Academy Cadet Seeking Professional Seafarer's Experiences Regarding Safety Onboard Commercial Vessels

Intro: I am a senior cadet studying International Maritime Business, a shore-side career path with no commercial maritime experience. In one of my classes I have been assigned a project to develop an invention/idea to increase safety onboard commercial vessels.

It would be naive for me to come up with safety innovations without having the experience to back it, this is why I am enlisting the help of professional mariners on this forum to share with me their personal opinions and first hand experiences. I am in no way asking you to do this project for me, I am just looking for knowledge backed by years in the industry.

Any ideas are much appreciated I will credit them in my project.

I won so many safety awards from the company that the other captains complained and they stopped giving them to our ship, true story.

Your approach is wrong, safety isn’t something separate from everything else. A holistic, organic approach is required. Everything has to be done right top to bottom. Inventory, housekeeping, operations, crew relations everything, all the time. Good seamanship.

When things go wrong, and they will, figure out why and fix it. Good planning, communications is key.


Not sure what you’re looking for. Bob Cottie’s Marine Accident Casebook had something I like called a Risk Ready Reckoner - basically a check list organized around the idea of the release of energy. Before starting a job, look for electrical power or heat, pressure, any potential energy etc.

But what was different was it was for use by the crew, not just the supervisor. I handed them out to the crew and used it to drive home the idea that responsibility for safety could be thought of as a triangle. Each person is responsible #1 for himself and for two others. his shipmate and the supervisor.

The crew liked it and used it without anyone having to nag about it.

  • Edit: Looks like the link to the Risk Reckoner at Marine Accident Casework is broken.