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.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/665311
12 Proceedings Spring 2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings the maritime company must ensure that the marine crew can rely on the functional process with full support from shore management. Likewise, shore management must depend upon the marine crew to employ the system to its full potential, setting forth the common goal of continual improvement. Implementation Despite the fundamental principles of the SMS methodology and regardless of the industry or mandate, all hinge on a single common prem- ise — the management system is only as effective as its implementation. Implemented properly, a safety management system forms the functional frame- work for a comprehensive business management system designed to manage safety elements in the workplace. In practice, an operational safety management sys- tem is the manifestation of the "prevention through people" ideology. However, if dismissed as a trivial requirement for certifcation, the SMS risks becom- ing just another catchphrase in the nautical lexicon, and such lack of effective implementation risks a substandard or materially unsafe condition. Continuous Improvement Safety assurance builds on the principle of continu- ous improvement by identifying and eliminating the root causes of substandard conditions. Com- panies can achieve this objective through ongoing operational SMS evaluations via internal company audits, management/master's reviews, external verifcations, and operational safety and corrective action monitoring. This is simple enough, theoretically. Establishing manage- ment procedures and policies (say what you do) ensures that conditions, activities, and tasks affecting safety and envi- ronmental protection — ashore and aboard vessels — are planned, organized, executed, and checked in accordance with regulatory and company requirements. For many com- panies, this means formalizing long-established processes and placing the associated documents under a greater degree of control. For others, establishing an effective SMS is a more comprehensive process. Conversely, putting the SMS into operation presents a dynamic challenge. Actually doing what you say you do requires an unconditional and unwavering investment from all levels of the organization, starting with the upper eche- lon of shore management and fltering down to the rank and fle. For the safety management system to work as intended, Corrective Action Diagram The guiding principles for a functional SMS: • Say what you do. • Do what you say you do. • Prove that you do what you say you do. If the corrective action doesn't adequately address the actual root cause or underlying condition, then it will never be truly effective. In fact, it could be indicative of a fawed or ineffective system. In such cases, a fawed corrective action cycle is the navigational equivalent of dead reckoning. 2 Under this paradigm, as each estimate of position is relative to the previous one, errors are cumulative or compounding.