This paper proposes a systematic approach for exploring the compliance level of the international safety management (ISM) code with the ISO 9001:2000 in order to structure an integrated quality and safety management system (IQSMS) for shipping operations. Multi-attribute fuzzy axiomatic design (MA-FAD) is determined as a suitable research methodology for the focused problem. To illustrate the proposed approach, a casualty onboard oil tanker ship is analysed: moreover. the potential advantages of the IQSMS in operational level are underlined. The Outcomes of this research originally ensure decision aid for the relevant executives in ship management companies who eagerly insist to implement quality integrated ISM code. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.