Front cover Focus on risks 2017The NMA report "Focus on risks 2017", released during the annual Safety at sea conference in Haugesund, establishes the statistical basis for the special focus area.

Safety management is about establishing systems to reach and maintain a high level of safety, thus being able to easier control risk. Lack of procedures for work operations and weaknesses in organization, management and communication are often mentioned as causal factors in reports after shipping and personal accidents.

- Many of the findings made by our surveyors could indicate that some companies are not doing enough to prevent accidents. Therefore, it is important that the NMA increases the number of inspections in these areas in 2017, says Director General Olav Akselsen. He points out that a positive attitude to safe operations starts at the top.

Systematic work

In several of their investigation reports, the Accident Investigation Board Norway has pointed to the need for supplementary rules on safety management systems on vessels. The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) finds systematic safety management to be an important instrument in order to prevent accidents. Increased focus on safety culture and safety management systems and less detailed controls in our supervisory work is also in line with the international development.

Safety management is about establishing a system for achieving and maintaining a high level of safety, so that risks can be more easily managed. Simply put, it is about improving the end result by laying the proper groundwork. By establishing an organisational structure where management, planning, responsibilities, routines, procedures and resources are described, the operation can become safer and more effective. Working systematically with safety management and learning from your own and other's experiences will in time create a good safety culture on board. In order to achieve continuous improvement of safety management, incidents need to be systematically reported and followed up, and the system itself must be evaluated on a regular basis.

Download checklist for special focus area 2017.