HSE and fishing vessels

The MCA is responsible for enforcing safety on fishing vessels but HSE's legislation applies to their loading and unloading, and access to the vessels while this takes place. HSE also enforces in respect of fish farms.

The Regulations require:

  • Maintenance of a safe working place and safe access including
    • Ship to shore access
    • Ship to ship
    • Ships holds
    • Arrangements for dealing with slippery surfaces
    • Suitable and adequate lighting
    • Rescue and life saving equipment
    • Means of allowing escape from danger
    • Fire-fighting equipment
  • Safe work practices and equipment including
    • Planning and carrying out loading/unloading in a safe manner
    • Providing safe, well maintained equipment

More detailed guidance is available in the publication: A guide to the Loading and Unloading of Fishing Vessels Regulations 1988 (Health and Safety Regulations No.28).

Work in fishing convention (ILO 188)

The International Labour Organization's work in fishing convention (ILO 188) came into force internationally on 16 November 2017. The UK government made legislation to implement ILO 188 in November 2018, and was ratified in January 2019.

Further information

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Updated 2022-06-27