Those commissioning maritime construction projects will soon be able to assure themselves that their jack-up operators are competent and safe.
The International Jack-Up Barge Owners Association (IJUBOA) has published its Code of Practice and set up a scheme to recognise the competence of existing barge masters. The code provides a standard against which companies can be audited. It is based on the International Safety Management (ISM) code. Companies who are successfully audited are awarded a “Certificate of Conformance” similar to the ISM “Document of Compliance.” A major change to current practice for those operating small barges is that the code requires companies to appoint a Designated Person Ashore to bring all operators in line with those already complying with ISM.
IJUBOA drew up the voluntary code with the help of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Health and Safety Executive who have welcomed it as an important step forward in improving safety in the operation of the smaller jack-ups. Member companies who achieve compliance will be able to use the association’s logo. They will also be able to enter their barge masters into a scheme to accredit their prior experience. An auditor experienced in jack-up operations and approved by the association, will examine a company’s barge masters. Those personnel assessed who meet the required standard will receive a “Green Log Book & ID Card.” This provides a permanent record of their accreditation and of subsequent professional development.
This recognition of “grandfather’s rights” is a temporary scheme. A full professional training and development system, able to bring entrants to the profession up to the standard of being an excellent barge master, is under development.
Non-member companies may seek assessment against the code, but they will not be able to use the association’s logo, nor will they be able to join the Green Book scheme. The code, amplifying references, details of the Green Book scheme and more information on IJUBOA are at www.ijuboa.com.
As a trade association, IJUBOA offers full membership to jack-up barge owners at £2,000.00 pa. Current members come from several European countries and Australia. Associate members may be corporate (£500.00 pa) or individuals (£100.00 pa) involved in the industry, but not as owners. Honorary and guest members include national administrations and agencies concerned with the oversight of barge operations. Its mission is to promote the safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound use of jack-up barges as responses to a wide range of challenges.