AWO qualifies ABS to perform towing safety management audits
ABS has been approved by the American Waterways Operators (AWO) to carry out audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP), a safety management system for tugboat, towboat and barge companies, requiring AWO member companies to undergo periodic management and vessel audits conducted by an independent third party.
Towing vessel operators serving the inland waterways, coasts and harbors are looking closely at their fleets to determine the best way to meet the new U.S. Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations establishing vessel safety and inspection requirements. Vessel owners and operators can choose whether to opt for annual Coast Guard inspections or adopt a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). AWO has submitted the RCP for Coast Guard acceptance as a TSMS and anticipates final approval this fall.
“ABS recognizes that with new Subchapter M requirements in place, towing vessel owners need a trusted technical advisor that understands their unique operational challenges and can help navigate regulatory requirements,” said ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki
. “Gaining RCP auditor status adds to our wide-ranging solutions which are supported by a team of technical experts located strategically across the country and include a comprehensive suite of Rules and Guides that demonstrate our steadfast commitment to safety and environmental protection.”
“This agreement with ABS expands the pool of well-qualified, well-trained third-party auditors who can conduct RCP/TSMS audits,” said AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti. “This is consistent with AWO’s longstanding goal of facilitating member compliance with Subchapter M and raising standards of safety and environmental stewardship throughout the tugboat, towboat and barge industry.”
“As we meet with towing vessel owners, we hear repeated requests for help in identifying compliance options that best fit their fleet needs,” said ABS Americas Division President James Watson
. “Achieving RCP approval expands ABS’ offering and increases the portfolio of services we can offer towing vessel owners and operators on inland waterways, coasts and harbors.”