By Hector Howard,2014-07-04 08:51
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Table of contents

    1.0 Introduction

    2.0 Methods

    3.0 A systematically approach to continuous improvement

    4.0 Safety Culture maturity levels

    INSJÖ - a unique maritime safety system for improving of safety culture 5.0

    6.0 Interview

    7.0 Comparison of safety culture aspects in three transport branches

    8.0 Conclusion and summery

    9.0 References

1.0 Introduction

    One of the most widely used definitions of safety culture is the one developed by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (ACSNI).

    The safety culture of an organization is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management. Organizations

    with a positive safety culture are characterized by communications founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety and by confidence in the efficacy of preventive measures.

    Definitions of safety culture can differ somewhat between different scientists, but usually they include the proactive stance to safety. Learning in an organization is in association with having a proactive approach to safety, which means collecting, monitoring, and analysing relevant information on safety and health, and thus having updated knowledge about how work and safety are functioning. Then a learning culture is created, where one learns from the information gathered, and one is willing to introduce changes when needed. There are three critical aspects for an organisation to succeed in how to develop a safety culture: reporting, justness and flexibility. In a reporting culture, the organization has succeeded in creating trust and commitment in reporting incidents and anomalies in a good manner, and thereby also having a well functioning reporting system. Quick feedback with meaningful information to the reporter is emphasized. This is closely connected to a just culture where a well-balanced

    blame approach enhances the willingness to make such reports. A just culture also has to do with defining safe behaviour. Flexibility in an organization concerns the ability to transform the work organization in order to stand prepared for changing demands during periods of high workload. It also comprises respect for individual’s skills and experiences. Continuous improvements in an organisation imply willingness to change and a condition that the organization regularly faces critical reviews. The organization thus needs to question its way of thinking and looking at things, and new tools and working practices that support continuous improvements must be found and accepted.

2.0 Methods

    For this report I have been using already existing science data. Also an interview with Jan Ifwarsson has been conducted.

3.0 A systematically approach to continuous improvement

    The Deming Cycle, or PDSA, is a model for continues improvement of quality. It consists of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning: Plan, Do, Study/Check and Act.

    ; Plan. Plan ahead for change.

    ; Do. Execute the plan.

    ; Study/Check. Study the results.

    ; Act. Take action to standardize or improve the process.

4.0 Safety Culture maturity levels

    Organisations that are in the early stages of developing a safety culture are likely to require different improvement techniques from those with well-established safety cultures. Safety improvements in the form of behavioural and cultural approaches are more effective when an organization has reached a maturity level where technical and system problems have been overcome. According to Fleming and his “safety culture maturity model” an organisation must meet a number of criteria in order to be relevant for the application of safety culture maturity levels: implementation of a Safety Management System, behavioural and cultural failures causing the majority of accidents, compliance with health and safety laws, and safety driven by the desire to prevent accidents. Fleming presents a safety culture maturity model with five stages and proposes that organisations progress sequentially trough these levels, by building on the strengths and removing the weaknesses of the previous level.

    5.0 INSJÖ - a unique maritime safety system for improving of safety


    An important component of a good maritime safety culture is an active and well-functioning system for reporting accidents and incidents.

    Together with the Swedish Maritime Safety Inspectorate and other interested parties, the Swedish Shipowners’ Association has developed an information system for accidents and

    near misses at sea. The aim of the system is to improve maritime safety in the way that the INSJÖ system will be a tool for organisations in improving their safety culture. The system gathering information and experience from different ships and shipping companies in a common database. One objective, when developing the system, has been to create a reporting culture based on a “no blame” approach. This will be achieved by de-identifying the

    information in the system.

    The system is now basically fully developed and contains more than 1,700 reports. In the system, you have access, not only to your own reports, but also to reports submitted by other ships and shipping companies. It is unique in that all reports are available in one and the same place. Information can easily be found by using a search engine. The system is very user-friendly and has the full support of the interested parties. A smoothly functioning system for enabling people to learn from their own and others’ experience will be an increasingly

    important part of the work on maritime safety and here, INSJÖ is an effective tool.

6.0 Interview


    Jan Ifwarsson has 40 years in the industry, with a broad perspective from onboard management to fleet management ashore and also an international perspective from his work for the Swedish shipowners association.

