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MCA collaborate with HSE to create tool to improve health and safety attitudes at sea

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has collaborated with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to build on the existing Safety Climate Tool by making it more applicable to the Maritime industry.

The tool is designed to assess the attitudes of individuals within an organisation towards health and safety issues, then deliver an objective measure of the safety culture.

It comes as part of the UK Flag’s continued drive towards improved safety awareness, with the MCA supporting a maritime version of HSE’s safety climate tool.

It has been shown that a poor safety culture is the root cause of many incidents within the workplace, and the remote nature of a lot of seafarer roles means an incident is often serious, even fatal.

The tool has been designed by scientists at the HSE, with advice from experts at the MCA and shipping companies, to measure the perceptions of the workforce on health and safety issues. It will offer insight into the safety culture of the organisation to provide ways to continually improve and raise standards, with hopes it will lead to a reduction in the number of incidents.

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Julie Carlton, Head of Seafarer Safety and Health with UK Maritime Services, part of the MCA, said: “We’re pleased to have worked with the HSE on the creation of a maritime version of the Safety Climate Tool, to cater to the shipping industry which has unique health and safety requirements.

“The MCA stands at the forefront of maritime safety and wants to encourage companies to invest in the idea of improving safety culture across the industry. The agency is supporting this tool as a great way to highlight the problems that could lead to potentially avoidable accidents and avoidable deaths.”

Using a simple, online questionnaire, the tool will explore employees’ attitudes and perceptions in key areas of health and safety, while guaranteeing anonymity.

Once the survey has been completed, it will generate a comprehensive report as well as provide guidance to help improve the organisation’s safety culture. Symptoms of a poor safety culture include widespread and routine procedural violations, failure to comply with the company’s own safety rules and poor management decisions that prioritise production or cost over safety.

The MCA hopes that the tool can tackle many areas of concern; benefits of the maritime tool include:

Industry consultation ensures that the new maritime tool caters to the needs of the maritime industry – including the ability to breakdown results by relevant demographics and job roles.

Ability to benchmark data against industry standards.

Automatically analyses the responses and generates a valuable summary report of the results.

Examines employee and management results for comparison.

Creates bespoke reports of your chosen demographics to highlight key priorities.

Provides suggestions for next steps and recommendations how to address them.

Can be used at any time from your own secure web account, making the process simple, quick and convenient.
Source: UK Maritime & Coastguad Agency

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