WEBINAR - Safety Learning Culture for Shipping

On 7 April, the World Maritime University (WMU) hosted a webinar that introduced the White Paper “Towards a Safety Learning Culture for the Shipping Industry”, which has been developed within the framework of the EU-funded SAFEMODE project and involves a maritime-aviation partnership.

Captain Kunal Nakra, Deputy Director for the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau, Singapore, and Chair of the Casualty Analysis Working Group at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was the keynote speaker. His remarks focused on how a learning organization gains insight from routine, including management reflecting daily on both positive and negative outcomes. He commended the SAFEMODE project in driving change towards a Safety Learning Culture in Shipping, commenting that in order for a Safety Learning Culture to thrive, the disconnect, whether perceived or actual, between the management and the front end must be addressed.

Guest speaker, Captain Jörgen Zachau Senior Maritime Safety Investigator for the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority and coordinator of the Casualty Analysis Correspondence Group within the Subcommittee of Implementation of International Instruments III at the IMO, provided insight on the ongoing work of the Group in trying to understand what can be done to increase the level of the Safety Management System (SMS) implementation and its adequacy to produce a better safety culture and reduce the risk of accidents. He highlighted a dual approach that addresses the front end as well as the blunt end including senior management, surveying organizations and regulator levels. 

The White Paper was presented by Dr. Barry Kirwan, European Safety Culture Programme Manager from European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. It included results of the exploration of Safety Culture through interviews with national investigators and seafarers, as well as discussions with maritime stakeholders including shipping companies, NGOs and regulators. The importance of a Safety Learning Culture was emphasized including ten good practices to enhance Safety Learning. Several maritime cases showed Safety Learning in practice within the shipping industry today.

Following the presentation, WMU Professor, Dr Raphael Baumler, highlighted the importance of the way forward. He stressed that the research conducted is the beginning of a long journey ahead that still needs significant research and work within the maritime community to absorb the ideas and move forward. The panelists, representing industry, seafarers, maritime authorities and administrators, discussed the issue of Safety Culture and Learning Culture in shipping, including its possibilities and limitations. The panelists included:

  • Captain Ashok Srinivasan Maritime Safety and Security Manager, BIMCO
  • Professor Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs Vice-president (Academic), World Maritime University
  • Commodore Jim Scorer Secretary General, International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations
  • Dr. Michelle Grech Manager Vessels Operations, Australian Maritime Safety Administration
  • Mr. Oessur J. Hilduberg Head of Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board
  • Ms. Victoria Norris Vice-Chair of Human Factors Committee, Oil Companies International Marine Forum

The webinar was moderated by Professor Baumler and WMU Research Associate Dr Maria Carrera. Over 300 participants from 65 countries registered for the event that was open to the general public. 

To access the recorded webinar, click here.‍ 


WMU Webinars 

WMU regularly offers webinars that are open to the general public, including from the The Knowledge for Life WMU Alumni Webinar series that was launched in 2019 with the aim of keeping WMU graduates connected with the cutting edge research and work of WMU faculty. Previous WMU webinar topics with links to the recordings are provided below.

Sustainable Shipyards 

Marine Litter in the Eastern Caribbean

The World of the Seafarer

BUGWRIGHT2: Overcoming Regulatory Barriers for Service Robotics in an Ocean Industry Context

The “Ever Given” - A Legal Status Update

Ocean and Climate Challenges: Seeking Sustainable Solutions

Digital Innovation for Smart Shipping

Understanding the Effects of COVID-19 on Seafarers

The People We Need for the Ocean We Want

A Culture of Adjustment Research Report - evaluating the implementation of the current maritime regulatory framework on rest and work hours

Covid-19 and Labour: Revisiting the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

Upgrade Your Professional Skills For The Future

Search and Rescue in the High North Region

COVID-19 and shipping: maritime law and policy highlights

The Journey Towards a Zero/Low Carbon and Energy Efficient Maritime Future

Transport 2040: The Future of Work

Decarbonization of International Shipping

Women in Leadership: Paths Through Education

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