The Challenge of Minimizing Financial Losses due to Accidents at Sea – Observing Regulatory Compliance or Making a Profit? Developing a Model Safety Culture in Merchant Shipping

Merchant shipping has always been exposed to the risk of accidents, but despite technological improvements, advanced training, and strict safety regulations (such as the International Safety Management [ISM] code and Marine Labour Convention [MLC] Code), accidents still occur and safety at sea continues to be a major issue for seafarers, individual ships and the shipping companies operating them. After preliminary analysis of accidents affecting seafarers, ships and shipping companies, five main elements have been identified to give focus to this research study. Firstly, the extent of observance of regulatory compliance and, secondly, how sincere compliance can help to create a robust safety culture; thirdly, the impact of the need for a profit-orientation by shipping companies that might compromise safety in the operation of shipping; fourthly, the effect of all these three elements on safety management; and fifthly the influence of safety management on accident prevention. A high priority for reducing costs to increase profits can lead to the overlooking of unsafe practices and partial or non-compliance towards safety standards, which can be instrumental in leading to accidents at sea. The concept of regulatory compliance here is based on the ISM and MLC codes. Safety culture is more abstract, but includes the sincere and consistent espousing of safety values by a particular, shipping company, commitment to safe working practices through safety management and focus on accident prevention and reduction. Profit orientation can be seen in terms of pressure on achieving financial results in a context of reduced margins and rising costs. These five main elements are interwoven and have been identified as significant in influencing the cause of accidents. This study has attempted to create a model to predict the existence of a higher level of safety in a specific maritime context. The methodology employed in this research included analysis of a wide range of maritime accidents which have occurred before and after the implementation of ISM (1998), to consider the impact of an increased requirement of regulatory practice. Through the application of action research and using quantitative research method the researcher has surveyed 165 multinational seafarers (including safety managers) and analyzed the findings using structural equation modelling (SEM).


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Monograph Title: Proceedings of the International Forum on Shipping, Ports and Airports (IFSPA) 2019: Beyond Breakthroughs, Above Excellence

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01741096
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9789887408406
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 8 2020 3:21PM