MOSS evaluation shows impact and opportunities for improvement

22 April 2021

An independent evaluation of the Maritime Operator Safety System (MOSS) shows its introduction just under seven years ago is contributing to safety outcomes on New Zealand commercial vessels, Maritime NZ said today.

Early indications suggested an improved safety culture is developing and MOSS has heightened operators’ awareness of hazards and safety procedures, the evaluation by independent research and evaluation consultancy, Litmus Ltd, found.

“We are pleased the evaluation report recognises the responsive approach Maritime NZ has taken to the transition to MOSS,” Maritime NZ’s Acting Director, Nigel Clifford, said. “We also know that the task is far from completed and we will continue to improve the way MOSS works.”

The majority of operators had a good understanding of how MOSS works and just over half of operators were satisfied with it.

Maritime NZ also acknowledges the evaluation found there are barriers to compliance and that MOSS can be simplified to be more fit-for-purpose for small operators and those with uncommon operations.

The evaluation report recommended that Maritime NZ considers how to better support surveyors, reviews the approach to risk profiling to assess risk better, and continues to develop proactive monitoring systems to support intelligence-led decision-making.

“Improving safety standards in the New Zealand commercial fleet is an on-going process,” Mr Clifford said.  “Maritime NZ has a wide range of policy and operational initiatives underway as we continually look to influence standards and behaviour.  An example is the on-going reform of the 40-series rules which govern the design, construction and equipment on New Zealand-based commercial vessels.

“This evaluation adds to that work,” he said. The next steps are for Maritime NZ to carefully consider the reports’ findings, consult with the industry on their substance, and then planning how to address them.

Evaluation of the Maritime Operator Safety System: October 2020 [PDF: 1.2MB, 83 pages]
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