Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

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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14 Proceedings Spring 2016 A company's success level putting its SMS into operation is directly related to the organization's commitment to achiev- ing those goals amidst all the other priorities competing for attention. Hence, strict discipline and a commitment to safety objectives starts at the senior management level. This requires a frm management and command structure with clear and concise orders. Leaders must pay attention to all matters affecting the safety of the vessel and those aboard and must regularly review performance against the organi- zation's safety objectives. While managers demonstrate commitment through their actions and involvement, all employees and crewmembers need to follow suit for the system to be fully functional and integrated. Accordingly, all employees and crewmembers should be aware of the infuence their actions or inactions may have on SMS effectiveness. An effective safety manage- ment system starts with you — at the end of the watch, it's your vessel, your life, and your responsibility. About the author: LCDR Corydon Heard is the Prevention Department head at Marine Safety Unit Texas City. Prior tours include the U.S. Coast Guard Offce of Com- mercial Vessel Compliance, Sector Baltimore, and Activities Europe. He is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and has also earned an M.A. and a doctorate in business administration. He also holds an unlimited U.S. merchant marine offcer endorsement. Bibliography: malInvestigation_HeraldofFreeEnterprise-MSA1894.pdf. Safe Work Australia, Guide for Major Hazard Facilities: Safety Management Sys- tems. Endnotes: 1. Marine Safety Manual Volume II, Section E, Chapter 3. 2. Dead reckoning is the process of calculating current position by using a previously determined position, or fx, and advancing that position based upon estimated speeds over elapsed time and course. The resulting position is only an approxima- tion, as it does not allow for the effect of signifcant errors. 3. This philosophy is maintained in Marine Safety Manual Volume II, Section E, Chapter 3. Key elements of this approach have been excerpted here. The View From the Bow Though it occurred almost 30 years ago, the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster remains a stark reminder of the conse- quences of untenable safety management practices. One goal of the International Safety Management Code is to establish a process of continuous communication, training, and actions that constantly maintain the vessel in a state of full compliance with safety and environmental protection regulations. This includes the processes and procedures for reporting accidents and nonconformities. The ISM Code doesn't necessarily prescribe a manner in which this must be done. Rather, it allows companies to defne their own ways of reaching that goal, taking into account the prescribed functional requirements for a safety management system. There is no one correct way to do this because an effective SMS is tailor-made to ft an individual company's culture, organization, service, and work environ- ment. What may work for one company may not work for another. Inspectors and auditors must therefore be vigilant to ensure companies have an effective safety management system that meets ISM Code objectives. An empty-husk SMS that only exists to satisfy what is viewed as "just another regulation" meets neither the spirit nor the intent of the code. A good measure of an effective SMS is one that allows users to iden- tify, report, investigate, correct, and appropriately docu- ment nonconformities in accordance with the established procedure. Inspectors and auditors ensure companies have an effective safety management system that meets ISM Code objectives.

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