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Safety as a Design Objective

After four years of research, the SAFEDOR project culminated in a final conference in London

M aking safety a design objective rather than viewing it as a constraint imposed by design rules was the goal of the SAFEDOR (Design, Operation and Reg- ulation for Safety) initiative. The maritime research project on the significance of risk-based design and approval was concluded after four years of intensive study. 53 multina- tional project partners from all sectors of the European maritime industry had joined for this programme coordi- nated by Germanischer Lloyd to work out the details of an innovative, risk-based approach to maritime engineering.

The results of this effort were presented by the steering com- mittee at the final conference held at the IMO headquarters in London in late April. Dr Pierre C. Sames, Senior Vice President Stra- tegic Research & Development at GL, and chairman of the steering committee, also gave an outlook on the future of risk-based engi- neering in the maritime industry.

Flexible Framework

Over the past four years, the project partners discussed and developed new ways of enhancing the safety of ships. Three major achievements resulted from this work:

First and foremost, the SAFEDOR partners created a frame- work for risk-based design, which is now documented in a handbook for naval architects and marine engineers. The sec- ond achievement was the development of an approval proc- ess for risk-based ship designs, which was submitted to the IMO. The third result of the SAFEDOR initiative is a set of ap- plication examples. “We would like to see more flexibility in innovation in the future,” said Tom Strang of Carnival plc, the shipowners’ representative on the SAFEDOR steering com- mittee. The series of innovative ship and system designs dem- onstrates the practicability of the SAFEDOR approach.

In addition, the project conducted five formal safety assessment studies for major ship types to document the present risk levels. These were also submitted to the IMO. All documents released can be downloaded from the SAFE- DOR website www.safedor.org.

The ambitious goal of the SAFEDOR project was to en- hance safety through innovation, thus strengthening the competitiveness of the European maritime industry. Incor- porating safety into the design process is not a new con- cept; in the past, however, safety was generally added to a design during its later stages to comply with existing rules. SAFEDOR’s approach offers greater flexibility to ship de- signers, and new economic opportunities to shipowners.

The SAFEDOR research focused on five ship types that are of major economic importance for Europe – cruise ships, RoRo/RoPax vessels, gas tankers, oil tankers and contain- er vessels. Key objectives of the development effort were a

risk-based regulatory framework, a risk-based design framework, advanced probabilistic simula- tion tools and their integration, as well as a series of application examples. The elements of the risk-based regulatory framework include an approval process, risk evaluation criteria, and requirements for documentation and key personnel qualifications.

Risk-based design is an extension of the traditional de- sign process in that it integrates assessment of the safety performance into the design process. Prevention and/or reduction of risk to life, the environment and property is embedded as a design objective, alongside conventional design objectives such as speed and capacity. SAFEDOR developed this design framework to enable enhanced de- cision-making that balances traditional objectives – per- formance and cost – with the new objective – minimizing risk. The book “Risk-Based Ship Design” is one key result of the SAFEDOR project.

In his outlook on the future, Dr Pierre C. Sames con- cluded that SAFEDOR was just the beginning of a broad- er trend: “We expect that the number of risk-based design and approval applications will continuously grow, that the application of risk-based approaches in rulemaking will increase, and that the linking with risk-based approaches

during operation will increase.”

  • SG

DISCUSSION. SAFEDOR is completed. At the final conference in London, members discussed the project results. Dr Pierre C. Sames (4th from r.), Chairman of the SAFEDOR steering committee. The reference book “Risk- Based Ship Design” (l.) describes methods, tools and applications of risk-based ship design.

nonstop 02/2009


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