Take 10: Issue 32

30 Jan 2023 The Navigator

Risk management is a fact of life at sea – and something that all navigators must understand fully. Here are ten key points to bear in mind

1 The reality of risk

Nothing in life is risk-free. The key to avoiding accidents, damage or harm is to manage the risks we face to an acceptable limit.

2 Reducing the risk

Good navigators are those who can reduce the risks they come up against at sea, including the risk of collision, grounding, heavy weather, etc.

3 Teamwork improves safety

Discussing risk with your fellow professionals and sharing knowledge, ideas and practical assistance can improve safety on board ship by a factor of ten.

4 Check the SMS

The ISM Code requires companies to identify potential risks in the Safety Management System (SMS), making it an excellent reference guide for navigators.

5 Anticipation, anticipation, anticipation…

Many risks can be anticipated; indeed, the very nature of passage planning is to anticipate risk, including traffic, weather, currents and more. Passage plans are an excellent form of risk assessment and mitigation.

6 Dynamic risk assessment

Regardless of how good you and your team may be at anticipating risk, never stop checking your situational awareness and assessing risk by all available means.

7 Bridge Resource Management

Proper BRM procedures are a great example of how to reduce risk by all available means, combinining human intervention and the effective use of technology.

8 Tools of the trade

Don’t be fooled into thinking that an understanding of information management comes with rank; the use and understanding of data and information can be gained by all ages and experiences.

9 Smile!

Good teamwork reduces risk – and good teamwork is based on good relations between team members. Good relations between team members are enhanced through respect, trust and a smile.

10 Share and share alike

Reduction of risk can only happen when a risk is well understood. Work with your bridge teams and crews through training and mentoring to help everyone understand and reduce risk.

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