Risk-based Ship Design
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Risk-based Ship Design


A DOR (Design, Operation, and Regulation) for Safety – or in short SAFEDOR – is the name of an ambitious initiative towards an integrated project supported by European Commission. SAFEDOR targets the topic “risk-based design and approval of ships” and its goal is to enhance safety through innovation to strengthen the competitiveness of the European maritime industry. Eight European organizations representing all major stakeholders of the maritime industry have taken the lead to shape this proposal: Germanischer Lloyd AG (chair), Carnival plc, Danish Maritime Authority, Det Norske VeritasAS, International Transport Workers’ Federation, IZAR Construcciones Navales S.A., SAMElectronics GmbH, Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.

The objectives of SAFEDOR are:

  • Develop methods and tools to assess operational, extreme, accidental and catastrophic scenarios, accounting for the human element, and integrate these into a design environment
  • Develop innovative technologies for safety-critical equipment to support safe operation
  • Establish a risk-based regulatory framework to facilitate first principles approaches to safety
  • Produce prototype designs for European safety-critical vessels to validate the proposed methodology and demonstrate its practicability

Risk-based design is a formalised design methodology that integrates systematically risk analysis in the design process with 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 turnimplies focus on risk-based operation and need for a risk-based regulatory framework. All threeelements will be addressed within SAFEDOR.

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. On the other hand, the same approach will inherently 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 for a successful risk-based design is to useadvanced 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.


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