Engine Room Procedures Guide

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July 2020
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This ICS publication provides comprehensive guidance on engine room procedures, focusing on safe operation and management and environmental responsibility. It applies to all merchant ships and will be invaluable to engineering crew of any level, as well as shipping companies and training institutions.

Modelled on the globally recognised ICS Bridge Procedures Guide, this publication provides clear guidance on safe and environmentally responsible engine room operations and maintenance, supporting internationally agreed standards and recommendations adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

It sets out best practice approaches to operating and maintaining engine rooms, and all the equipment they contain, in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. It is recommended that a copy is carried on board every merchant ship.

This first edition of the Engine Room Procedures Guide has been developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) for use by marine engineer officers and ratings responsible for the operation and maintenance of engine rooms on merchant ships. This Guide is primarily intended to provide guidance for Chief Engineers and other members of the engineering team working on all types of ship, but it should also assist shipping companies and training institutions.

The Engine Room Procedures Guide sets out routine engine room procedures and emergency checklists for use by the ship’s engineering team. It provides clear guidance on best practice approaches to operating and maintaining engine rooms, and all the equipment they contain, in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. This new ICS Guide embraces and promotes adherence to internationally agreed standards, and is intended to serve as a complement to regulations and recommendations adopted by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Many of the procedures outlined in this Guide are already in widespread use across the industry and may seem obvious to experienced crew. However, feedback from ICS member national shipowners’ associations suggests that incidents still occur, even during routine procedures. Setting down basic procedures, in a best practice guide, should therefore help to further improve safety standards across the global fleet, consistent with the concept of continuous improvement which underpins the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

ICS has modelled this book on its widely used Bridge Procedures Guide. ICS is therefore now pleased to be able to offer comprehensive guidance for the safe conduct of two core areas of ship operations. Over time it is hoped that the Engine Room Procedures Guide might enjoy a similar degree of recognition and authority as its longstanding sister publication.

ICS welcomes feedback and suggestions about this Guide.

Please contact publications@ics-shipping.org


  • Introduction
  • Engineering department organisation
  • Engineering team management
  • Communication
  • Safety of the ship
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Critical operating periods
  • Watchkeeping
  • Pollution control
  • Machinery operation guidelines
  • Machinery maintenance and inspection guidelines
  • Ship-type specific guidelines
  • Preparing for inspections
  • Annex: Checklists

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, representing shipowners and operators in all sectors and trades.

ICS membership comprises national shipowners’ associations in Asia, Europe and the Americas whose member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world's merchant tonnage.

Established in 1921, ICS is concerned with all technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issues that may affect international shipping.

ICS represents shipowners with the various intergovernmental regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization.

ICS also develops best practices and guidance, including a wide range of publications and free resources that are used by ship operators globally.


Number of Pages:
Published Date:
July 2020
Book Height:
0 mm
Book Width:
0 mm

International Chamber of Shipping