Safety Committee

The Schepenwet (Ships Act) requires to have a safety committee (SC) on board each vessel with 5 or more crew members. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) checks whether seagoing vessels have a safety committee (SC). This requirement does not apply to fishing vessels.

Composition of the safety committee

The master of an seagoing vessel appoints the members of the safety committee. However, the master himself is not part of the committee. According to the Regeling veiligheid zeeschepen (Regulation Safety Seagoing Vessels, only in Dutch) only seafarers are allowed on the SC. The captain is not considered a seafarer under the Schepenwet (Ships Act, only in Dutch).

Minimum composition safety committee
Crew size Safety committee
 More than 15 crew members  1 officer and 1 rating
 Between 5 and 15 crew members  1 officer or 1 rating
 Less than 5 crew members  No safety committee required

You can read more about the composition of the SC in the Regeling Veiligheid Zeeschepen.

Tasks of the safety committee

The SC advises the captain on measures to prevent occupational accidents on board.

The SC:

  • makes safety rounds: to check construction or equipment;
  • identifies unsafe situations: such as unsafe handling, material and tools;
  • ensures correct use of personal protective equipment;
  • investigates industrial accidents.

The ship manager must follow the SC's recommendations. This is stated in the International Safety Management Code for ships of 500 GT or more.