Marine engineering safety requirements
The safety requirements for systems and equipment that move and control vessels, and make vessels usable for crew, passengers and cargo.
Marine engineering involves the design, construction, installation, and operation of systems and equipment that helps to move and control vessels. It also involves systems that make the vessels usable for crew, passengers and cargo.
Certain obligations and safety requirements govern the engineering of marine vehicles, and this guide explains basic marine engineering considerations for electrical equipment - eg switchboards and computerised equipment - and machinery installations. It also covers guidance on boilers and emergency equipment.
Engineering considerations for electrical equipment and installations
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued guidance on the considerations to be taken into account when designing, constructing or installing electrical equipment in a vessel. Download electrical equipment and installations guidance.
Electrical equipment on vessels must comply with relevant British Standards Institution regulations. Download Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 359 (M) Electrical equipment and installation.
Emergency sources of electrical power
Individuals responsible for vessels must ensure that emergency electrical power works correctly on those vessels. Download MGN 52 (M+F) Testing of emergency sources of electrical power.
When designing, installing or constructing electrical equipment, consideration must be given to how the equipment will be maintained. Download MGN 132 - Electrical equipment, maintenance and incidents.
Engineering considerations for machinery and watertight doors
It is important that machinery is designed, installed and maintained correctly, to prevent accidents and failure of the installations. Download machinery guidance.
Adequate safety provision must be made for the maintenance or inspection of any equipment and technical systems which could cause hazardous situations if they suffer an operational failure. Download MGN 248 (M) Safety Preparations Prior to Machinery Maintenance.
Engineering considerations for boilers
It is essential that safety requirements for boilers are followed by marine engineers. Failure to comply with requirements could lead to potentially fatal incidents. Download boilers guidance for surveyors.
It is important that boilers are also serviceable. Oil fired, exhaust gas or steam heated type boilers need special attention as they contribute to corrosion fatigue, development of cracks leading to boiler drum leakage and possible rupture. Download Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) 1405 (M) auxiliary boilers on board UK registered ships.
Propulsion engines and engines used in an emergency
There are specific considerations and best practice for various types of engine. Download boilers and machinery guidance.
Engine control systems
Systems essential to engine operation should be designed and built with easily operated isolating valves. Download MSN 1334 Multi-engined propulsion machinery installations.
The MCA has issued guidance on requirements applicable to motorised lifeboats, emergency generators and emergency fire pumps. They should be designed to be put into service quickly in the event of an emergency and must be able to be operated under a wide variety of weather conditions. Download Marine Guidance Notice (MGN) 34 (M+F) Lifeboat engines and other compression ignition engines used in an emergency.
Published: 8 October 2012
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