    Safety Culture, what is that?

    Safety Culture is a process that you have to keep working with. I would say that its origin is from classical seamanship, how to predict risks and how to behave during an accident and to prevent accident. This has to go through the whole company, from the ship to the shore. The owner is the most important player who states the standard for the whole company. Can you give some sort of historical perspective during this 40 years? Have the industry become safer?

    The industry has definitely become safer. From the beginning the safety culture was more randomly, not a systematically process as it is now a days. It was more classical seamanship, depending on the individual. Back in the old days there were 30-40 people onboard, so you had a good safety net of individuals. Now day you only have 12-24 people onboard. That forces the ship management to have a more systematic safety process. One good historical example of formalization of safety culture is the implementation of the ISM code. This is a breaking point in the shipping history. When the industry went from an onboard management with a high density of personnel to a slim specialized crew.

    Are there any subcultures in the safety culture?

    This could occur onboard, and in a modern shipmanagement culture you have no room for this. This will cause a friction onboard. Another type of different subcultures is that you have one culture onboard and one ashore.

    Are there any culture geographical differences?

    Yes, I think definitely it is a difference in culture depending on your origin. Do you think that a multicultural organization have an advantage, compared to an organization with a unified culture from a high power distance society, in their attempt to reached a higher maturity level?

    Yes. Definitely.

    What about organization culture and geographical culture? Could it be that in a multicultural organization that the geographic culture will be suppressed?

Yes, when you have a multicultural crew the organizational culture while be the dominant

culture instead of the geographic culture

7.0 Comparison of safety culture aspects in three transport branches

    Åsa Ek has done a study of three transport branches, (airport ground handling, passenger shipping and air traffic control) and done comparison of the findings. The method she used was questionnaire based on nine aspects of safety culture:

    ; Working situation

    ; Communication

    ; Learning, Reporting, Justness and Flexibility

    ; Attitudes towards safety

    ; Safety-related behaviour

    ; Risk perception

    The comparison of safety culture aspects across transport branches showed that air traffic control often had somewhat higher safety culture scores, compared to the other two branches, while the ground handling ramp organisation generally had the lowest scores. The differences in average safety culture scores between the branches could be a guidance of the maturity level in safety culture. Air traffic control could thus be said to be the most mature among the three branches.

    In the ground handling study, the results showed that hierarchical position had little effect on how the different safety culture aspects were perceived and judged, although managers generally had somewhat more positive perceptions and judgments compared to the staff. Comparisons between officers and crew onboard the ships concerning their perceptions and judgments of safety culture aspects showed that officers generally had more positive perceptions than the crew. This was also reflected in air traffic control.

8.0 Conclusion and summery

    The results from comparing different industries show that safety culture scores are higher in the air traffic control, which means that the learning process are better developed in the air traffic control setting than in passenger shipping and airport ground handling. Air traffic control can be characterized by a more mature approach to reporting anomalies and by having a more developed procedure for analyzing limitations and implementing improvements. This is perhaps due to more obvious direct risk associated with air traffic control activities. However in shipping companies and onboard, according with the ISM Code, and reporting system for incidents and anomalies exists or should exist. For the shipping industry to be able to reach the same maturity level as the air traffic control, there is a need for increased reporting and improvement of the learning process within the branch. One tool for this is of course the national INSJÖ system.

    Implement changes are more difficult and demand more of the companies and crew. This do studies also show and that the safety culture seams to diminish as you get further away from top management. There is no doubt that the imitative for changes and implementation has to come from the top management. Maybe it is time for the shipping industry to start use implement-tools such as the chemical industry.

    According to Jan Ifwarsson and from the authors own experience, there is reason to believe that there could be a different in safety culture depending on the geographical origin and also that a company culture could be the norm culture, especially in multicultural crews.

10.0 References

Cooper. D. 1998 Improving Safety Culture

    Deming. W.E. 1993 The New Economics

    Ek. Å. 2006 Safety Culture in Sea and Aviation Transport Fleming. M. 2001 Safety culture maturity model

    Hofstede. G.R. 1991 Cultures and Organisations: software of the mind Jense. G 2005 Hur säker är säkerheten

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