DNV GL predicts maritime industry needs new approach to safety

DNV GL predicts maritime industry needs new approach to safety


The paper suggests that new technologies and alternative fuels are changing the safety landscape

Classification society DNV GL has released a white paper titled ‘Closing the safety gap in an era of transformation’, identifying a gap between the shipping industry’s existing approach to safety and its move towards digitalisation and the adoption of alternative fuels.

The paper covers an outlook of approximately five years. It suggests that new technologies and decarbonisation over this time will create a new risk landscape that will require a fresh approach to safety, which will be achieved by iterative development and implementation of rules and regulations.

“To close the safety gap, we will need a collective, ongoing effort,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime. “As a classification society, we can play a leading role by acting as trailblazers for regulators, gathering expertise, partnering with industry, and developing guidelines. Suppliers, owners and yards can work together to ensure we treat vessels holistically, over the entire lifecycle, rather than as a collection of separate subsystems. We need to recognise how any single decision impacts upon other ship systems, the vessel as a whole, and even the fleet.”

According to the white paper, new technologies increase system complexity significantly and introduces new ways of operation and collaboration, while decarbonisation increases the use of alternative fuels and operations.

“If we want to ensure our industry transforms safely, we must embrace the idea that whenever we are developing new technologies, systems and processes, the end user must be central to the development process,” said Fenna van de Merwe, principal consultant at DNV GL Maritime, and the paper’s lead author. “Our aim should be that throughout the industry we have a shared focus that in both design and operation we are supporting people in their work and decision making.”

Click here to download the full white paper

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
17 February 2021

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