University of Tasmania
Nicole Gray conference paper ErgoShip 2016.pdf (857.32 kB)

Safety Culture where you work and live: investigation findings from a man overboard event

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-26, 10:00 authored by Gray, N, Gore, G
Much has been written about developing effective safety culture within high reliability industries, and accordingly, the International Maritime Organization has recognised the importance of developing a strong safety culture amongst shipping companies and in individual seafarers. A recent safety investigation conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has highlighted some of the complexities involved in supporting an effective safety commitment culture on board merchant ships. In most high risk industries, workers and leaders demonstrate their commitment to safety by consistently planning for and applying safe working procedures and practices. There is no requirement on them to apply these practices in their leisure time away from their workplace. Seafarers, however, live where they work. Their leisure time is spent in the same inherently risky environment, with available leisure activities bearing comparable risk to their work tasks. The investigation established that seafarers on board this ship (and likely many others) did not appreciate the importance of employing safe work practices and using safety equipment beyond their work tasks, for the conduct of their on board leisure time activities. This conceptual separation of work and leisure was indicative of a culture of safety compliance, rather than safety commitment. The investigation found that these attitudes and beliefs about when and when not to apply safe work practices contributed to the man overboard event and subsequent fatality.


Publication status

  • Published

Event title

Ergoship 2016

Event Venue

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2016 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Open

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