Risk management on offshore vessels: training, expectations and reality
Published on Jul 3, 2018in Australian journal of maritime and ocean affairs
· DOI :10.1080/18366503.2018.1486065
The blowout on the drilling rig ‘Deepwater Horizon’ resulted in human fatalities and significant environmental damage; and drew attention to the vulnerabilities in the safety of the vessels and the seafarers operating the vessels in the offshore sector. One of the reasons of the explosion was attributed to the poor risk assessment and management practices. Risk assessment is one of the central tenets of the ISM Code that establishes safety management objectives and requires safety management system (SMS) to be established by ship operators. It is therefore imperative that in order to meet the objectives of the Code and to ensure personal safety, all seafarers should be conversant with the risk management principles and trained in its practical application. However, based on a theoretical analysis of the regulatory requirements of training as well as analysis of past incidents on offshore vessels, this paper highlighted the challenges faced by the offshore sector in the effective training of its seafarers in the process of risk assessment. In doing so, the regulatory requirements for training and its inherent flaws are discussed. The practices and attitudes of the seafarers towards the process of risk assessment is also critiqued.