June 18, 2024

The Mini ISM is a system of safety management introduced for commercially registered yachts. From January 1, 2007, it has been necessary, under Chapter 22 of the revised Large Yacht Code (LY2) for all Red Ensign flagged commercial yachts over 24 meters and under 500GRT to have a safety management system on board.

The Mini ISM is a trimmed down version of the International Safety Management (ISM) code and applies to Yachts built after 2004. It is held to be a system of good practice within yachting. The Mini ISM schedule covers such things as health and safety guidelines, emergency procedures as well as statements of authority.

It was introduced to implement an effective safety management system for vessels under 500 GRT, where full certification to the International Safety Management Code is not required.

Included in the cut down version of the code is a health and safety policy for the staff and crew of the yacht, both onshore and at sea. And for vessels under 400GRT, an oil management regime must be incorporated into the health and safety plan.

Yacht owners and companies are also obliged to draw up procedures to ensure that safe working practices are carried out in the operation of the vessel. These can be in the form of check lists which can be followed by all personnel.

Also, under the code requirements, lines of communication between the yacht’s personnel – the chain of command – both at sea and ashore, should be made clear. And in order to maintain the health and safety culture, yacht personnel should be made aware of the procedures for reporting accidents. Under the regulations there must be clear procedures for responding to emergencies such as fire, grounding, collision, man overboard, acts of violence or steering failures. The code also demands that all yacht personnel receive adequate training for their duties.

While the Mini ISM is a major initiative in ensuring yachting safety, it does place a heavy burden on owners and captains. However, yacht management companies will provide the necessary expertise to ensure the regulations are completely complied with.

These companies will ensure that procedures are in place to be fully compliant with the regulations, such as 24 hour shore emergency contact, and assistance with periodic reviews. The yacht management company will also offer support in the case of any emergency or incident.