🎨 Change this code module's colour to set the course colour 🎨

Who is This Course Suitable For?

Those engaged in the maritime industry/marine leisure sector who wish to know more about their obligations whether it be employer or employee. Also those with an interest in the health and safety industry and the roles that are available in this sector. The course is designed as a broad approach to the subject so those with a general interest or wish to know more about a particular aspect should have their specific questions addressed.

12 – 18 months

11 in total

Diploma: £2,950
Certificate: £2,150

Recognised by:
University of Portsmouth

About the Course

The Health and Safety in Ship Operations Course is a comprehensive look at health and safety, in all its guises and how it operates in the maritime sphere. This course provides a full understanding of all aspects of health and safety in terms of its applications to ships, rigs, ports/mariners, and workers. With the aim of maintaining a broad approach to help students build a reliable knowledge base, this course covers a large spread of topics. These largely include all aspects of health and safety, laws, and legislation as well as the consequences of their breaches.

Course Structure

The course consists of 11 modules. All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students will also be required to sit and pass a final examination.

1. Introduction to Health and Safety in Ship Operations
  • What is health and safety?
  • Why health and safety?
  • UK general health and safety legislation
  • The code of safe working practices for merchant seamen
  • Occupational health and safety at sea
  • UK health and safety organisations
  • International framework for health and safety
  • Accidents and incidents – the statistics
  • International health and safety statistics
2. Duties and Obligations to Oneself and Others
  • Introduction
  • Employer’s duties
  • UK health and safety law
  • Obligations to others
  • Understanding accident causation
3. Risk Assessment
  • Introduction
  • What is risk assessment
  • Five steps to risk assessment
  • Task specific hazards, risks and control measures
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Introduction
  • Definition of PPE
  • Provision and Use of PPE
  • Assessing Suitable PPE
  • Types of PPE
  • Training
  • Maintenance
  • Other Regulations
5. Specific High Risk Activities
  • Introduction
  • Definition of a confined space
  • Entry into a Enclosed Spaces
  • What are the problems?
  • Oxygen depleting cargoes
  • Managing the risks
  • Emergency Rescue
  • Working at height
  • Safety Harness’s and Fall Arrest Systems
  • Working on electrical/mechanical systems
6. Slips, Trips and Falls
  • Introduction
  • Introduction/statutory framework
  • Trips & slips
  • Trips & slips – a passenger’s perspective
7. Reporting of Accidents and Incidents
  • Introduction
  • Accident reporting, what & why?
  • Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting & Investigation) Regulations 2012 (“The Regulations”)
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 [RIDDOR]
8. Port Operations
  • Introduction
  • Safe operations on quaysides and ships decks
  • Health Hazards
  • Dusty Cargo’s
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
9. The Law of Health and Safety
  • What is Health and Safety?
  • Health and Safety legislation
  • The Health and Safety Executive (Hse)
  • Enforcement of Health and Safety legislation
  • Health and Safety in ports
  • Health and Safety on ships
10. Classic Accidents, Accident Causation and Analysis
  • Introduction
  • Classic accidents, accident causation and analysis
  • The S.S Titanic
  • The S.S Torrey Canyon
  • The Herald of Free Enterprise
  • The Derbyshire
  • The Exxon Valdez
  • The Braer
  • The Costa Concordia
  • The Sea Empress
11. The Human Element
  • Introduction
  • The Human Mind
  • Taking Risks
  • Making Decisions
  • Making Mistakes
  • Tiredness and Stress
  • Working with others
  • Communicating with people
Career Pathway

Career Path
Seafarer – this diploma gives you the opportunity to come ashore into management.

Junior Personnel (ashore) – this diploma gives you the opportunity to progress to management in the crucial area of safety.

This depends on the position specifics but you can potentially earn upwards of £70-80k in a large organisation as a senior manager.

Duties include all aspects of ship operations health and safety on board a ship.

Meet the Course Director

Ian Biles

Master Mariner, BEng(Hons), MA, CEng, CMarEng, SipMarSur, RYA YachtMaster (Ocean), Eur Ing

Ian started sailing with his father at the age of 12 and as a result, went to sea upon finishing school. He sailed worldwide for 13 years on a range of commercial ships, spending his leave sailing yachts around the United Kingdom and in the Mediterranean. Throughout this time, Ian studied for various qualifications passing his RYA YachtMaster (Ocean) Certificate in 1982 and Class 1 (Unlimited) Master Mariner Certificate in 1984.


On passing the Diploma, you will receive the above icon. Please use it on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and website(s)!

You can also use these letters after your name: MTA Dip HSSO


Online learning allows you to study in your own time, at your own pace from anywhere in the world. This saves on travel and classroom costs and allows you to fit your studies around your job and progress your career.


While the nature of distance learning is independent study, we recognise the importance of support. Students can contact us at any time during their course for assistance and our team of industry experts are always on hand for advice.


We have over 50 industry experts writing, developing and advising on our course material. We truly believe that allowing students to tap into their expertise and knowledge is of the utmost importance to fulfil your dream career.

If you would prefer to complete this as a classroom-based course, please contact us.


How long do the courses take to complete? What's the difference between a Diploma and a Certificate? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out the answer.

Supported By

Sign-up to receive email updates