Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration
"This research highlights relevant issues related to marine casualties and presents an overview on casualty investigation, a review of marine accidents, the regulatory framework on marine casualty investigations, a brief discussion on system’s design complexity and coupling characteristics, accident causation models used in casualty analysis and the marine accident investigation organizations. The principal objective of the study was to identify and evaluate marine casualty investigators’ endeavors of determining causes of a marine accident with the help of accident causation models or investigation procedures involving accident causation models. The study therefore focuses on the marine accident causation models one could utilize for conducting investigation into marine accidents. States establish an accident investigation regime to determine why an accident happened and to learn lessons that prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. The overall approach towards the research methodology was to employ mixed methods to complement the data as well as to obtain increased response from the target group. In pursuance of this goal, a mixed methods approach comprising questionnaires and structured interviews was adopted towards data collection for the study. The models applied by practitioners ranged from none to a plethora of models. The SHEL and Reason’s Swiss cheese model were common to the questionnaire respondents and interview participants while the other models mentioned were the ATSB, IMO-MAIIF, HTO, FRAM, AcciMap, MTO, ISIM and Heinrich’s Domino model. The utilization of event and causal factors diagrams was also mentioned along with path dependency. This highlights the diversity in the available models. The reasons the participants gave for the utilization of models largely depended upon the ability of the model to capture maritime accidents including complex accidents and the level of training required in the application of the model. The ability of the model to address organizational aspects rather than mechanical failures was highlighted. Also highlighted was the juxtaposition of models – that is utilizing a model to identify the technical aspects of the accident and another to explore how it was managed. Another reason highlighted was the requirement by organizations which mandated a particular model to be used. Various reasons have been stipulated by these marine accident investigators for their preferences of using particular models or none at all. The reduction of marine accidents in the maritime industry as a result of the use of models or not, is in conclusive."