|Maritime IncidentsInternational Maritime Organization|
|The sea has always been a potentially hazardous and dangerous working environment. Yet, ship operators today have new factors and new pressures to contend with. The structure of the global marketplace requires that goods and materials be delivered not only to the geographical location where they are required but also within a very precise timeframe. Today, goods in transit are carefully factored-in to the supply chain and, as a result, the transportation industry – which embraces both shipping and ports – has become a key component of a manufacturing sector which sets its store by providing a complete “door-to-door” service. As a consequence, safety and efficiency have now, more than ever before, become two sides of the same coin: accidents are not only undesirable outcomes in themselves; they also have a negative impact on the supply chain that is at the heart of the global economy. |
The International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s role is to ensure the highest practicable, globally acceptable, standards that will improve maritime safety and security and, at the same time, help prevent marine pollution. Shipping in the 21st century is the safest and most environmentally benign form of commercial transport.
Commitment to safety has long pervaded virtually all deep sea shipping operations and shipping was amongst the very first industries to adopt widely implemented international safety standards. From the mid-19th century onwards, a number of international maritime agreements were adopted. A treaty of 1863, for example, introduced certain common navigational procedures that ships should follow, when encountering each other at sea, so as to avoid collision, and was signed by some 30 countries. And the infamous Titanic disaster of 1912 spawned the first Safety of Life at Sea - or SOLAS Convention, which, albeit completely modified and updated, and nowadays within the responsibility of IMO, is still the most important international instrument addressing maritime safety today, covering, among others, such areas as ship design, construction and equipment, subdivision and stability, fire protection, radio-communications, safety of navigation, carriage of cargoes (including dangerous cargoes), safety management and maritime security.
printed on 2013/05/23 09:31:57