ISM RISK Assessment knowledge sharing

In this post we would like to share our experience regarding risk assessment gained from audits.

As you all know Risk Assessment is in force since 1 July 2010. In this post we will discuss when risk assessment to be completed and by who.

As a company you must have already performed an initial risk assessment covering a list of key ship board operations. A list of about 80 operations should be sufficient. If you straggling to find 80 operations you should brake up operations to more detailed actions. For example “Bunkering operation” can be divided to taking and transferring bunkers, or stores can be separated to loading and storing stores.

Then Risk Assessment needs to be constantly performed and risk to be evaluated all the time by both ship board and office personnel. Before every operation, ship board personnel should assess the risk and make necessary entries either in log books or ISM forms. If risk is not found acceptable measures to reduce risk must be taken.

For example if vessel in ice areas, master can take a number of measures to reduce the possibility of hull damage from ice or low temperature. For example to keep constant speed at full ahead, to keep constant distance from ice brake, never stop vessel, periodic sounding of ballast tanks, periodic operation of ballast system to avoid ice in ballast system, or empty ballast tanks and drain ballast lines, etc. Company can send port captain with ice experience to supervise passage and send specialized instructions. Both office and crew can record these actions in the ISM Risk assessment forms as measures to reduce the risk.

Also it is important crew to be able to demonstrate how to perform risk assessment in the presence of PSC officers. It is expected within 2011 PSC officers to check competence of crew in the assessing risk. Also objective evidence must be available on board. It is not very convincing that master performs sufficient RA within a period of six months but he has not identified the need of any additional measures.

Your comments to the above are welcome and if you have something to add please do so in the chat below.