Home Associations Drilling down into risk management – Alert! Issue No. 39

Drilling down into risk management – Alert! Issue No. 39

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ALERT! Jan 2015Afloat or ashore, we cannot eliminate risk, but it can be sensibly managed to a tolerable level. The role of the human element in the management of risk is the theme of Issue No.39 of the International Maritime Human Element Bulletin Alert!

It begins with a hypothetical, but worryingly authentic, tale of a new Shipmaster in his first voyage in command who has forgotten all the lessons of prudence and teamwork which was taught. The reader is left to imagine his fate, and that of his ship, after his impetuous decision to take a short cut!

Data collection and big datapotentially have a role in improving risk management. They may provide a more complete picture about the realities of risk surrounding any ship than has ever been available before. The more information that is known about the ship, its owner and operator, the crew and the proposed voyage, the better the assessment of risk will be.

There is also a new urgency surrounding the risks of cyber-attacks on ships and their systems and Alert! No.39 offers some very practical advice about this aspect of operational risk management. The US Coast Guard (USCG) recognises the new cyber threats. These, an important new manual on the menace suggests, are much more than an IT issue. Read the review in Alert! 39.

There are many different ways of regarding risk and its management and the bulletin offers a systems-based approach which could provide a useful and practical model. The issue concludes with some important thoughts about the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and its contribution to a HE based approach to ship operations. There are important observations about compliance.

The Alert! centrefold in Issue No.39 examines the human element and human-system aspects of health, safety, security, environment and quality management. In its portrayal of the risks associated with the ship, the crew, the voyage and the environment it provides a template for the identification and control of risks.

The Alert! Project – launched in October 2003 – is a campaign to improve the awareness of the human element in the maritime industry. This is a Nautical Institute project, sponsored by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Further information about the human element awareness initiative, and electronic copies of Alert! can be found at www.he-alert.org.

The Nautical Institute is the international representative body for maritime professionals and others with an interest in nautical matters. It provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of members who are drawn from all sectors of the maritime world.

Founded in 1972, it is a thriving international professional body, with over 50 branches worldwide and some 7, 000 members in more than 110 countries.

Lloyd’s Register Foundation helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. 


Lloyd’s Register Foundation (Reg. No. 1145988) is a charity registered in England and Wales, and owner of the Lloyd’s Register Group. Registered Office: 71 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4BS, United Kingdom.

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