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A Risk Assessment of a Novel Bulk Cargo Ship-to-Ship Transfer Operation Using the Functional Resonance Analysis Method

[+] Author Affiliations
Lauchlan J. Clarke, Gregor J. Macfarlane, Irene Penesis, Jonathan T. Duffy, Shinsuke Matsubara

University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia

Ross J. Ballantyne

Sea Transport Corporation, Queensland, Australia

Paper No. OMAE2017-61535, pp. V03BT02A019; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 3B: Structures, Safety and Reliability
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5766-3
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Risk assessments underpin a maritime operation’s safety management system. When applied to an untested concept a risk assessment can also assist with overcoming resistance to new technology. This paper proposes the functional resonance analysis method (FRAM) as a tool for developing design recommendations and fulfilling the safety management objectives of the ISM Code. The FRAM is applied to benefit the floating harbour transhipper (FHT), a novel concept for the transhipment of bulk commodities. The FHT acts as a large floating warehouse with an aft well dock that provides shelter for a feeder vessel. The FHT’s materials handling equipment transfers bulk cargo from the feeder vessel onto its own stockpile or directly to an export vessel moored alongside, or from its stockpile to the export vessel.

Most risk assessment tools focus on identifying and addressing system components that can potentially fail. With the FRAM however, the scope, direction and recommendations are guided by a practical understanding of the variability of work undertaken rather than preconceived notions of potential failure modes. Adopting a method based on maximising resilience rather than minimising the causes of accidents promotes a shift from a blame culture to a safety culture. Applying the FRAM generated a deeper, broader and more transparent understanding of the FHT transfer operation than what would have been achievable using traditional risk assessment tools. This understanding was used to develop recommendations designed to improve the resilience of the FHT operation.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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