Australian Transport Safety Bureau Report Published
In March 2011 the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) published their safety report for the 2009-2010 financial year. The report analyzes safety issues and recommendations related to the 58 investigations the ATSB conducted among the rail, aviation and marine industries.
The 10 investigations specific to the marine industry resulted in a number of conclusions, including:
- issues with procedures, including non-existing or inadequate procedures, made up 69% of the risk control safety factor;
- over 50% of the organizational influences identified as safety factors were related to safety management system (SMS) processes, including not effectively using existing processes or having inadequate processes;
- about a third of local condition safety factors involved a lack of knowledge, skills or experience of individuals involved in incidents.
It is all too easy for owners or operators to say, “We provided an SMS, but the crew didn’t follow it.” But vessel owner and operators, through regular audits and management and senior officer reviews, should determine if their processes and procedures are not only adequate, but relevant to existing operations. A safety management system is not a “one size fits all” endeavor and should be tailored to the unique operational characteristics of your organization. Without senior management’s steady commitment to a safety culture and its continuous improvement, incidents similar to those noted in the ATSB report are unfortunately predictable.
SMSLLC has worked with numerous commercial and municipal clients in designing unique safety management systems but also in assessing existing systems to determine their adequacy and continued relevance.
The ATSB report is viewable here.