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  • 2021 December 6 12:14

    New technology risks must be tackled despite decade of progress in ship safety, warns DNV

    Shipping has seen a significant improvement in safety over the past decade as higher standards of ship construction and operation have cut the number of casualties, but emerging risks from new fuels and digital technologies must be mitigated to maintain progress, according to DNV.

    It follows the release of a major new analysis, ‘Maritime Safety 2012-2021: a decade of progress’, from Lloyd’s List Intelligence and DNV that shows a marked decline in casualties, losses and detentions over the period.

    Between 2012 and 2021, the tally of annual casualties declined 20% from 1922 to 1537 and losses resulting from casualties dropped 56% from 132 in 2012 to 58 in 2020, while the number of detentions decreased by 60% by the end of 2020 – mostly in the general cargo carrier segment.

    This positive trend has come even as the global fleet has increased 46% in deadweight tonnes and 16% in vessel numbers - from 116,000 to more than 130,000 ships of 100 gross tonnes and above - resulting in the number of safety incidents, as a share of the fleet, falling from nearly 5% to 2%.

    Earlier this year, DNV warned of an emerging “safety gap” as the dual forces of decarbonization and digitalization present new hazards from alternative fuel technologies, such as fire and explosion risk, and issues like data security and increasingly complex digital systems.

    Around one-third of 21,746 casualties over the 10-year period occurred with vessels aged over 25 years, with older general cargo carriers and passenger vessels accounting for the highest number of casualty incidents.

    Nearly half (48%) of total casualties were due to hull and machinery (H&M) damage - with machinery issues being the main cause as hull damage accounted for only 5% - and there was a surprising increase in such incidents involving vessels between 10 and 14 years of age.

    Valderhaug highlights DNV’s new Operational Reliability class notation designed to tackle the high number of machinery failures and reduce the risk of blackout by minimising functional failures in propulsion, steering, electrical power and manoeuvrability.

    About DNV

    DNV is the independent expert in risk management and assurance, operating in more than 100 countries. Through its broad experience and deep expertise DNV advances safety and sustainable performance, sets industry benchmarks, and inspires and invents solutions.




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