Speaking a press briefing for Nor-Shipping 2013,” Tor Svensen, coo Asia – Pacific and president oil and gas for DNV, presented figures for serious accidents over the last 20 showing a negative trend, with navigational error a top factor.
“The safety trend in the industry has not really improved. The trend line if we look at the last 20 years is actually on the up,” Svensen said. He commented that between 2000 and 2010 the trend for safety and serious accidents had reversed, from the positive trend seen in the previous decade.
Svensen notes that in terms of the numbers of fatalities the bulker and tanker sectors were improving, however, “In terms of serious accidents the change is not what it should be.”
The human factor remains a serious issue with navigational error still accounting for more than half of accidents and serious incidents. “This is not a good trend. It’s mostly human error behind this.”
In an effort to address the human element Svensen proposed the updating of the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code). “The ISM [code] can be improved into ISM II.”
“ISM is working but I believe we can take ISM to the next level,” he said.
He suggested the offshore marine industry as a safety model for shipping where there is a much greater use of risk management and safety barriers than there is in general shipping.