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Maritime safety – to measure is to improve

Vassalos, Dracos (2013) Maritime safety – to measure is to improve. Marine Systems and Ocean Technology, 8 (1). pp. 61-69. ISSN 1679-3962

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Abstract

The Design for Safety philosophy and the ensuing formalized methodology, Risk-Based Design, was introduced in the maritime industry in the mid-nineties as a design paradigm to help bestow safety as a design objective and a life-cycle imperative. This was meant to ensure that rendering safety a design driver, would incentivize the industry to seek for cost-effective safety solutions, in response to rising societal expectations for human life safety. It turned out that the removal of rules-imposed (largely-conservative) constraints and the adoption of a performance-based approach to address safety has had much more profound effects than originally anticipated, the full impact of which is yet to be delivered. This paper focuses on what constitutes the kernel of this design philosophy, namely the measurement and verification of safety itself with emphasis on passenger ships and the implications that this entails with regards to traditional approaches and the new safety system.