Australian Research on Human Aspects of Maritime Safety
Monday, July 22, 2013

A world leading collaborative research project between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia will investigate the safety culture of shipping operations over a three-year period.

AMSA, and UQ have obtained a linkage grant through the Australian Research Council (ARC) to examine the predictors and outcomes of safety culture in the Australian maritime industry.

Ship Safety Division general manager Allan Schwartz said the findings from the project would be used to improve safety policies, regulations and practices that aim to reduce the number of accidents and incidents in Australian waters.

“This project will make a significant contribution to progress maritime safety in general by providing a better understanding of the issues surrounding safety culture in the industry,” Mr Schwartz said. “Current research into safety culture of the transport industry has predominantly examined the aviation domain. Comparatively, little work has been done in the maritime domain, with only a handful of studies of maritime safety culture done internationally.”

Further research is needed to investigate the influence of safety culture on behaviour in order to develop effective and evidence based recommendations for training programs, work design, procedures, policies and regulations.

The project will be undertaken through UQ’s School of Psychology, supported by AMSA’s Human Factors section in the Ship Operations and Qualifications area.

“This research will increase skills in relation to maritime safety culture and develop expertise in this area,” Mr Schwartz added.

The ARC has allocated $271,385 through the Linkage Projects scheme to support the project from 2013- 2016, which is also funded by AMSA.

Projects supported by the ARC are considered to advance Australia’s economic, social and cultural benefits.

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