A Comprehensive Guide To ISO 27991:2008: Everything You Need To Know

Are you looking for the safest way to evacuate passengers in an emergency as a maritime manager? Then, ISO 27991:2008 is for you. Learn why!

Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Ossian Muscad

Are you a maritime manager looking for the best way to ensure your passengers safely evacuate in an emergency? If so, then you need to understand ISO 27991:2008. This international standard outlines all the necessary guidelines and requirements for designing and implementing a Marine Evacuation System (MES) Chute, which is essential for any cruise ship or other large vessel. This guide will explain what exactly ISO 27991:2008 entails and how it can help you plan evacuations effectively and efficiently. Read on to learn more about this vital safety measure.


What is ISO 27991:2008?

The internationally-recognized ISO 27991:2008 standard offers guidance on how a Marine Evacuation System (MES) communicates with the platform or survival craft it is connected to, as needed by the SOLAS regulation III/6.4.4. This standard establishes the requirements and specifications for effective communication during emergency situations involving marine evacuation systems.

The main objective of ISO 27991:2008 is to ensure MES’s safe and efficient operation in maritime emergencies, enhancing the overall safety of passengers and crew members on board ships and offshore platforms. It covers various aspects, such as the design, installation, maintenance, and testing procedures for communication systems used in conjunction with MES.


Benefits of Implementing ISO 27991

There are many benefits to implementing ISO 27991:2008, both for maritime managers and their passengers. With that said, here are some of the notable benefits of implementing ISO 27991: 2008 for maritime management:

Enhanced Safety and Reduced Risk of Injury or Death

By adhering to the guidelines and requirements outlined in ISO 27991:2008, organizations can significantly enhance the safety of passengers and crew members during marine evacuations. The standard provides a framework for effective communication between the Marine Evacuation System (MES) and the platform or survival craft, ensuring that emergency procedures are carried out efficiently and reducing the likelihood of injuries or fatalities.

Efficient Evacuation Process

Implementing ISO 27991:2008 helps to reduce the risk of delays in the evacuation by establishing clear communication protocols and procedures. This ensures that all parties involved in the evacuation process are well-coordinated and can respond quickly and effectively to emergency situations, ultimately leading to a more efficient and timely evacuation.

Cost Reduction

Adhering to the ISO 27991:2008 standard can lead to a reduction in costs associated with evacuations. By following the established guidelines and best practices, organizations can minimize the potential for errors or miscommunications that could result in extended evacuation times or additional resources needed to complete the evacuation. In the long run, this can reduce costs related to emergency response efforts, insurance premiums, and potential liability claims.

Improved Reputation and Compliance

Implementing the ISO 27991:2008 standard demonstrates an organization’s commitment to safety and compliance with international maritime regulations. This can help improve the organization’s reputation within the industry and among clients and ensure compliance with relevant regulatory bodies, such as SOLAS.

Continuous Improvement and Learning

The ISO 27991:2008 standard encourages organizations to continuously review and improve their communication processes and procedures related to MES. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement and learning, which can further enhance the safety and efficiency of marine evacuations over time.


Different Types of Marine Evacuation Systems (MES)

Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the size and type of vessel. The most common MES include the following:

The Chute System

The chute system is a popular emergency evacuation method for large vessels like cruise ships, designed to rescue up to 565 people within 30 minutes. These chutes are constructed from durable Kevlar material, enabling them to withstand harsh weather conditions during an emergency.

The Mini-Chute System

The mini-chute system can accommodate 582 individuals and evacuate them in 30 minutes. Made from strong Kevlar material, it provides excellent durability during emergencies. This system offers flexibility and ease of setup, making it a reliable option for various situations.

The Slide System

The slide system boasts the advantage of versatile placement options on a ship at the front and back. With an evacuation capacity of 657 people within 30 minutes, the slide can be set up flexibly to meet specific needs. The slide is installed at a 30-degree angle, allowing for smoother movement of evacuees during the process.

The Mini-Slide System

The mini-slide system is ideal for ships with lower deck heights. This system can evacuate 615 people in 30 minutes once it is inflated. Its most significant feature is its compact design, making it suitable for vessels with limited space while ensuring efficient and rapid evacuation.


Different Messages Requiring Communication in MES

Effective communication is crucial during the deployment and operation of a Marine Evacuation System (MES). Various messages must be communicated clearly and promptly between the MES, the platform or vessel, and the survival craft. Some of these messages include:

Alert and Emergency Notification

Initial communication should inform the crew and passengers about the emergency situation and the need for evacuation. This message may include details about the nature of the emergency, such as fire, flooding, or collision.

Evacuation Instructions

Clear and concise instructions must be provided to the crew and passengers regarding the evacuation process. This may include information on the location of muster stations, the proper use of life jackets, and guidance on moving safely to the MES.

MES Deployment

Communication regarding the status of MES deployment is crucial to ensure the system is ready for use before passengers and crew begin the evacuation. This may involve updates on the inflation of life rafts or slides, the connection to survival crafts, and the readiness of the evacuation route.

Boarding and Evacuation Progress

Regular updates on the progress of boarding and evacuation should be communicated to both the crew and passengers. This helps to maintain order and manage expectations during the evacuation process.

Special Assistance

Communication regarding passengers or crew members who require special assistance, such as those with mobility issues, medical conditions, or small children, should be conveyed promptly to ensure their safe evacuation.

