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Importance of risk assessment to improvise vessel Safety standard

By Captain Dibyendu Das/ Marine/HSEQ Manager/DPA

Risk Management as an Effective Tool to Prevent Injuries, Risk Assessment might be one of the most frequent words you hear during the technical management of any vessel. What is a Risk Assessment, and how would this exercise contribute to preventing injuries? Does it really help? The answer is YES, provided the risk assessment is carried out correctly and effectively. An ineffective Risk Assessment might not be worth the paper it has been printed on. Not just critical jobs, but Risk Assessments apply to each assignment being done onboard a vessel, starting from a job as critical as hot work to as basic as mopping the alleyway floor or taking the staircase in the accommodation. For such basic jobs, one might not be carrying out a formal risk assessment but doing a mental risk assessment or a simple job safety analysis that works towards mitigating the risks involved. A very simple and basic example of a mental risk assessment would be checking left and right before crossing a road. For the risk assessment to be effective, the most important task for anyone carrying out a risk assessment would be to correctly and effectively identify the “Hazards” associated with the job in hand. Once this important component of the risk assessment has been effectively identified, then along the way comes a major yet important identification called “Additional control measures”. The more effective additional control measures which can be identified, then the lesser shall be the residual risk so the greater the chance of proceeding with the job successfully. This process, if followed effectively, lowers the potential of an injury to the lowest level possible. Particularly effective control measures can be applied to most risk assessments. These can be discussed during Onsite Toolbox Meetings and will have a positive effect on the final residual risk ranking of any risk assessment exercise.
Step 1 Identify the hazards.
Step 2 Identify the consequences.
Step 3 Evaluate the “existing controls.”
Step 4 Determine the severity.
Step 5 Determine the likelihood.
Step 6 Evaluate the Initial Risk Ranking.
Step 7 Identify the “Additional Control Measures” (Evaluate Final Risk Ranking)
Step 8 Identify the person-in-charge.
Step 9 Finalize the target date.

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