SAFETY CHECK (Saturday Routine)

One of the most famous words on board a vessel is “SAFETY.” On most ships in front of the superstructure, there’s always a significant inscription “SAFETY FIRST.” In the Engine Room, this important inscription is also found.

In every corner of the ship, posters and slickers are placed to bring the workers, crew, and passengers safety and safe work conduct. Safety is the intentional action, behavior and skill applied to prevent accidents. The phrase “Safety First” is termed to remind the workers, crew, and passengers on board the ship that the thought of safety should come first before carrying out action or work.

Onboard a ship, safety devices and measures are put in place for the safe and smooth operation of the vessel to prevent accidents, that may result in loss of human life, pollution, or cause harm to the environment and loss of cargoes. These safety devices and measures are being checked from time to time to ensure they are in good working condition.


Safety Check is the act or measure been used or carried out to ensure the good working condition of the machinery and safety devices or life-saving appliances onboard a vessel. There are procedures laid out by the organizations or manufacturers in handling, operating, and maintenance of machinery or device. These checks are carried out daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annually, or annually. This safety check may depend on the usage or importance of the machinery or device.
Onboard a ship, the essential safety checks are the weekly safety check routine mainly carried out on Saturdays and has been tagged with the name “SATURDAY ROUTINE” or “SATURDAY ROUTINE SAFETY CHECK.” This safety check is important because the safety of the people on board, marine environment, and ship’s safe operation depends on it. Below are the primary safety check been carried out every week onboard a vessel but are not limited to;

  • Bilge High level Alarms: this is the safety check carried out to make sure the bilge wells & tank level alarms sounds when simulated.
  • – OWS oil content Alarm (15 ppm): the Oily Water Separator (OWS) is a machinery that helps monitor and regulate the amount of oily & water before pumping it overboard. According to regulations of MARPOL (Annex 1) oily water content above 15 Parts Per Million (PPM) should be pumped overboard. The OWS is stimulated at 15ppm for visual and auditable alarm to indicate that oil content is above 15ppm.
  • – Main Engine/ Auxiliary Engine fuel leak Alarms: the alarms sounds if there’s a leak in the fuel pipe of the main engine/ auxiliary engine. The alarm is stimulated to ascertain the effectiveness of the level device when the alarm sounds.
  • – Main/ Emergency Fire Fighting pump: is tested start both local and remote starting point.
  • – CO2 Alarm: is tested by opening the cabinet door for an audible warning alarm.
  • Fire Alarms
  • Emergency Generator Test: is checked and tested for 3 way starting which includes manual, automatic and electrical. Also the emergency generator fuel oil tank level is checked.
  • Rescue boat: is tested by starting the outboard engine and testing the ahead, astern and neutral postion.
  • Life boat engine: is tested by starting the engine and testing the ahead, astern and neutral postion and the batteries life are also checked.
  • Fire flaps (openings and closings)
  • Engine Room blowers (auto stop) especially when fire alarms goes off
  • Fuel quick shut off valves
  • Steering gear low oil level alarm
  • Water tight doors and hatch sealing
  • Galley cool room door alarm
  • Emergency lighting system

Some other safety checks may be added depending on the type of vessel, trade routes, and company policy. These safety checks are essential to avoid accidents that may lead to loss of life, harm the environment, and hinder the ship’s safe operation.

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