SHIP FORMAL SAFETY ASSESSMENT
The business of shipping is governed by a multitude of statutory regulations that support ship safety at both national and international levels. The safety-related rules have predominately been prescriptive, quite often derived as a reaction to a major incident at sea in order to prevent similar accidents from occurring again (Rosqvist and Tuominen, 2004). For example, the capsize of Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 greatly affected the rule-developing activities of the IMO (Cowley, 1995; Sekimizu, 1997). The accident certainly raised serious questions on operation requirements and the role of management, and stimulated discussions in those areas at the IMO. This eventually resulted in the adoption of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. The Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 seriously damaged the environment by a large scale oil spill. It facilitated the implementation of the international convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) in 1990. Double hull or mid-deck structural requirements for new and existing oil tankers were subsequently applied (Sekimizu, 1997). The Scandinavian Star disaster in 1990 resulted in the loss of 158 lives. Furthermore, the catastrophic disaster of Estonia , which capsized in the Baltic Sea in September 1994, caused around 900 people to lose their lives (Wang, 2001 and 2002). The accidents highlighted the role of human error in marine casualties, and, as a result, the new Standards for Training, Certificates and Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers were subsequently introduced (Wang, 2006).
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