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‘Safety is a perceived concept which determines to what extent the management, engineering and operation of a system are free from danger to life, property and the environment.’
The objective of this forum is to start discussion on the tools and techniques that are utilized in Maritime Industry, in the process of carrying out a risk analysis and assessment.
The following five techniques are usually used in various Ship-management companies as tools for ship-board risk analysis:
• Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA)
• Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP)
• Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)
• Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
• Event Tree Analysis (ETA)
These techniques are utilized in relation to different aspects of risk analysis.
The Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA) methodology is used to identify possible hazards, i.e. possible events and conditions that may result in any severity.
A more extensive hazard identification method is Hazard and Operability Studies (HAZOP), which searches much more systematically for system deviations that may have harmful consequences.
The Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) can be used to identify equipment/system failures and assess them in terms of causes, effects and criticality. The application of an FMECA gives enhanced system understanding as well as an improved basis for quantitative analysis.
Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) and Event Tree Analysis (ETA) are the most commonly used methods in terms of establishing the probability of occurrence and the severity of the consequences, for hazards in the context of risk analysis.
Risk analysis involves analysing a system in terms of its risks. As pointed out by various experts that the concept of risk is central to any discussion of safety. There is a steadily increasing focus on safety in all aspects of life, and in a maritime context risk analysis is nowadays a relatively common investigative and diagnostic element in reviewing system performance with the objective of identifying areas for improvement.
Risk and Safety
Risks and safety are closely linked. But how should we understand the term ‘risk’?
Risk is a parameter used to judge the significance of hazards in relation to safety, and hazards are the possible events and conditions that may result in severity.
More risky a job is, and then less safe it would be. Mathematically Safety can be expressed as
Safety (S)≈ 1/ Risk (R)
In other words it can be said that more safety measures are required to reduce the risk of hazards from the job concerned.
Risk (R) is normally evaluated as a function of the severity of the possible consequences (C) for a hazard, and the probability of occurrence (P) for that particular hazard:
R= f (C,P)
Both the possible consequences (C) and the probability of occurrence (P) are functions of various parameters, such as human factors, operational factors, management factors, engineering factors and time. It is normal to use the simplest possible relation between C and P, i.e. the product of the two, to calculate the risk (R):
Given this simple equation, we can better understand risk as a concept. For example, a high consequence (C) and a high probability of occurrence (P) for a certain given hazard mean that the risk is high, which will often be considered as intolerable from a safety perspective.
On the other hand, a low consequence (C) and a low probability (P) represent a low risk level. A low level of risk will normally be perceived as tolerable in a safety context, but may even be negligible if it is really low. The risk level that results from a high consequence and a low probability, or vice versa, will often be tolerable, but may in extreme cases be either negligible or intolerable.
The hazards needing special attention are those where both consequence and probability are significant. Given this knowledge, estimated risk of hazards can be used to make informed decisions in terms of improving safety.
Safety can be improved by reducing the risk, and risks can be reduced by reducing the severity of the consequences, reducing the probability of occurrence, or a combination of the two.
The Risk Analysis and Risk Assessment Process
Risk analysis is the process of calculating the risk for the identified hazards. Experts in this field of study often distinguish between risk analysis and risk assessment.
Risk assessment is the process of using the results obtained in the risk analysis (i.e. the risks of hazards) to improve the safety of a system through risk reduction. This involves the introduction of safety measures, also known as risk control options.
A principal diagram for the process of risk analysis and risk assessment is illustrated in Figure below.