Red Tape Challenge Campaign
In the nearly 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic and on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry disaster, Nautilus is urging a defence of the safety rules for UK ships and seafarers from the government’s proposals to ‘cut red tape’.
The government has pursued a self-confessed ambitious deregulation agenda to stem the flow of new regulation. The Red Tape Challenge is an online forum open to the public with rolling themes for debate. The maritime and transport debate is expected to start online around November 10.
Such an exercise should not result in cutbacks on the very regulations set up to protect the health and well being of maritime professionals, and the safety of the ships on which they work.
REASON FOR CAMPAIGN
The government has repeatedly urged the business lobby to press for removal of regulation. In June, business secretary Vince Cable admitted the Red Tape Challenge for the retail sector had ‘backfired’ for retailers, because most responses were supportive of regulation. Therefore, in the interests of safety of life at sea it is essential that we respect the international conventions and codes and European directives and regulations; and protect the decisions of national inquiries which have been incorporated into UK law. Only if there is technological advancement, would we accept that national provision might then have to be withdrawn.
Nautilus International is drawing attention to three key topics in the maritime and transport Red Tape Challenge debate. These relate to safety of passengers, safety in the workplace and protection of the marine environment, as well as employment rights.
There will be a great deal of information on the Red Tape website but by using the online forum to comment on the areas below you can demonstrate an unwillingness to blindly accept a deregulation that will cost lives.
Equipment Lockers (safety of passengers)
Statutory instrument: SI1988 No.2272 Merchant Shipping (Emergency Equipment Lockers for Ro/Ro Passenger Ships) Regulations 1988
These regulations came into force in 1988 after the HoFE ferry disaster in 1987. Nautilus is against the removal of any such essential legislation that can save lives, should there be a similar incident.
Piracy Act 1837 (safety in workplace and protection of the marine environment)
It is essential to retain provisions, yet to be repealed, contained in the act, as the threat to seafarers and human life continues today. For example, when the Terrorism Act 2000 was introduced, sections of the 1837 Piracy Act were retained in order to ensure the maximum penalty for acts of piracy (currently life imprisonment).
Merchant Shipping Act 1995 – Section 59 (employment rights)
The UK is in breach of the international convention on forced labour. An amendment to Section 59 is required to ensure lawful industrial action may take place at a ‘safe anchorage’ as well as at a ‘safe berth’.
Source: Nautilus International