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Risks and hazards in the maritime industry

For: Employers and managers Information seekers

To protect employees and maintain healthy and safe workplaces, all hazards and risks need to be identified, assessed and, where practical, remedied.

Workplace health and safety requirements are specified in legislation and regulations.

Key principles, duties and rights

Key principles, duties and rights in relation to workplace health and safety are identified in the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993.

Of note, operators of a prescribed ship or prescribed unit must:

  • take all reasonable steps to protect employee health and safety at work
  • ensure their workplaces are safe for employees and without risk to their health
  • provide and maintain safe access to and from the workplace
  • give employees the information, instruction, training and supervision they need to perform their work safely and without risk to their health.

Incidents and accidents

Responsibilities relating to health and safety incidents are detailed in the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Regulations 1995.

See Responding to an incident for more information.

Specific hazards

Obligations regarding specific hazards in the workplace are outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Maritime Industry)(Nationals Standards) Regulations 2003.

We provide some of the risks and hazards relevant to the maritime industry, with resources to help health and safety representatives (HSRs), employers and employees address them.

Confined spaces

Drugs and alcohol


Hazardous substances

Manual handling

Psychosocial hazards

Remote or isolated work

Page last reviewed: 27 April 2022
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Date printed 17 Jun 2024