GL Academy: Focus on Accident Investigation in Shipping

Focus on Accident Investigation in Shipping

One of the fundamental principles of safety management is that all incidents and accidents are preventable. Therefore, it is important to ensure that if there is an accident or incident the causes are thoroughly investigated and measures are taken to prevent recurrence.

With its new course “Accident Investigation in Shipping – Analysis and Root Cause” GL Academy provides a fully comprehensive understanding of the procedures involved in, and requirements for the reporting, investigation and analysis of maritime accident and hazardous occurrences.

Effective accident and near-miss investigation and analysis are one option to reduce accidents and incidents in the shipping industry.However, the necessary procedures, techniques and tools for effective accident and incident analysis are not necessarily part of the usual training profile in shipping companies. In recent years, thorough accident/incident investigation and analysis has become more and more the focus in the shipping business with the objective of avoiding damage to human life, the environment and property.

In order to reduce accident rates, a deep and thorough understanding is needed: Why do accidents happen, what really causes them and how can a “Just Culture” help to prevent them.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has defined a “Just Culture” as “A culture in which frontline operators or others are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them that are commensurate with their experience and training, but where gross negligence, wilful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated.”

Business success depends on managing risks effectively; to manage risks you need an effective safety culture; to have an effective safety culture you need an effective learning culture; to have an effective learning culture you need an effective reporting culture. This cannot exist without an effective Just Culture.

In this new GL Academy course the trainer will introduce selected techniques and tools that will enable the designated investigator to improve the effectiveness and quality of the analysis of maritime accidents and hazardous occurrences with the objective of identifying and eliminating the root causes.

During the course conduction special emphasis is put on:

  • Legal requirements and best practice guidance for the conduction of investigations
  • Techniques and tools for the systematic gathering of evidence, including interviewing techniques
  • Reconstructing the accident event sequence and causal factors
  • The concept of safety barriers in shipping operations
  • Root cause analysis and follow-up activities after accident and incident investigations

Based on the IMO Resolution MSC 273(85) which amended the International Safety Management Code, the course fulfils the requirements of the ISM Code element 9.


GL Academy, April 3, 2013; Image: Maritime NZ