Status of Survival Craft

Updates on the status of the survival craft, including its capacity, location, and readiness for departure, should be communicated to the MES and the platform or vessel.

Final Clearance

Once the evacuation is complete, a final clearance message should be communicated to confirm that all passengers and crew have safely boarded the survival craft and that no one is left behind on the platform or vessel.

Coordination with Rescue Services

Communication with rescue services, such as coast guards or other emergency response teams, is vital to facilitate the safe and timely rescue of evacuees.

Organizations can enhance the safety and efficiency of the evacuation process by ensuring clear and effective communication of these messages during the deployment and operation of a Marine Evacuation System.


ISO 27991:2008 Compliance Best Practices

ISO 27991:2008 is a standard that provides guidelines for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an environmental management system (EMS). This standard aims to help organizations minimize their environmental footprint and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Here are some best practices for achieving ISO 27991:2008 compliance:

Management Commitment

Top management should be fully committed to the implementation and continual improvement of the EMS. They should establish an environmental policy, set objectives and targets, allocate resources, and provide training to employees.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Identify all applicable legal and regulatory requirements related to your organization’s environmental aspects. Ensure that you comply with these requirements and regularly review them to stay up-to-date with any changes.

Environmental Aspects and Impacts

Conduct an initial environmental review to identify significant environmental aspects and impacts associated with your organization’s activities, products, and services. Regularly update this review to account for new or changed aspects and impacts.

Objectives, Targets, and Programs

Set measurable environmental objectives and targets based on the significant environmental aspects and legal requirements. Develop programs to achieve these objectives and targets and monitor progress regularly.

Training, Awareness, and Competence

Provide appropriate training and awareness programs for all employees to ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities in the EMS. Assess their competence and provide additional training as needed.


What is an ISO 27991:2008 Checklist?

An ISO 27991:2008 checklist is a tool organizations use to ensure that they adhere to the guidelines and requirements outlined in the ISO 27991:2008 standard. This standard provides guidance on communication between a Marine Evacuation System (MES) and the platform or survival craft it is attached to, as required by the International Convention for SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulation III/6.4.4.


What Items To Include in an ISO 27991:2008 Checklist?

An ISO 27991:2008 checklist serves as a comprehensive guide to help organizations verify that their communication systems and procedures related to MES comply with the ISO 27991:2008 standard. It covers various aspects of the communication process, such as the design, installation, maintenance, and testing of the communication systems used in conjunction with MES.

Some key elements that may be included in an ISO 27991:2008 checklist are:

  • [ ] Communication Equipment Specifications: Ensuring that the communication equipment used meets the requirements and specifications outlined in the standard.
  • [ ] System Compatibility: Verifying that the communication system is compatible with the MES and the platform or survival craft to which it is attached.
  • [ ] Environmental Factors: Evaluating the impact of environmental conditions, such as weather and distance, on the communication system’s performance and ensuring that the system can function effectively in various conditions.
  • [ ] Signal Interference: Assessing the potential for electromagnetic interference from other electronic devices or systems and ensuring measures are in place to minimize its impact on communication.
  • [ ] Equipment Reliability and Maintenance: Ensuring the communication equipment is regularly inspected, tested, and maintained to guarantee its reliability during emergencies.
  • [ ] Crew Training and Familiarization: Verifying that the crew members are adequately trained and familiar with the communication system and its operation during emergency evacuations.
  • [ ] Language and Terminology: Ensuring that standardized language and terminology are used for effective communication between the MES and the platform or survival craft.
  • [ ] Emergency Drills and Exercises: Conduct regular drills and exercises to test the communication system’s effectiveness during emergency evacuations and identify areas for improvement.


Create an ISO 27991:2008 Checklist Using a Low-code Platform

If your organization wants to create an ISO 27991:2008 checklist, you can use a low-code platform such as DATAMYTE. With DATAMYTE, you can quickly build an ISO 27991:2008 checklist that covers all the items listed above. You can also easily create and share the checklist with other users, allowing collaboration and discussion about each item.

DATAMYTE is a quality management platform with low-code capabilities. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard, in particular, is a low-code workflow automation software that features a checklist and smart form builder. This tool lets you create a comprehensive ISO 27991:2008 checklist to use and share with your team.

To create a checklist or form template using DATAMYTE, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the DATAMYTE software and navigate to the ‘Checklist’ module.
  2. Click “Create Checklist.”
  3. Add a title to your checklist; select the category where it belongs.
  4. Start adding items to the checklist by clicking “Add Item.” 
  5. Define the description of each item, what type of answer it requires, and other relevant specifications.
  6. Assign a team member responsible for conducting the inspection using the checklist.
  7. Add signature fields for approvals (e.g., supervisors, quality assurance personnel).
  8. Save the checklist—you can now access it anywhere, and it will be available on any device.


DATAMYTE also lets you conduct layered process audits, a high-frequency evaluation of critical process steps, focusing on areas with the highest failure risk or non-compliance. Conducting LPA with DATAMYTE lets you effectively identify and correct potential defects before they become major quality issues.

With DATAMYTE, you have an all-in-one solution for creating and implementing ISO 27991:2008 checklists. Book a demo today!



Safety and efficiency are two of the most important factors in marine evacuation in maritime management. By adhering to the ISO 27991:2008 standard, organizations can ensure that their communication systems are up to standard and will provide clear and effective communication during emergency evacuations. With DATAMYTE, you have an easy-to-use low-code platform that can help you create and manage ISO 27991:2008 checklists. Get started today!



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