2017 was a relatively normal year for Swedish shipping. There were 231 events reported in total, of which 40 were incidents and accidents. Of these, 163 were categorised as marine accidents (linked with operating the ship) and 28 injuries. One person died during the year: a passenger fell in a staircase on a Swedish-registered passenger ship. The number of injuries reported as a result of accidents at sea was 42, and 27 injuries were reported as a result of personnel accidents (e.g. accidents at workplaces).
Causes of accidents
Figure 20 shows the distribution of assessed causes of accidents. The most common cause is human factors, followed by technical faults and external factors. When the Transport Agency registers events, a code for “human factors” is currently used. It is important to note that the code does not say anything about the underlying factors behind the event. A wrong action may be due to the person concerned not having the right information, and the cause of the wrong action could be organisational factors. The Transport Agency plans to review the codes relating to human factors and human-technology-organisation (HTO) factors in order to improve our analysis of events.
Injuries and deaths
Injuries are defined as accidents on board that are unrelated to the operation of the ship. These cover workplace-accidents among staff on board and passengers who are injured in falls or similar events. If a passenger or crewmember falls and is injured as a result of a collision with a quay, for example, this does not count as an injury but as a collision with another object, i.e. a marine accident. The statistics below concern injuries and deaths in commercial maritime transport, divided into maritime accidents and injuries. The figure below shows that the number of injuries reported varies widely, especially concerning marine accidents. This is partly due to the master’s assessment of what is reported, which makes the reporting process subjective. It is often difficult to categorise the severity of the injury from the information reported to the Transport Agency. In the case of injuries, the figure for 2017 is likely to increase as a result of lagging reports for these accidents.
The figure below shows the number of deaths as a result of injuries or marine accidents. During the five-year period there is a clearly positive downward trend, but it is not equally clear if a longer time interval is studied. The total number of deaths is generally so low that the exact outcome for any one year is largely a result of coincidences.
The Transport Agency publishes a joint safety overview for sea and air transport every year. The overview is largely based on events that are reported to us from each mode of transport. Parts of the report that relate to commercial shipping are shown below.
If you want to read the full report, it will be published on our website: