Threats & consequences

  • Date: 20/01/2012

After much study and only after in-depth trials with certain shipowners, the UK P&I Club is now launching an innovative risk management scheme utilising a ‘BowTie’ approach to identifying areas of risk and minimising the occurrence of incidents.

Although sixty per cent of the Club’s claims are caused by ‘human error’, human error is often only the last event in a chain of causal events  - ‘the straw that breaks the camel’s back’.

Normally, these causal events can be traced back to failures in one or more areas of ship operation; we sometimes refer to them as ‘accidents waiting to happen’.

Using the Club’s extensive claims experience, the loss prevention department has been identifying and categorising those events as a guide to directing loss prevention and safety activity to greatest effect.

This method of analysis, known as “bow-tie” is relatively new to the maritime industry, although offshore and energy firms have used it for some time.  To explain how it works our Loss Prevention Director, Karl Lumbers, uses the analogy of a tiger escaping from its cage in the zoo.
The threat of a cage door left open leading to an escape (hazard) and the mauling of a member of the public (consequence) is set out diagrammatically enabling controls to be identified & imposed.
This initially simple diagram grows as more relevant threats & consequences are added to the hazard scenario.  These cause and effect chains fan out from the identified hazard to give the bow-tie appearance that lends this system its name.

A new loss prevention brochure titled “UK Club risk project - Helping Members prioritise risk and reduce claims” gives a more detailed explanation of this new initiative.

A 2012 calendar is available from the Club’s loss prevention department which incorporates diagrams and explanation relating this approach to typical incidents that affect ships and their crews e.g. stowaways, oil pollution, safety of crew working and navigational issues.

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