Shipping is a global industry as most vessels are affected by legislation in many countries and abide international rules; in addition, owners can choose flag states and labour markets in which to recruit crews. Such interdependencies also make shipping a highly complex business. In the safety area, many stakeholders (e.g., crew, shipping companies, unions, industrial bodies, national and international regulators) constantly act and react to internal and external changes. Although safety is to a large extent regulated and procedures and guidelines for best practices are in place, severe accidents and incidents still frequently happen.1
International safety regulations stem from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the form of conventions, protocols, and resolutions. At other levels, safety is addressed by regional, flag state, and port state regulations (Kuo, 2007), which are transformed into shipping companies‘ safety management systems in the form of procedures and standards. Companies‘ safety activities are regulated by the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which was fully implemented on 1 July 2002 ( International Maritime Organization, 2010). Although procedures and standards are in place to control risk and seafarers‘ behaviour, accidents involving human error also seem to be on the rise (Soma, 2008). Statistics from Lloyds‘ Fairplay (2010), shown in Figure 1, indicate the navigational accident frequency (collisions, contacts, and wrecked/stranded vessels) from 1993 to 2009 in relation to the world‘s fleet size.