The management of shipboard maintenance is often regarded as an entirely technical matter, somehow unrelated to safety and pollution prevention, and the exclusive responsibility of the technical staff. As a result, shipboard maintenance is the least-developed and weakest element in many management systems.

The purpose of IACS guide is to to assist ship operators in meeting the requirements of the ISM Code with respect to shipboard maintenance and to provide guidance on the development and improvement of maintenance management systems.

Ensuring an effective maintenance management system

An effective maintenance management system will be the result of an assessment by the Company of the associated risks. In undertaking such an assessment, the Company should take into account the following:

  1. the maintenance recommendations and specifications of the equipment manufacturer;
  2. the history of the equipment, including failures, defects and damage, and the
    corresponding remedial action;
  3. the results of third-party inspections;
  4. the age of the ship;
  5. identified critical equipment or systems;
  6. the consequences of the failure of the equipment on the safe operation of the ship.

How to conduct a systematic approach to maintenance

IACS explains that for a systematic approach to maintenance, firstly, there is need for  the establishment of a comprehensive asset register or a database of machinery, equipment and fittings, including:

  1. the establishment of maintenance intervals;
  2. the definition of the methods and frequency of inspection;
  3. the specification of the type of inspection and measuring equipment to be used, and the accuracy required of it;
  4. the establishment of appropriate acceptance criteria (pass/fail);
  5. the assignment of responsibility for inspection activities to appropriately qualified personnel;
  6. the assignment of responsibility for maintenance activities to appropriately qualified personnel;
  7. the clear definition of reporting requirements and mechanisms.

Checklist of Principal Maintenance System Management Controls

Explore more by reading IACS revised Recommendation 74 herebelow