Port Marine Safety Code

The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) was published by the Government in March 2000. The Code establishes an agreed national standard for port marine safety, and formalises the duties and responsibilities for safety and environmental protection within UK ports and harbours. The Code is applicable to all harbour authorities, and compliance is not optional.

The Code requires that all harbour authorities base their powers, policies, plans and procedures on a Formal Safety Assessment (FSA), and that they maintain a Safety Management System to control the risks that are identified to a level which is as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).

The Broads Authority (Pilotage Powers) Order 1991 confirms that the Broads Authority is a “Competent Harbour Authority” as defined the Pilotage Act 1987, and as such the Authority falls under the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code.

Unlike a port, the Broads Authority is designated a “Special Statutory Authority”, affording the same level of protection as National Park status, but with tailor-made legislation relating to navigation. The Authority therefore balances the navigational duties and powers of a harbour authority with the conservation and recreational duties and powers of a National Park authority. These duties and powers are principally set out in the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988.

The Broads Authority, as Duty Holder for the Broads, has developed a Safety Management System (SMS) in accordance with the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code (PDF) taking cognisance of the advice in the Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations. Noting the status of the Authority as a Special Statutory Authority, a pragmatic approach has been taken to the application of the Code.

The SMS documents the arrangements put in place by the Broads Authority to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of those working on, visiting or using the Broads.

The Broads Authority is committed to compliance with the requirements of the Code and the further development of the Safety Management System where necessary. Please visit the safety monitoring web page for up-to-date figures on the Authority's safety indicators.

As part of our commitment to enabling safe boating on the Broads we have developed a Navigation Safety Policy.

Navigation Safety Policy

We will:

  • Maintain an effective Safety Management System to enable the Broads Authority to undertake and regulate marine operations in a way that safeguards the Broads, its users, the public and the environment
  • Use risk assessment techniques to identify hazards and risks within the Broads and put in place suitable risk control measures to ensure that the risks identified are 'as low as reasonably practicable', and that the appropriate emergency plans are in place and well-practised
  • Monitor and manage the navigation of vessels within the Broads limits
  • Consult widely with Broads Authority employees, Broads users and other relevant stakeholders in respect of navigational safety issues
  • Ensure that an efficient, safe and appropriate level of Pilotage is available in accordance with the Pilotage Act 1987
  • Undertake hydrographical surveys  and maintenance dredging to ensure that the hydrographic regime is protected
  • Place and maintain navigational marks where they will be of best advantage to vessels
  • Disseminate any relevant navigational safety information to Broads users
  • Regularly review the effectiveness of the Broads Authority legal powers, byelaws and directions in respect of navigational safety
  • Evaluate the safety performance of the Broads Authority through reporting systems contained within the Safety Management System
  • Employ suitably qualified personnel and provide the necessary training to ensure that they are competent within the roles they are required to perform, and ensure sufficient resources are available to implement procedures and systems effectively
  • Ensure the craft used within the Broads Authority have the required certification and are fit for purpose, and the crew are appropriately trained and qualified for the tasks they are likely to perform
  • This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis with due consideration given to any changes to the operating environment, the organisation and legislation.