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Safety Assessment in ports

AuthorsTak, C van der, Jong, J.H. de
Conference/Journal2nd International Harbour Masters Association Congress (IHMA), Professionalism in Ports, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Date28 Apr 2000
Public safety awareness and the related distribution of responsibilities to local authorities has increased the need for tools to evaluate the total safety in the port environment. The maritime operations determine an essential part of this safety. Traditionally expert opinion completed with simulation studies, either full-mission simulator or fast-time simulations, helped to evaluate the different design or existing port lay-outs and operational measures within a given environment and a given traffic distribution. This is still a viable option for the basic assessment of the feasibility of a design on the operational level but fails to predict the total levels of risk and consequences of measures once the total traffic distribution needs to be evaluated.
Over the last two decades additional quantitative safety management assessment tools have been developed who take into account the total vessel traffic image and its related risks in the whole physical port environment and who are capable of evaluating the consequences of measures on a strategic level.
More recent developments in the Netherlands and the UK (Port Marine Safety Code) suggest the application of formal safety assessment to ports as a panacee to all strategic safety issues, a promise eventually true if due consideration is given to the ‘devil in the details’.
This paper describes different kinds of safety studies that are performed to assess the safety level in ports. The type of study to be performed is related to the type of questions to be answered. This paper tries to clarify the merits of the different type of safety studies against their area of application.
All study parameters presented in the table are dealt with in the different safety studies. Only the attention to an aspect varies from little (blank in the table), a rough description (+ in the table) to a detailed description (++). In reality the classification can not be performed as straight forward as described in the table. MSCN/MARIN has performed many studies of the first three types. Examples of these studies will be given in the sections 2, 3 and 4. In section 5 the difference between SMART and FSA is explained. In fact the general approach in POLSSS (see section 3) is rather similar with the approach in FSA. The difference is formulated in section 5 and it is indicated which synergy can be achieved by combining SMART and FSA.


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Johan H. de Jong

Manager International Cooperation

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manoeuvring and nautical studiessafe operations and human factorsinfrastructureauthorities and regulatorstrainingrisk assessmentsafety