Continued environmental focus in 2020

  • Published: 24/09/2019

The Norwegian Maritime Authority’s focus area for 2020 is the environment. This is a continuation of last year’s focus, and is a result of identifying a need to ensure that initiatives taken have a greater impact before a new focus area is chosen.

Surveyor on board a fishing vessel
Each year, surveyours are provided with dedicated campaign checklists, which they bring with them to the inspections. This year, environment is the annual focus area.
PHOTO: Sjøfartsdirektoratet

Effective environmental work takes time to complete

"There are various reasons why we have chosen to continue our environmental efforts. Effective environmental work takes time to complete. Several of the initiatives the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) is working on are related to regulatory matters, and we need sufficient time to ensure optimum implementation. We will therefore continue to focus on the environment in 2020", says Lars Alvestad, Acting Director General.

Work in the focus area

The NMA’s main areas of responsibility are the safety of life, health, the environment and material values ​​for vessels flying the Norwegian flag and foreign vessels in Norwegian waters. In order to achieve the best possible results, it is important for the NMA to set priorities.

As part of this work, the NMA carries out an annual risk assessment of the fleet. This assessment is partly based on the accident status, fleet composition, movement pattern, audit findings, reports from the Accident Investigation Board Norway and reported concerns. In addition, the NMA has invested considerable resources in conducting a survey of maritime personnel, which has resulted in more than 10 000 responses.

The NMA's focus area should permeate the entire organisation and serve as a guide for how we work. A specific example of this is the surveyor’s checklists. Each year, surveyours are provided with dedicated campaign checklists, which they bring with them to our inspections. This is an important and specific part of our efforts to set an annual focus area.

 

Determining the annual focus area

Three main deliverables result from the risk assessment. The first deliverable is an updated assessment of accident risks for various Norwegian vessel categories. This enables each department in the NMA to make a risk-based prioritisation of tasks within its unit.

The second deliverable is a comprehensive causal analysis of events with a particularly high risk. These causal analyses form the basis for our risk prioritisation. The causal analyses start by identifying an undesirable event, and subsequently seek to find all direct, indirect and underlying causes of the event. This work helps the NMA to identify critical patterns of action where measures can be established.

The final deliverable is the NMA’s focus area. On the basis of the risk assessment, we put together an interdisciplinary group of experts who provide input on the NMA's focus area. The industry, represented by both employer organisations and trade unions, is also invited to participate. Input is prioritised and raised within the NMA's management team which subsequently decides on the focus area for the following year.

Future environmental initiatives

At the start of September, the NMA held a workshop on environmental challenges, where approximately 100 experts from a number of different sections took part. The participants were divided into groups and were given the task to examine various issues related to the focus area. The topics raised in the group work included chemicals, reception facilities, ship waste, sewage and energy efficiency. This group work will form the basis for several specific environmental projects at the NMA during the coming year.

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