Audits are conducted periodically either by company representatives (internal) or by third parties (external) with the aim to check SMS deficiencies and non-conformities. As non-conformity is considered an observed situation where objective evidence indicates the nonfulfillment of a specified requirement. Additionally, audits take place in case an organization requires an overview with a view to change its initiatives.
There are numerous of questions arising concerning the term “quality”. Most of these questions are focusing on what quality is in practice and who actually defines the required items that make an organization quality compliant. Generally, quality refers to reliability, efficiency and good performance and seeks to reach all stakeholders’ satisfaction, as this is the major factor that defines the requirements on which the organization will finally focus on.
The term “safety maturity” is used by organizations to assess their performance and their capability to maintain an enhanced safety management status. Safety maturity shows the level at which any organization can manage its actions and manipulate its internal procedures, resulting in a better safety performance promoting what is called: safety culture.
Safety culture and safety climate are similar terms describing an organization’s approach to safety, not only the visible efforts or attitudes its members chose to adopt, but also every mental function that defines their overall behavior. In other words, the climate is an item which is easily perceived by others while culture is the basis that lies hidden under the surface.
How we see, how we process multiple information sources, such as alarms and bridge sensors and how perception is affected by other factors such as night conditions, fatigue and movement, can be proven crucial factors for the safe operation of a ship and the safety of seafarers in general.
In many industries several crisis communication strategies have failed because leaders are coordinated by psychology “myths” rather than the reality of how their employees and people in general perceive the world. A good way to understand this is to analyze the concept of crisis management and communication and their importance in the maritime world.
During a ship’s lifetime microorganisms, plants, algae, or animals will gather in its hull, during a process called biofouling. These organisms, known as invasive aquatic species, can negatively affect a ship’s operation, while they also present a threat to the marine environment. However, there is a solution and is called antifouling.
An Officer of the Watch is responsible for keeping watch on the bridge to ensure the safe navigation of the ship based on a pre-defined Passage plan as approved by Master. In this regard, the decision making process is vital during his/her watch as the final decisions reflect directly on the safety of the vessel.
December 12th marks 19 years since one of the most notorious marine oil spills ever reported in European waters. On 12 December 1999, the Erika, a 25 year-old single-hull oil tanker, broke in two off France, polluting almost 400 km of French coastline and causing unprecedented damage to marine environment, claiming the title of one of the most major environmental disasters of recent years.
The fundamental principal in Bridge Resource Management (BRM) is that vessel navigation and operation is not one-man show. BRM makes use of all available resources onboard (equipment, information, human resource) to ensure the safe completion of vessel’s voyage. Likewise in all operating systems, the navigation and handling of vessel should be protected by a single point of failure.
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