Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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37 Spring 2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings operations. The commercial airline industry already uses this process. These observatory audits produce a valid pic- ture of operations, and in vessel operations the audits could identify gaps between ambitious company safety manage- ment system requirements and real-life vessel operations. 8 The observatory audits may allow mariners to provide bet- ter feedback to company personnel managing vessel opera- tions. For example, rather than review documentation that proves employees submitted corrective actions, an audi- tor would experience the mariner submitting a corrective action report, noting any impedance in the process. Obser- vatory audits could pave a way for many companies to shed unwanted documentation and connect the dots — all in one system. About the author: LT Josh Buck has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 10 years in multiple capacities, most notably as a marine inspector, quality management auditor, and marine casualty investigator. He holds an M.S. in IT management and a B.S. in logistics. Endnotes: 1. International Maritime Organization, "Role of the Human Element: Assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the ISM Code," 2005. 2. C. Chauvin, S. Lardjane, G. Morel, J. Clostermann, & B. Langard, "Human and organizational factors in maritime accidents: Analysis of collisions at sea using the HFACS," 2012. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 59, 26–37. doi:10.1016/j. aap.2013.05.006. 3. International Maritime Organization, "International Safety Management (ISM) Code," 2010. 4. Ibid. 5. J.K. Wachter and P.L. Yorio, "A system of safety management practices and worker engagement for reducing and preventing accidents: An empirical and theoretical investigation," 2014. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 68, pp 117–130. doi:10.1016/j. aap.2013.07.029. 6. International Maritime Organization, "Role of the Human Element: Assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the ISM Code," 2005. 7. International Maritime Organization, "International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code," 2003. 8. C. Chauvin, S. Lardjane, G. Morel, J. Clostermann, & B. Langard, "Human and organizational factors in maritime accidents: Analysis of collisions at sea using the HFACS," 2012. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 59, 26–37. doi:10.1016/j. aap.2013.05.006. • identifying common areas of the ISM Code and the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code and integrating documentary requirements. I think these recommendations are still appropriate today. For example, the ISM and International Ship and Port Secu- rity (ISPS) Code both appear to require separate systems, plans, and procedures, as the ISPS Code requires a ship security plan, 7 while the ISM Code requires a safety man- agement system. These requirements could be met through a holistic company and vessel operations manual. Even fur- ther, the ISPS Code and ISM Code require procedures for reporting and recommending improvements, which could be combined within one company system. Duplication of effort in any system leads to waste. A com- pany could maintain one standard operations manual that addresses appropriate requirements from both the ISM and ISPS Codes, which would serve as a safety manage- ment system. When all components of a system are running smoothly and effciently, there's no need for "separate" sys- tems. Could you imagine a company trying to implement a quality management system, safety management system, and security system? That doesn't seem benefcial to me. Companies operating vessels need to have one system that conforms to applicable codes and standards — one system to rule them all and serve as the SMS. Auditing One System The next question is how to monitor and improve a system. In my experience, auditors typically verify how well a sys- tem conforms to the ISM Code (in addition to many other standards) by spending the majority of their time reviewing documentation, processes, and procedures. I've found that minimal time is spent observing actual operations. What may be more benefcial are observatory audits, where auditors observe actual operations to ascertain why employ- ees do certain things, then work to discover ways to improve