Through a comparison of marine incident data across DCV class and operations, AMSA is able to develop a more complete picture of the DCV maritime industry to identify emerging trends in safety, identify further areas for research and recommend safety compliance actions. 

This report highlights the importance of effective and timely marine incident reporting to allow for further research and analysis. While there has been a slight increase in marine incident reporting in 2020 when compared to 2019, it is clear that an active reporting culture continues to remain a challenge for domestic maritime industry. AMSA, in partnership with industry stakeholders, will continue to strive to identify ways to improve reporting culture and subsequent safety outcomes for the DCV fleet.

Whilst incident reports provide a good measure on the nature and frequency of marine incidents in terms of what happened we also need to identify the underlying safety issues that lead to dangerous occurrences. We need to know not just what went wrong, but why it went wrong, how it went wrong and more relevantly how we can prevent recurrence. AMSA has done this through the use of a safety framework to better understand what drives human behaviour and performance at sea. This supports our risk-based approach in the identification of the focus areas of primary concern. By doing so we can prioritise our compliance approach and design tailored compliance initiatives to ensure we allocate our resources in the most cost-effective way, relative to the outcomes we aim to achieve.

This information has also been used to inform targeted engagement activities throughout the year such as the recent tender safety campaign. These campaigns are included in the 2021-2022 National Compliance Plan and are broken down into educational11 and safety12 compliance campaigns. Focus areas in the next year which have been informed by incident data and included in the National compliance plan include the following:

  • Incident Reporting: We will commence an education campaign focusing on incident reporting. AMSA will work with industry and other relevant State/Territory jurisdictions in delivering an outcome.
  • Fatigue: We will commence an education campaign focusing on the risks associated with fatigue and develop associated guidance. We will work closely with Work Health and Safety (WHS) State/Territory authorities in developing and delivering this campaign.
  • Safety Management Systems (Risk Assessment): AMSA will commence a safety campaign focusing on risk assessment which is a critical aspect of the Safety Management System. 
  • Passenger Safety: AMSA will continue with an education campaign and a second focused inspection campaign to reinforce passenger safety monitoring requirements.
  • Construction Barges risk assessment (Class 2): AMSA will commence a safety campaign focusing on construction barges with a particular emphasis on risk assessment. We will work jointly with WHS State authorities in delivering this campaign.

AMSA also leverages information from marine accident reports and incident data to publish a range of safety information such as Safety Alerts and other publications.

AMSA will continue to work with our stakeholders in the delivery of education and safety campaigns as identified in the 2021-22 National Compliance Plan.


11 Educational Campaigns: These are purely educational and may include a combination of communication (through social media, website and print) content and facilitated workshops. Educational campaigns do not include focused inspections/audit activities. 

12 Safety Compliance Campaigns: These include a combination of education and focused inspections and audits. In all cases AMSA will commence with education which will be followed up by a focused inspection campaign to identify and measure the level of compliance.