CMID and e-CMID enhance safety offshoreOrganisations and Associations // May 6, 2010
Hugh Williams: standardisation has had beneficial effect on safety.
Few organisations have money to waste and efficiency is all-important. This means that delivering value for clients throughout the global industry has become vital over the past 18 months. There is a universal drive to undertake tasks more efficiently and to squeeze out waste and unnecessary costs.
The International Marine Contractors Association has witnessed this drive, by seeing the high levels of interest in their Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) and particularly in the new electronic version – the e-CMID - which was launched in late 2009.
“It was with delivering value and removing waste in mind that IMCA supported the development of the CMID in 1999,” explains IMCA’s Chief Executive, Hugh Williams. “Back then, vessels were subjected to repeat inspections each with a slightly different format because there was no acceptance of other clients’ inspection results, and no common approach available."
“The consequent standardisation of vessel inspection has had a most beneficial effect on efficiency, vessel quality and operational safety. However, we could not afford to rest on our laurels and, taking on board feedback from users of CMID, the launch of an electronic version - e-CMID – along with a secure online database for the reports was the logical step to take to ensure the document’s continued usefulness.”
This launch of e-CMID took place last November, enabling clients, vessel operators and inspectors to register as users at the new dedicated website at www.imcacmid.com where registration and use is free to both members and non-members of IMCA alike.
In the electronic version the inspector is not able to leave blanks, or provide insufficient information - when the inspector answers 'no' to any questions, a description of what is lacking must follow.
In the first three months of e-CMID’s existence 652 users registered. Drawn from the three user groups, they represent 66 vessel operators, 60 clients, 45 combined operators/clients, and 79 inspection companies. The vessel operators accounted for 208 vessels. These statistics were far beyond IMCA’s expectations.
Easy to use and faster to complete
The electronic version has proved easier and quicker to complete for the inspector. The vessel operator should have pre-populated certain information which then enables the inspector to concentrate on completing the report whilst on the vessel.
Any time saving at this point is very important to the vessel operator who, in the past, had to spend a lot of time whilst in port escorting inspectors round their vessels. A more accurate report can also improve the likelihood of an existing report being accepted and thus a new report not being commissioned - another saving.
The e-CMID was also the necessary precursor of the all-important database which will store the reports. IMCA thrives on feedback and a number of users reported that paper-based CMID reports were circulating with inaccuracies in them, which the vessel operator could not correct, and that updates to vessel equipment status could not be included; and there were also indications that several versions of reports could be in circulation at the same time.
The e-CMID generates a list of findings which the inspector can discuss with the vessel master before leaving the vessel. It also ensures the vessel operator has the opportunity to provide comments and updates on the inspector’s findings report before, and after, it is lodged on the database.
Clearly only one version of the report can exist on the database which addresses the feedback IMCA received. Better quality reports and better access to them, both provided by the combination of issue 7 of the CMID report format/the e-CMID/the CMID database, will be an improvement for all parties concerned - vessel operators, clients and inspectors.
“We are gratified that e-CMID and the CMID database were completed on time and on budget and are being put to such good use,” says Hugh Williams. “We feel sure that the industry is benefiting from this service, for which, I emphasise; there is no charge to users anywhere in the world. This is something that surprises people, but of course safe and efficient operations are of prime importance to IMCA, to its members, and to the industry at large, and we strongly believe that e-CMID is an important step in achieving these goals.”
Further information on e-CMID and CMID is available at www.imcacmid.com; and information on IMCA’s work with, and for, members is at www.imca-int.com and available from the association at 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.