Marine work practices

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The ATSB has investigated several incidents involving unsafe working practices in the maritime industry. These incidents resulted in serious injury or death following falls from height, crushing and equipment that exploded.  

The most common problem associated with these incidents was the fact that the people involved in the task did not properly identify the risks involved before they started the task. Sometimes risk strategies were not implemented, and in some cases, individuals ignored established procedures. To some degree, these incidents involved the people being complacent about the task and this complacency was the direct cause of the injury or fatality.


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What can you do?

For most tasks, a comprehensive risk control plan is vital. Ensure that you follow a plan and the established procedures for any task that has risk. Make certain that you know how to do the tasks that have been assigned to you and if you are uncertain about the procedures, talk to your supervisor about your concerns. Remember, safe work procedures are ‘good’ rules to follow and are there to make your workplace safer.

Take the time to evaluate the task you are about to do. Take the time to think about the risks, and what you’re going to do to manage them. 

More information

The following ATSB safety investigations show and examine the risks of unsafe working practices, and provide important safety messages for maritime workers and operators, both ashore and at sea:

Last update 23 November 2018