Contemplating maritime safety culture shifts in all operations

We have previously written about how critical it is that all maritime operations have a strong safety culture. Failure to ensure that all workers are properly trained, outfitted with adequate, protective safety gear and understand how to respond in hazardous situations can lead to maritime injuries and even wrongful death.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) indicates that three characteristics help to define how a maritime operation can create and maintain an adequate safety culture. First, those involved in the operation must be able to recognize their power to maintain a safe workplace. By understanding that accidents are preventable by their very nature, workers can take significant steps to ensure that they do not occur. This is best achieved by following safety procedures and best practices conscientiously.

Second, maritime workers at all levels of a given operation must be trained to think about safety hazards, prevention and general issues constantly. Third, these workers must seek improvement to the operation’s safety culture continuously. In essence, safety is never an issue that resolves. It is an evolutionary process in which all workers must be involved and that all workers must consistently seek to improve.

What is key for workers at all levels to understand is that the extent to which an operation embraces safety culture at all levels will impact its potential successes. If workers are not safe on the job, their productivity, morale and loyalty to the job will deplete over time. In addition, if safety is not prioritized throughout an operation, preventable accidents and injuries will occur.

Federal statistics confirmed again recently that maritime operations are the most dangerous workplaces for American employees. Treating these environments with care and continually evaluating their safety culture is the only way to reverse this disturbing trend.

Source: Maritime Professional, “Talking With the Experts About Maritime Safety Culture – What is it And How to Improve It?” Murray Goldberg, Sep. 2, 2013

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