Safety culture and safety management within the Norwegian-controlled shipping industry ; State of art, interrelationships, and influencing factors
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- PhD theses (SV-IMKS) 
Original versionSafety culture and safety management within the Norwegian-controlled shipping industry ; State of art, interrelationships, and influencing factors by Helle Asgjerd Oltedal, Stavanger : University of Stavanger, 2011 (PhD thesis UiS, no. 137)
This research focuses attention on safety challenges within the Norwegian shipping industry. A status picture of the shipboard safety culture and the interrelationships with safety management and organizational factors is given. Three research questions are explored: (1) What characterizes safety culture and safety management within the shipping industry? (2) What is the relationship between safety culture and safety performance within the shipping industry? (3) What characterizes shipping companies’ application of the safety management concept? In order to explore these research questions, four aims were defined to guide this work: (1) to outline and discuss the application of safety culture and safety management within merchant shipping; (2) to outline and discuss relevant theories of safety culture and safety management and analyze the relationship between safety culture and safety management; (3) to support the use of a methodological framework for the assessment of safety culture in relation to safety management; and (4) to assess safety culture within merchant shipping and analyze the relationship with safety management and actual performance. The research questions are further examined and specified in six journal articles. The thesis is divided into two main parts. Part I includes the overall framework in relation to research aims. Part II presents the six journal articles. In part I, chapter 1, a general introduction and a status picture of risk, safety management, and safety culture within the shipping industry are presented, which gives reason for the research aims and questions introduced in the chapter. Chapter 2 outlines the safety responsibilities within the industry at the international, national, and company levels. Emphasis is placed on the vi International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which provides the minimum standards and guidelines for operational safety management. Chapter 3 provides theoretical clarification and framing with regard to safety culture and safety management. This chapter also introduces a general working model used in the studies of safety culture and safety management in this thesis. Chapter 4 presents the methodological approach. The thesis builds upon a mixed method approach where both qualitative and quantitative techniques are used. The main results are briefly summarized in Chapter 5, followed by a discussion in Chapter 6 and concluding remarks in Chapter 7. The concluding remarks concern study limitations, implications, and suggestions for future research. The thesis draws upon theory from both the socio-anthropological and organizational psychological directions. In accordance with the organizational psychological perspective, a survey was carried out. A safety culture questionnaire developed by Studio Apertura, a constituent centre of The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), in collaboration with the Norwegian DNV and the research institution SINTEF was used. In total, 1,574 questionnaires were distributed to 83 tanker and bulk/dry cargo carriers, with 1,262 being returned from 76 of the vessels. The vessels were initially randomly selected from the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association member list, but as participation was voluntary, some withdrawal occurred. Statistical analysis involves descriptive statistics, factor analysis, regression analysis, and structural equation modeling. The statistical survey results were complemented by qualitative data obtained through document studies, case studies including two tanker companies and two bulk/dry cargo companies, vii interviews, participating observations and field studies at sea, and participation in other maritime forums. The study results indicate several deficiencies in all parts of a traditional safety management system defined as: (1) the reporting and collection of experience data from the vessel; (2) data processing, summarizing, and analysis; (3) the development of safety measures; and (4) implementation. The underreporting of experience data is found to be a problem, resulting in limitations related to the data-processing process. Regarding the development of safety measures, it is found that the industry emphasizes the development of standardized safety measures in the form of procedures and checklists. Organizational root causes related to company policies (e.g., crewing policy) is to a lesser degree identified and addressed. The most prominently identified organizational influential factors are the shipping companies crewing policy, which includes rotation systems, crew stability, and contract conditions, and shipboard management. The companies’ orientation toward local management, which includes leadership training, educational, and other managerial support, are also essential. The shore part of the organization is identified as the driving force for development and change in the shipboard safety culture. Thus, safety campaigns should to a larger degree include and be directed toward shore personnel.