DYNAMIC RISK ASSESSMENT matrix must consider SEVERITY , CERTAINTY and PERIOD OF IMPACT.
The whole world ignores PERIOD OF IMPACT. On risk prone parcel chemical tankers we do not have the luxury of ignoring this crucial factor. On stubbing your toe, you will get most " severe pain" , " certainly" for 3 seconds. Nobody minds this short period pain. However LONG period of such pain is not an option.
In a nutshell , DRA is the CONTINOUS ASSESSMENT of risk in a rapidly changing environment like a ship on fire, chemical tanker having toxic spill, or collision/ grounding. Or analyzing new control measures when the changing degree of risk demands it ( suddenly reserve buoyancy at risk --or as the fire spreads, new toxic gases are released ).
Commonsense and experience dictates that no risk assessment can be static – it has to be dynamic, as the events unfold. Focus on any emergency response must change as the incident evolves.
There is something as a –
a closing stage.
In the development stage, safe systems of response have indeed been initially selected and assessed, additional control measures introduced and an optimum course of action chalked out.
A good emergency response system must assign a competent person to do the process of -- “ MEASUREMENT “ -- in a mundane PLAN/ ACT/ MEASURE/ IMPROVE cycle.
This “measurement squad” , boils down to a “roving squad” consisting of a think tank ( usually Chief engineer and Electrical officer ) who are the ears and eyes of a Master who is blind and deaf on the bridge—yet , has to take critical decisions. He is short of feedback from a clear / experienced / competent brain who is observing from dynamic vantage positions —in the lookout for coming shadows and thinking of ways to avoid secondary dangers, all the time reviewing the effectiveness of the existing control measures..
In the old system ( discarded whole sale by the entire Annex 1 and Annex 2 tanker industry 15 years back ) the chief engineer was relegated to maintaining essential services and doing normal watchkeeping in the engine room , where he is not as familiar with valves and pipelines as the usual EOW.
We had a situation where both the 4 stripers were deaf and blind, the 3 stripers are busy doing something, and nobody watching the larger DYNAMIC picture unfolding. On the contrary a 4 striper should be all over the place , including the engine room ( when warranted ) and on bridge to hold critical intelligence information exchanges on new tactical modes/ stopping something happening the wrong way , (based on DRA) with the Master .
It must be appreciated that everything cannot be told on the walkie talkie in an emergency—including a TRUE report on how the Chief Officer ( on OFFENSIVE TACTICAL MODE ) and Second Engineer ( on DEFENSIVE TACTICAL MODE ) is managing their teams –for engine emergencies vice versa.
In other words the ROVING SQUAD TAKES CARE OF THE TRANSITIONAL MODE including :---
monitoring the physical conditions of the offensive and defensive leaders,
evaluating competence of allocated tasks ,
evaluating the larger picture ( life/ property/ pollution/ image )
evaluating if the calculated risk taken outweighs the benefits.
--and if indeed so , if there are any viable alternatives.
He is now able to tender specialist advise to the blind and deaf decision maker on the bridge ( read that as Master )
+TRANSITIONAL ( THE CRACK FILLER ) = OFFENSIVE (+ )DEFENSIVE
A seaman sees a huge round stone overhanging a ledge on the ship on top of a passage way used by the whole crew. He identifies this as a HAZARD.
Now what is a hazard?
A hazard is something which is of potential danger , but it has NOT YET HAPPENED . This can be compared to a fishing boat right ahead while sailing. The look out man who reports this to the OOW has reported a HAZARD.
ON PRO-ACTIVE CULTURED CHEMICAL TANKERS WE LIKE TO HEAR OF HAZARD WHICH HAVE NOT YET HAPPENED –THE SAME WAY THE BRIDGE OOW WILL TAKE A DIM VIEW OF THE LOOKOUT MAN WHO REPORTS FISHING BOATS IN THE SHIPS WAKE.
Once the fishing boat has gone behind the ships wake , it is no longer a hazard, for it has happened. It could now be classified as a NEAR MISS if the ship missed it narrowly or it just grazed the ship—scrapping off paint and causing a scratch.
Of course if the fishing boat was damaged severely or it sank it is now classified as an ACCIDENT.
