A safety management system (SMS) is the common means used by organizations to assess organizational performance with respect to the safety and well-being of people, property and the natural ecosystem. A SMS provides confidence to diverse stakeholders that organizational safety is at an appropriate level and fulfils the applicable regulatory standards. As a multifaceted system for organizational safety assessment, ensurance and assurance, the evaluation of the design and operational use of SMS is a complex process. An evaluation needs to provide evidence about how well the design and operation of an SMS complies with applicable standards and how well the methods used in the SMS implementation support the organizational policies and practical work. In the maritime domain, SMS is broadly applied. However, there are few theoretically rooted SMS design approaches, and there is a lack of frameworks to evaluate how well the SMS is designed and how effectively it operates. This paper proposes an initial evaluation framework for the design and operational use of a maritime SMS design approach based on Systems-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes (STAMP), realist evaluation and Bayesian Networks. This framework is applied for a case study of vessel traffic services (VTS) Finland to test its relevance and ability to guide the SMS design. The experiences gained in the case study, and the related discussion on the framework, can guide further research in this area. Ultimately, the work can be used as a basis for developing maritime SMS auditing processes, based on specific theoretical and methodological approaches.
- Evaluation framework
- Maritime safety
- Safety management system
- Systems-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes (STAMP)
- Vessel traffic services