The safety case

The safety case concept consists of four main elements:

(1) The safety management system, including establishing, implementing and monitoring policies. It is these policies that set the safety standards to be achieved, that is, the aims. It is the opposite of the prescriptive approach in which the system is made to adhere to a set of rules and regulations. The safety case is targeted at a particular ship, or installation, in a given environment with a specified function.

(2) Identification of all practical hazards.

(3) Evaluating the risk level of each hazard and reducing the level of hazards for which the risk is judged to be unacceptable. The risk of a hazard is the product of its probability of occurrence and the consequences if it does occur. The judgement of acceptability is a difficult one. It is usually based on what is known as the ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Possible) principle.

(4) Being prepared for emergencies that could occur.

Such studies can guide the designer as to the safety systems that should be fitted on board. Analysis might show a need for external support in some situations. For instance, escort tugs might be deemed desirable in confined waters or areas of special ecological significance. Many of the factors involved can be quantified, but not all, making good judgment an essential element in all such analyses. The important thing is that a process of logical thought is applied, exposed to debate and decisions monitored as the design develops. Some of the decisions will depend upon the master and crew taking certain actions and that information should be declared so that the design intent is understood.

Safety is no academic exercise and formal assessments are particularly important for novel designs or conventional designs pushed beyond the limits of existing experience. Thus following the rapid growth in size of bulk carriers, that class of ship suffered significant numbers of casualties. One was the MVDerbyshire, a British OBO carrier of 192 000 tonne displacement. From 1990 to 1997, 99 bulk carriers were lost with the death of 654 people. An IMO conference in 1997 adopted important new regulations which it was hoped would help prevent loss of the ship following an accident. These came into force in 1999.

The loss of a ship for some unknown reason is most worrying. To assist with these, and in accident investigations more generally, a new regulation was adopted by IMO in 2000 which will require many ships to be fitted with 'black boxes' similar to aircraft practice of many years standing. These voyage data recorders (VDRs), to give them their correct title, are to be fitted in all passenger ships, and in other ships of 3000 gross tonnage upwards, constructed after July 2000. There is provision for retrospective fitting in some older ships.

The VDRs, whose use has previously been encouraged but not mandatory, will record pre-selected data relating to the functioning of the ship's equipment and to the command and control of the ship. It will be in a distinctive protected capsule with a location device to aid recovery after an accident.

Certain ships are also to be required to carry an automatic identification system (AIS) capable of providing data, such as identity, position, course and speed, about the ship automatically to other ships and shore authorities.

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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