Now let us get back to good old stone. The seaman has reported the stone , which is a source of potential harm, to the chief officer.
It is now the ships managements duty to do RISK ASSESSMENT and then do RISK MANAGEMENT.
RISK ASSESSMENT since it includes the consequences has 6 DYNAMIC aspects:--
Severity—minor loss ( injury ) to total loss ( death )
Time of impact /Recovery --- rapid recovery to irreversible ( first aid to full life in wheelchair / long term impact to environment )
Frequency--- remote to occasional to progressively increasing.( this is more related to security than safety-- if a car is driven daily it will have less chance of a breakdown than a car which is take out once in 2 years. But if you sail close to Somalian coast daily your chances of getting pirated is higher than if you sail once in 2 years )
Certainty--- 100% sure ? YES or NO
Image—loss of image is abstract and is about loss of business ( cannot trade in USA, loss of oil major long term time charters etc ).
The ships management holds a risk assessment meeting and now decides to do RISK MANAGEMENT based on the well known T4 principles—
1) Terminate/ throw the nil value stone overboard ( eliminate, amputate )
2) Treat/ Lash up the stone with wires and wedges ( safeguards like extinguishers, reduce risk to acceptable level )
3) Tolerate/ Isolate and manage ( close the passage or use a deflector so that it falls elsewhere, PPE )
4) Transfer/ Call for special and skilled help or advise. ( call a shore workshop )
What T to use-- is determined by weighing if the RESIDUAL risk outweighs the benefits.
RISK = POTENTIAL SEVERITY x IMPACT PERIOD X CERTAINTY ( AS A YES/ NO SWITCH )
TABLE 1, 2 AND 3 TO BE CHECKED, IF IN TABLE 3 ITEM “ YES” IS APPLICABLE.
THEN IN TABLE 4 , ITEM WILL BE ONE STEP HIGHER ( HIGH BECOMES UNACCEPTABLE,
MEDIUM GOES TO HIGH , LOW GOES TO MEDIUM )
TABLE 1 – POTENTIAL SEVERITY
Severity Category/ Health and Safety Impact/ Damage to Vessel-Property/ Environmental Impact/ Contamination of next cargo
V Fatal Accident Total Loss/ Major Impact to Environment
(Liquids -- spill/discharge in water > 1m3)/ Highly Contaminated/ Readily Apparent and vessel cannot pass manifold sample
IV Serious Accident with possible Permanent Injury Damage requiring external assistance/ Significant Impact to Environment (Liquids -- Spill/discharge in water > 150L and < 1m3)/ Vessel Cannot pass first foot sample/ III Serious Personal Injury Damage which can be repaired by crew/ Impact to Environment .(Liquids --Spill/discharge in water > 10L and < 150L)/ Possible Contamination of minor nature II Injury requiring Medical Treatment/ Minor damage/ Minor Impact to Environment (Liquids -- Spill/discharge in water > 1L and < 10L)/ Possible Contamination of insignificant nature I First Aid Injury/ Insignificant damage/ Little Impact to Environment (Liquids -- Spill/discharge in water < 1L)/ Contamination not affecting next cargo
TABLE 2 – IMPACT PERIOD DIRECT AND INDIRECT Risk Letter/ Effect Time period A IRREVERSIBLE loss of company image and business PERMANENT B Major impact for very long time > 5 Years
C Moderate impact for long time >6 months – 1 year
D Some Impact for some time >1 day
E Minor impact for very short time < 1 Hour
TABLE 3 -- CERTAINTY
Risk Letter Certainty of Happening
Y -100 % SURE
N - Possible
TABLE 4 -- RISK MATRIX
In cases where the Determined Risk is:
Un Acceptable : ABORT! Await shore senior management level decision
(Higher premiums to be paid)
High: Work shall NOT start. Appropriate additional controls taken to reduce
residual high risk level to Moderate or Low
Moderate: Efforts made to reduce the risk, with monitoring of the additional
controls that are implemented
Low: No additional controls required, monitoring required to ensure existing
controls are maintained
A B C D E
V U H H H M
IV H H H M M
III H H M M L
II H M M L L
Capt Ajit Vadakayil