Skip to content

Enhancing shipping safety

The shipping industry is highly traditional and involves many risks. Continuous monitoring and analysis of onboard safety systems using DNV’s SEAMAN will enable ship operators to control risks and increase safety performance.

Despite both technological and regulatory advances, accidents still happen, and the systems in place for dealing with these are fragmented and sub-optimal. Also, the current dynamic barrier management (DBM) system paradigm of evaluating barriers at fixed intervals is proving insufficient to improve safety. 

Operators must have the data needed to detect deviations in system performance or processes before they escalate into an incident. When an emergency does arise, operators must have the resources they need to take the right measures at the right time. With the right systems in place, deviations can become near misses, rather than accidents. 

DNV firmly believes there is a need for advanced models for managing safety barriers in marine operations, in real-time, to give stakeholders the tools they need to prevent incidents. 

“The real time risk monitoring of watertight doors enables the crew to take smarter decisions and operate the doors in a safer way, and thereby enhancing passenger ship safety. The work carried out is important to take forward when further developing statutory and class requirements.”

  • Inge Seglem,
  • Head of Section, Stability, Load Line & Tonnage,
  • DNV

Dynamic barrier management: the right data, at the right time 

The objective of SEAMAN is to establish a set of methodologies and recommendations that improve safety and safety culture during operation by means of continuous monitoring and analysis of onboard systems. 

The basic methodology for controlling operational risks cover three areas, starting with standards and structured approach which describing vessel functions, systems and barriers. Secondly, ship connectivity coupling the so-called sharp and blunt-end of the operations. The third area addresses shore side data processing and analytics, which enable the ability to process large data sets to accurately predict future events. 

When processing large datasets using algorithms, the information about each barrier is then used in different parametric models, making it easier to accurately predict the state of each barrier. Operators are then able to take the necessary action at the right time, and in a targeted way, to restore into a safe state. 

Barrier performance monitoring is essential to verify that parameters remain at target levels and identify barrier criticality. Continuous improvement is demonstrated by raising the target level through the improvements in the next design or strengthening of the existing one. 

The benefits 

Around 70,000 merchant vessels navigate the global seas. Through establishing a set of methodologies and recommended practices, DNV aims to improve safety during ship operation by means of continuous monitoring and analysis of onboard safety systems in general. Implementation of the results of this project will lead to improved safety and reduced incidents over a ship’s lifetime, as well as provide the foundation to help operators build and sustain a strong safety culture. 


Learn more about the SEAMAN project

(external site in Norwegian)

SEAMAN - Enhancing shipping safety

Continuous monitoring and analysis of onboard safety systems