New prospects for a safety culture in the workboat industry

Resource / New prospects for a safety culture in the workboat industry

By Alise Perepjolkina / 28 Oct 2015

A new report published by ship operating software specialist Helm Operations outline a number of challenges that crews face within the workboat industry. These findings are the outcome of six months of research and draw on original analysis of Port State Control detention records, feedbacks from 50 different offshore companies, incident case studies and data from leaders in practice. 

Half of respondents indicated that they had experienced challenges relating to safety culture whilst working offshore. Among these problems, the most frequently mentioned were weather events, the range of varying standards, as well as challenging authority and barriers to communication. Worryingly, 50% of crews experience difficulties with saying ‘no’ to clients or senior staff demanding actions that might compromise safety. Yet 78% of respondents believe that commercial pressures could influence safety.

The research study revealed that many factors contributing to the incidents find root in the company’s poor safety management.

According to Ron de Bruyne, CEO and Founder of Helm Operations, ‘we’re concerned that the research also confirms how under-reporting of near misses can undermine an entire safety culture. Better safety management procedures, improved safety culture and crew wellbeing mean lower workboat and OSV deficiencies and detentions.’

To support this contention, the report proposed key recommendations at improving maritime safety for organisations in the workboat and OSV industries. It presented eight safety factors to help establish safety management system following the principles outlined in the ISM Code.

‘This is a major contribution to knowledge in the industry, highlighting the link between the human element and safety performance in this distinct sector,’ says de Bruyne.

Image credits: Flickr/ M. Crozet

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