Apr 032011

The SafeSpace Project

SafeSpace is a free project to reduce the unacceptable toll upon seafarers of confined space hazards. It aims to bring together those in the industry with an active and passionate commitment to safety to mount an assault on a phenomenon that costs too many seafarers their lives every year.

There has been much talk, much discussion on this issue. It is time to stop talking and time to do something. That ‘something’ is to directly reach those seafarers who are most at risk, who often have little ownership of their own safety, and through education, awareness and activism empower them to work safely.

True, the safety culture of a company and its ships is defined by the attitude and commitment of its management. For that to work there must be fertile ground to plant the seeds of safety.

Unlike many other classes of accident it only takes one person to reduce the toll of confined space fatalities, the person at the pointy end.

The seafarer.

If we demonstrate our commitment to the seafarer then even if his or her own company lacks an appropriate safety culture perhaps we can make that seafarer part of ours.

Few would deny that radical change is needed. Historically, change comes from the bottom up not from the top down.

That is why the seafarer must be more than a recipient of knowledge but an active promoter of safety.

SafeSpace is not about what the IMO, or any other organisation or company can do or should do, it’s about what we ourselves can do to make change happen.

Your task is to commit to doing something, right now. It doesn’t matter how small.


Bob Couttie, administrator of Maritime Accident Casebook, for instance, has dedicated his next column in ShipGaz magazine to the issue.

MAC and co-producer IDESS Interactive Technologies is making a downloadable DVD available.

We are preparing an e-book on the principle of confined space entry.

And there will, in due course, be a CBT available for free distribution to seafarers.

Chris Young of Headland Media has donated a downloadable confined space briefing


You can help

You can, and should, be a part of this initiative. You can donate knowledge and expertise by giving us your comments, recommendations and opinions of the e-book and how it can improved.

Ship’s officers might set quizzes or competitions about the vessel’s SMS confined space entry provisions? As a rating you can make a conscious effort to learn how to identify a confined space and what to do in a rescue, make sure your shipmates know them, maybe have an onboard “Non-Trivia quiz”.

If you are a Port State Control Inspector of Flag State Surveyor, or a Coast Guard inspector or P&I Club Surveyor you can show “The Case of the Silent Assassin to the ships you visit. Even better, you can leave copies aboard the ship.

Give us your ideas and we’ll add them to the SpaceSpace Project. But they must be practical, not theoretical and targetted at the seafarer.

You can donate case studies to the database.

You can tell us what resources you need to get the message across.

Yes, you can donate money, too.

Consider this a manifesto.

You’ll find the latest resources here.

You can contact the SafeSpace project at safespace@maritimeaccident.org

You can read more on or SafeSpace pages

Let’s make a dent in the deaths.

Together we can make the difference.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.