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Health & Safety in Maritime Transport: Identification and Compilation of Existing EU Legislation and Best Practices

Despite the fact that Health and Safety issues have been on the agenda of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for maritime transport for some time, discussions on this topic have not proven conclusive so far. The reasons are a lack of clear information on relevant EU legislation that applies to shipping, and a lack of information on how such legislation is implemented at national level.

As any action must be based on comprehensive knowledge of the regulatory situation, the Social Partners for Maritime Transport – the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) – have requested financial support from the European Commission to carry out a study that aims at identifying and compiling the existing EU legislation on as well as best practices with regard to health and safety that is of relevance to the shipping industry.

ECSA and ETF are looking for the following information:

- An overview of existing EU legislation on health and safety applying to maritime transport
- Information on the extent to which this EU legislation impacts on shipping, and
- Information on the level of implementation of this EU legislation at national level.

Based on this information, the shipping industry will be able to assess the level of compliance of EU ships to the existing requirements and make sure that shipping companies and seafarers are aware of their responsibilities and obligations onboard.

In addition, the Social Partners for Maritime Transport also wish to identify and raise awareness at EU and national levels about the best practices/initiatives taken by Member States and the industry to meet and possibly go beyond regulatory requirements on Health and Safety onboard ships. To that end, a Questionnaire will be sent to ETF and ECSA memberships to collect their experiences at national level.

A Report based on the information collected will be produced and it will be the reference document for future discussions between ECSA and ETF. The Report will be presented at the occasion of a final conference and will be made available online on the websites of ECSA, ETF and their respective membership.


The terms of reference of the ECSA/ETF study can be found here