Financial crisis affecting shipping safety performance

Oslo: Updated figures from DNV for 2008 show that losses from navigational accidents within the shipping industry are continuing to increase. This trend is also confirmed by the insurance industry which describes 2008 as a “black year for catastrophes”

DNV monitors the annual frequency of serious accidents. Over the past six years, there has been an increasing incidence of serious navigational accidents in several shipping segments. This is confirmed by leading insurance companies. Collisions, groundings and contact accidents now account for 60 per cent of the most costly accidents. Ola Skauge, Director of Client Services Norwegian Hull Club, said: “In the previous year we noticed a significant raise in claims frequency which hit ship owners and insurers hard. Now the financial crisis is battering us, adding even more challenges to the maritime industry. It is in these times responsible players emerge and investments in safety excellence are proven right. Norwegian Hull Club support the Class’ pro active efforts to send some warning signals, and we expect determined and long term ship owners to continue to focus on safety also amidst the financial turmoil. Cost cutting may be a necessary operational exercise, but cutting corners and losing safety focus will surely jeopardise a sustainable shipping industry.

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