Employers and employers’ organisations

Employers and employers’ organisations play important roles in risk management. They are generally more competent on risk management in relation to business strategies and economics than on HSE. They are dependent on relevant expertise to perform risk assessments on HSE. Externally imposed regulations, and especially audits, are often needed to motivate organisations to establish and maintain the necessary processes. Another driver is the use of measured HSE performance as a highly rated indicator in the prequalification processes for selecting a company for contract work in business.  These are both ‘push’ factors that drive the organisation to manage HSE risk. However companies are increasingly recognising the value in HSE risk management based on ‘pull’ factors. Such factors include a commitment to protect people, the environment and property from harm and loss, and the employee motivation and wellbeing that results from this. An enthusiastic and dedicated management can be highly supportive to HSE management.


Managers and supervisors

They play a major role in good HSE. A key factor is to “walk the talk”.


Trade unions

Trade unions may sometimes be more interested in conditions related to payment, pensions and “other benefits” from work than in HSE. But they are often important as sources of information on unresolved problems and on poor management practices. Often they will campaign actively on health and safety issues, especially when such risks threaten the health and employment of their members.



Employees are the key personnel in HSE. They have to realize how their role can contribute to good practice and develop positive attitudes towards HSE goals that are genuinely supported by their supervisors and managers. A responsible worker is of utmost value in good HSE and this can be encouraged by open discussion of risks and their management as part of the regular stream of communications within an organisation or on board a ship.


International agencies in standard setting

International agencies play the important role of setting HSE standards. This role is of high importance in an international business like shipping. It is possible to challenge HSE practices on a ship registered in a “flag of convenience state” by establishing international standards that the all flag states have to comply with. A recent example is the MLC 2006.


National regulators

National regulators represent an essential element in HSE. By instituting effective HSE regulations they contribute to the process of continuous improvement. It is, however, necessary to perform effective and targeted audits to ensure that the regulations are effective.


NGOs, professions, suppliers etc.

These are often enthusiastic and invest a lot of effort to heighten the awareness among the different stakeholders in HSE. They may also develop guides to good practice for their members’, which can play a big part in raising standards.



Expertise is needed at many stages of the risk management process. A wide range of professions may be involved, for instance industrial hygienists and toxicologists when assessing the transport of chemical products or toxic waste materials.


QA and accreditation systems

Different non-commercial and commercial bodies are offering QA and accreditation. Examples are ISO, DNV, LLOYDS and IMHA. IMHA has developed IMHA QUALITY, which gives accreditation to clinics in performing maritime medicals. IMHA is planning more areas of accreditation to come. QA processes will normally heighten the consciousness and drive for improvement of HSE.In general evidence of accreditation is a very important asset when potential business partners are seeking providers of service or expertise.


Media and public

When an accident happens the media and public focus can seriously affect a business. If the accident is badly handled or media are not continuously informed, major damage to the business and its reputation will be the result. This acts as a drive to HSE improvement and effective crisis management.



Insurers have a stake in a high level of HSE performance, as pay-outs are reduced. On the other hand they will raise the insurance premiums if HSE performance is substandard.


Trainers and educators

The importance of HSE combined with the fact that most managers have little or no relevant expertise creates a business demand for trainers and educators. They are often enthusiastic and are clever in marketing their services. This helps to build the awareness on HSE in the businesses in addition to the training effects.