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Title: Impact of the ISM code on the management of occupational health and safety in the maritime industry
Author: Bhattacharya, Syamantak
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9859
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis investigates the impact of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code on the management of occupational health and safety in the global maritime industry. The Code - which introduced regulated self-regulation to the industry in 1998 - is seen as a major instrument to safeguard seafarers from workplace hazards and a mechanism to counter the consequence of economic globalisation on the regulation in the maritime industry. However, its effectiveness has been widely debated. A case study approach is used in this study to examine the operation of the Code in two shipping organisations involving ethnographic fieldwork onboard ships and at company offices using semi-structured interview, observation and documentary analysis as the research techniques. The study specifically looked into the factors that influenced the perceptions of the managers and seafarers on the operation of three central elements of the ISM Code: risk assessment, incident reporting and audit and review. My findings showed significant differences in the experiences of operation of the Code of the managers and seafarers in the organisations studied and revealed that although the two organisations implemented the ISM Code in theory there was a considerable gap between its purpose and what it achieved in practice. Significantly it indicated that seafarers' fear of job security, low-trust work environment and lack of organisational support were some of the main impeding factors for seafarers' participation in the management of occupational health and safety. Further analysis revealed that the organisational context and the employment relations affecting seafarers, as well as their social relations onboard ships and between the managers and seafarers in the companies studied were not conducive to a participatory style of management of occupational health and safety. The thesis argues that to be effective self-regulation of occupational health and safety management - such as envisaged by the ISM Code - requires a participatory approach. However, the thesis demonstrates that the preconditions that have been shown to be necessary to achieve this in land-based workplaces are much reduced or absent from the maritime situation which undermines the potential for the effective operation of the ISM Code.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available