The chief engineer of the ship is the head of the technical department of the ship. It is his duty to ensure that the engine room machinery works properly for a smooth voyage.
According to the Safety of life at sea (SOLAS) convention, it is the responsibility of the chief engineer to look after the safety of maritime professionals working in the engine room. The duties of the chief engineer are clearly mentioned in STCW 95 section A- III /2.
SOLAS states that the operation of the ship and its equipment should be properly taken care of by the chief engineer, satisfying all minimum standards of safety.
Duties of the chief engineer in both general and emergency conditions on the ship are:
1. Chief engineer should ensure that all the ship’s machinery and equipment are working in an efficient manner in order to support safe navigation of the ship.
2. He should carry out all his duties while complying with the rules and regulations laid down by the flag state administration, IMO, and port state authorities.
3. Frequent inspections of equipment dealing with ship and personal safety must be carried out by him at regular intervals of time.
4. All items used for pollution prevention should be frequently checked and tried out for proper operating condition.
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5. Chief engineer should lay down a set of standing orders for each crew member under his command.
6. The standing orders should be given in accordance with the routine maintenance schedule as laid down by the Planned Maintenance System (PMS), which is prescribed by the manufactures.
7. He should see that details of every operation and activity should be properly maintained in log and record books, which state the compliance of the system.
8. Life-saving and fire preventing equipment should be checked a regular basis for their operating condition. (Operating mechanism and linkages should be inspected and lubricated frequently)
9. In order to minimize sources of fire, chief engineer must ensure that proper operation and maintenance of fuel and lubricating oil and purifying equipment is carried out to minimize leakage. In case there are leakages, they should be rectified at the earliest.
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