White List

Seahealth recommends that the shipping company establishes a broad white list for all the chemicals aboard their ships. There are many advantages of a white list fx to reduce the administrative workload  for the vessels.

The shipping companies' white lists are the basis of the information stored in the chemical database and used in the program Health and Safety at Sea. A white list should only contain the chemicals nescessary to use on board.

Advantages of a white list

  • A white list helps giving an overview of the different chemicals aboard and helps limiting their number. Listed products should be the least harmful of those meeting a particular need and still do what is wanted effectively.
  • The white list also helps sort and clear out products that are never used.
  • It provides a systematic overview of the chemicals that can be used for particular jobs, making it easier to organise local and point extraction and dosing equipment suitable for the chemicals being used.
  • It makes it easier to ensure that the correct gloves, breathing equipment and other personal protection are available and that they are used specifically for the products that require them. Different products which can be used for the same purpose may actually require different personal protection. But if a positive list only contains one product for each purpose, you can establish the personal protection requirement once and for all.
  • Crew changes aboard can mean different opinions about which products should be used. The products purchased by one crew can remain unused if the crew changes. Having a white list helps prevent this..
  • If you make a whhite list for a group of vessels in the company, there is also a greater chance of new crew members being familiar with the chemicals used aboard when rotating from one ship to another. This prevents crew from suddenly being confronted with unfamiliar products since they would know how to use them and how to protect themselves against any harmful effects.
  • If you want to limit the use of a hazardous product, state exactly what it may and may not be used for in the white list.
  • Make guidelines for the chemical substances not permitted aboard, such as substances with particularly dangerous long-term effects or those that involve an excessive risk of accidents.

In the chemicals database you will find a substitution mark "(...) Should be replaced by less hazardous products as it contains undesirable substances".You can use it to take hold of the most dangerous chemicals (fx. carcinogens) first and see if they can be replaced with less dangerous ones. Those products which the supplier has informed that they have a replacement product, we have written the number of the replacement product that we recommend to use instead.

Drawing up a white list

It's a lot of work to make a white list, but when it is done there is only a minor maintenance work. However, we recommend that you remember to continuously follow up on the ships that have purchased new chemicals by creating guidelines for the ships' registration to only one person responsible for the task in the company.

If you start over with creating a white list it can be done as follows:

  • Register all the products aboard by going through all the compartments and cabinets containing chemicals.
  • Clean up and dispose the products that are no longer in use.
  • Consider if the product is necessary or if the use can be limited? It might not be required for all the purposes it is used for at present.
  • Is the product one of those you do not want aboard and should it therefore be replaced with something less dangerous?
  • Which is the least dangerous of all the products used for the same purpose?
  • Can you find a less dangerous product that could be used instead?
  • Which hazardous products cannot immediately be replaced by less dangerous ones? Could they be replaced in the long run?

The list of products that remain after the recovery and selected as the least dangerous ones, is sent to the company, so they can gather all the information from all their ships to the company's white list.
The list of all products registered on board the program Health and Safety at Sea can be exported from the program and sent as an excel-file to the company (from the module Ship Data / File / Export / Export Chemical List).


Procedures for approval and continuous follow-up

You should draw up a procedure for how to add new products to the white list.
You should regularly review whether the white list' products meet your needs and whether the white list is being complied.

So if you get a new product aboard, it is important for its data to be sent in to the company for onward transmission to the chemicals database. This will ensure that Health & Safety at Sea is kept updated to reflect current product usage.

Senior Occupational Health Consultant

Anne L. Ries


+45 3311 1833

+45 2961 8860

I can help you with:

  • Safety Organization
  • Consultancy
  • Physical working environment
  • The program Health and Safety at Sea
  • Legislation at sea