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Who is dominant? Occupational health and safety management in Chinese shipping

Conghua, Xue, Tang, Lijun ORCID: and Walters, David ORCID: 2017. Who is dominant? Occupational health and safety management in Chinese shipping. Journal of Industrial Relations 59 (1) , pp. 65-84. 10.1177/0022185616676231

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This paper investigates the implementation of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code in the Chinese chemical shipping industry. In particular, it examines the tension between management focus on speedy production and seafarers’ participation in safety related decision making and analyses how this tension is managed. It shows that while on paper companies have policies stating safety commitment in compliance with the ISM Code, in practice shore management tends to prioritise efficient production. When Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and ship’s sailing schedules are in conflict, managers implicitly request shipmasters to prioritise the ‘core interest’ of the company. Although the ISM Code endows shipmasters with overriding authorities in relation to shipboard safety management, they tend to read between the lines and tacitly follow managers’ intentions. The study suggests that if the ISM implementation makes a difference, it is the practice that managers become more subtle in giving orders to exert their dominance. The study further reveals that the management’s practice is not only irresponsive to seafarers’ safety concerns but also makes rather limited contributions to promote OHS Management.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese chemical shipping, employee empowerment and participation, International Safety Management Code, managerial dominance, Occupational Health and Safety management
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0022-1856
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 23 September 2016
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 12:36

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