Thirty years on: In search of broken components

Introducing barriers has become a standard way of managing risk and safety – but it is not necessarily the best one On 6 March 1987, the passenger ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized on departure from Zeebrugge, resulting in the death of 193 passengers and crew. It was considered one of the most severe accidents […]

Imaginary checklists and defensive procedures: When safety tools serve another purpose

Questions about procedures, checklists, their adequacy and effectiveness are frustrating to many of us across industries. The popular belief – An accident happened because procedures were not followed. But could it also be that the procedures could not be followed? This is a theme that we explore in this article. When safety tools serve another […]

Bad seamanship: Is that so?

Weighing options Dismissing the actions of crew involved in an incident as ‘poor seamanship’ ignores the myriad commercial and regulatory pressures that they operate under Words: Nippin Anand Picture the scene: The Hoegh Osaka has just departed from the port of Southampton, at which point the master calls up the mate and says that the […]

When less is more: Managing safety in time critical operations

The article examines an accident investigation report and provides an alternative to the conventional ‘human error’ approach to managing safety in time critical operations in the maritime sector. WHEN LESS IS MORE For overworked crew in stressful situations, too many procedures and checklists can be counterproductive to maintaining vessel safety Words: Nippin Anand* On 16 […]

Boxing and dancing: The challenges of enforcement in global shipping

In recent years, the spread of inspections and other forms of enforcement (audits, surveys, vetting, assurance etc.) has reached a stage of ‘explosion’ in terms of both scope and frequency. There is a real concern that the enforcement regime, i.e. compliance with rules, regulations and industry standards, has fallen victim to its original intentions of […]

Accidents at sea: Causes or constructs?

Has limiting liability, in place of genuine improvements in safety, become a fix-all? If limiting liability trumps real action on vessel safety, then astute lawyers and shrewd solicitors should make a better choice than safety  departments, writes Nippin Anand, principal specialist, safety management systems, at DNV GL Maritime There is a paradox in how we […]

Lost control, just stay in command: What it means to be a ship captain?

The previous year witnessed two experienced ship captains being humiliated and eventually criminalised. Accidents, with no evil intentions, were turned into acts of crime. So strong was this perception that even veteran captains and the so called ‘experts’ within the profession found it difficult to understand the ‘erratic’ behaviour and ‘selfish’ actions of the captain […]

Enclosed space operations: Do we understand the risks

Is our current approach to risk assessment and control measures in enclosed space operations missing the point? On 16 May 2014, three crew members onboard the cargo ship Suntis lost their lives while entering into an enclosed space during cargo operations in port. The third crew member to lose his life was attempting to rescue […]

Fram: A systems approach to risk management and incident investigation

A brief description of Functional Resonance Analysis Method. The key strength of this methodological approach is that it could be applied to both accident investigations (regression) and risk management (forecasting). A methodological approach to the management of risk and safety Nippin Anand, Principal Surveyor, Safety Management Systems Specialist, DNV GL- Maritime Organisations don’t make safety. […]

Caught in numbers, lost in focus: What it means to manage safety in global shipping

Study after study has been conducted on safety management without ever engaging critically with the term safety or examining how it became one with the science of management. Producing comprehensive accounts of all ‘unharmed’ and ‘uninjured’ events is mundane and resource-intensive. Instead, the alternative approach is to examine harm and injuries both potential and actual. […]