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
The topic of this Proceedings edition is very important to me as the Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, but it is also a critical issue for the global maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization, and the countries who oversee the safe transporta- tion of cargo on the high seas. Since the adoption of the International Safety Management Code more than 20 years ago, the safety management system (SMS) has been consistently pointed to as the maritime industry's primary means of mitigating risk. As a result, the maritime industry and the Coast Guard have steadily become more reliant on safety management systems to identify and mitigate risk, ensuring a systematic and consistent approach to safety and environ- mental stewardship. The maritime industry is growing in complexity regarding vessel design and construc- tion, requiring a commensurate increase in governing standards, regulatory schemes, numbers and types of parties involved, and legal and liability relationships. All of these factors raise our level of dependency on the safety management system. There is no doubt in my mind that these systems are key to operating safely in a complex environment, but they must be robust — and robustly implemented. The challenge for the maritime industry, the Coast Guard, and third-party auditors is to ensure that the SMS is maintained, utilized, and remains an effective tool to identify and reduce risk. There is nothing more dangerous than the false sense of security that comes with a safety management system that exists on paper only. Too often I've had to meet with maritime executives to discuss a signif cant safety or environmental incident they experienced. These executives tell me about their great safety management systems and the strong culture they've put into place, but they've still had a serious incident that a safety man- agement system is designed to prevent. An effective SMS must not only be very well developed in terms of process and proce- dures; it must also be deployed from the boardroom to the boiler room. There shouldn't be any disconnect between the auditors and the surveyors, or between the CEO and the seaman. We all must work together to discover and eliminate such disconnects. I greatly appreciate the time, effort, and expertise of this issue's contributors, who were selected to represent all aspects of the maritime industry as well as the government. I hope that you will enjoy this issue of Proceedings and gain a more comprehensive under- standing of the wide range of safety management system experiences and concerns represented here. 4 Proceedings Spring 2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Admiral Paul F. Zukunft Commandant U.S. Coast Guard The Marine Safety & Security Council of the United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin Judge Advocate General Chairman Mr. Jeffrey G. Lantz Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards Member Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown Assistant Commandant for Response Policy Member Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Member Rear Admiral Todd A. Sokalzuk Assistant Commandant for Resources, Chief Financial Off cer Member Ms. Ellen Engleman Conners (Acting) Director for Governmental and Public Affairs Member Captain Verne B. Gifford Director of Inspections and Compliance Member Mr. William R. Grawe Director of National Pollution Funds Center Member Captain David C. Barara (Acting) Director of Marine Transportation Systems Member Ms. Dana S. Tulis Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy Member Mr. Michael W. Mumbach Executive Secretary Assistant Commandant's Perspective by ReAR ADmiRAL PAuL F. ThomAs Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy U.S. Coast Guard