudden operational failure of equipment or technical systems on board may result in a hazardous situation, that equipment or system is considered critical. Master and Chief Engineer must draw up a list of Critical Ship Functions and Critical Equipment (Main and Standby). These Critical Lists are to be formalized on board and sent to the office.

The agreed list of Critical Equipment must be accurately reflected and identified in the vessel’s PMS. This list will always include the supply of electrical power to essential services, Propulsion, Steering, Main Engine, Steering gear, Generators

Critical Ship Functions 
The list of critical ship functions may also include ship-specific functions, for example, the capability to recover from a semi-submerged condition for a heavy-lift vessel. 

Critical Stand-By Equipment 
Working from the basis of the critical machinery list, a list of critical stand-by arrangements should be drawn up. The critical stand-by arrangements list should be decided using the criteria of “Will a single critical stand-by arrangement failure compromise one of the critical machinery functions”.

The critical stand-by arrangement list will generally include: 

  1. Electrical Generating Plant
  2. Main Air Compressor Sets
  3. Control Air Compressor Sets
  4. Main and Auxiliary Engine circulating systems pump sets
  5. Main Engine Electrical Blower
  6. Main Switchboard and Components
  7. Main and Auxiliary Engine system filters
  8. HFO & LO pumps
  9. Feed Water System Pump Sets
  10. Boiler Circulating Pump Sets
  11. Boiler Water Gauge Glass Sets
  12. Boiler Safety Valve Sets
  13. Steering Gear Pump Sets
  14. Rudder, Shafting and Propeller systems
  15. Control engineering items
  16. Ships Side Valves
  17. Windlass and Mooring Sets
  18. High and Low-Level Alarms
  19. Stand-by Whistle, Siren Horn, etc
  20. Critical Idle Functions (Equipment which is safety critical but not in day-to-day use). 
  21. Quick closing valves, Remote stops, and switches
  22. Over-speed trip arrangements
  23. First start arrangement
  24. Emergency Electrical Generating Plan
  25. Emergency Lighting
  26. Emergency Compressor
  27. Emergency Fire Pump
  28. Fire Fighting and Detection Systems
  29. Safety and Lifesaving Equipment
  30. B.A. Compressor
  31. Emergency Steering Arrangement
  32. Main & Auxiliary Engine Shutdown arrangements.

Minimum Stock Level for Critical, Spare Parts, Consumables and Tools

It is the responsibility of the Chief Engineer to set the minimum level stock listing, customized for each vessel, and to formally agree with the Fleet Superintendent on the contents of the list. 

The Chief Engineer must then maintain the agreed minimum stock levels and ensure, as appropriate, the necessary requisitions. Deficiencies are to be brought to the attention of the Master and the technical Department of the relevant management Office as “Critical Spares Inventory Monthly Report”. This report must be completed and returned to the Managing Officer. The under-mentioned listings are the recommended Minimum Stock Levels for the items listed. 

Working on critical equipment and systems

Persons who are responsible for the operation, maintenance, and repair of critical equipment and systems, as well as the calibration and adjustment of alarms and other parameters of the equipment, must be properly qualified, trained, or experienced in the use of these crucial items. Either the Master or Chief Engineer is responsible for ensuring that the competency of the person involved in the maintenance is sufficient to carry out the task or must personally supervise critical phases of overhaul. If there is any doubt as to the ability and competence of those onboard to carry out a particular task successfully on critical equipment or systems, then the management office must be notified for further guidance and/or instruction as to how to proceed. 

Whenever routine planned maintenance of major critical equipment is to be carried out that involves shutting down the equipment, the ship’s staff will consult with the management cell. A risk assessment will be required before the equipment is shut down. The risk assessment will include, but not be limited to, addressing the following topics: 

  1. Alternative back-up equipment/systems. 
  2. Any necessary modification in operational procedures as a result of the equipment being out of service. 
  3. Any additional safety procedures (emergency equipment etc). 

If the agreed out-of-service period for critical equipment or systems maintenance cannot be achieved, any extension or alternative actions will require review by the shore management. In addition, a further risk assessment may be required if circumstances (such as environmental conditions, crew fatigue, or operational parameters) change. 

Trends and historical data recorded in PMS should be used to modify the maintenance interval or critical systems, to prevent incidents or out-of-service periods that could be associated with a failure.

Ordering Critical Repairs or Spares

When any item from this list requires a spare or repair, the Requisition Form must be endorsed “Spare for Critical Equipment” marked appropriately and followed up with a telephone call, as explained in the Purchasing Section of these procedures.

It is the responsibility of the Chief Engineer to set the minimum level stock listing, customized for each vessel, and to formally agree with the Fleet Superintendent on the contents of the list. The Chief Engineer must then maintain the agreed minimum stock levels and ensure, as appropriate, the necessary requisitions. Deficiencies are to be brought to the attention of the Master and the technical Department of the relevant management Office as a “Critical Spares Inventory” Monthly Report. This report must be completed and returned to the Managing Officer. 

For the Engine Department, the following similar items are included: measuring tools, test instruments, and power tools.

Bridge Critical Instrument List

For the Deck Department, the following similar items are included: binoculars, walkie-talkies, sextants, and other mobile navigational aids, professional books supplied by the owners (e.g. Handbook, IMO dangerous goods code, etc.,) large ropes, power tools, valuable entertainment equipment, typewriters, calculators, etc.

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