Better by design

01 Oct 2004

A DOR (Design, Operation, and Regulation) for Safety ? or in short SAFEDOR ? is the name of an ambitious initiative towards an integrated project within the 6th Framework Program (FP6) of the European Commission. The aim is to enhance safety through innovation and to strengthen the competitiveness of the European maritime industry. The SAFEDOR project will look at risk-based design and approval of ships within the sustainable surface transport section of FP6.
Eight European organisations form the steering committee and include Germanischer Lloyd AG (GL) in the chair, Carnival plc, Danish Maritime Authority, Det Norske Veritas AS, International Transport Workers Federation, IZAR Construcciones Navales S.A., SAM Electronics GmbH and the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde
SAFEDOR started in the spring of 2002 with the submission of an expression of interest in response to the call of the European Commission. Since then, the steering committee has continuously evolved the proposal
and presented SAFEDOR at various occasions.
An open call for proposals was launched in June 2003 to invite a large number of other organisations to participate and to contribute. The complete proposal for the project SAFEDOR was submitted to the European Commission in March/April this year. The project is expected to start early next year if the contract negotiations proceed as planned.

The objectives include:
l To develop methods and tools to assess operational, extreme, accidental and catastrophic scenarios, accounting for the human element, and integrate these into a design environment.
l To develop innovative solutions and products for safe, secure and economic operation of ships.
l Establish a risk-based regulatory framework to facilitate first principles approaches to safety.
l Produce prototype designs for European safety-critical vessels to validate the proposed methodology and demonstrate its practicability.

Risk-based design
Risk-based design is a formalised design methodology that integrates risk analysis in the design process and includes prevention/reduction of risk (to life, property and the environment) embedded as a design objective, alongside standard design objectives (such as speed, cargo capacity, passenger capacity, and turnaround times). This implies the adoption of a holistic approach that links risk prevention/reduction measures to ship performance and cost by using
relevant tools to address ship design and operation.
This is a radical shift from the current treatment of safety (risk) as a design constraint imposed by rules and regulations. Risk-based design offers freedom to the designer to choose/identify optimal solutions to meet safety targets.
For risk-based design to be realised, safety must be treated as a life cycle issue, which in turn implies focus on risk-based operation and need for a risk-based regulatory framework. All three elements will be addressed within SAFEDOR.

Innovation
Risk-based design, operation and
regulation open the door to innovation, as radically novel and inventive design solutions become feasible. It is strongly believed that risk-based design is a key element for the industry to enhance its competitiveness, as the focus shifts towards knowledge-intensive products. However, the same approach will also lead to safer products cost effectively, because safety can be incorporated into the design process as just another design objective, instead of being treated as a constraint as is the case today.
Risk-based design in the maritime industry will follow the well-established path of quantitative risk assessment used in other industries. The key is to use advanced tools to determine the risks involved and to quantify the effects of risk preventing/reducing measures, as well as to develop
acceptance (evaluation) criteria to judge their cost-effectiveness.
These are all integral elements
of SAFEDOR. n

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