The human element and the ways in which it can be measured will be an important challenge in the smooth implementation of the SIRE 2.0 on tanker safety, experts seemed to agree during the 2022 SAFETY4SEA Virtual Forum, in October.
aunched by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) in 1993, the Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) is an inspection programme aiming to improve safety of tankers by ensuring that oil majors maintain safety standards in shipping.
While the current SIRE programme uses a standardized questionnaire, SIRE 2.0 will be based upon a risk-based questionnaire that will more accurately report on the quality of a vessel and its crew (on an ongoing basis) and indicate future likely performance, using enhanced tools, strengthened governance processes and more in-depth reporting outcomes.
SIRE 2.0: Challenges for operators
From the operator’s perspective, a difficult “puzzle” to figure out will be choosing the right time for the inspection to take place, the right port, etc., as well as the training of their crew, said Consultant Capt. Mark Bull.
We have not been used to this kind of inspection and this human approach, so it is our responsibility to ensure that there is a more effective crew familiarization both prior to and upon joining a vessel,
…added Capt. Charis Kanellopoulos, Safety, Quality & Vetting Manager / DPA, Sun Enterprises Ltd.
“The workload also will be really significant with the amount of pre-inspection work that has to be done, both by the compilation of the PIQ (Pre-Inspection Questionnaire) by the collection of any updated photograph certificates, PSCs incident reports that have to be done by the operator, etc.,
SIRE 2.0: Challenges for inspectors
A key difference between the former SIRE and the SIRE 2.0 is that the inspector will have to spend quite a lot of time interviewing both the officers and the ratings, which is happening for the first time, noted Abhijit Ghosh, Marine Manager, Ardmore Shipping Services (Ireland) Limited. This will require engagement skills by the inspectors, to make sure that the crew is comfortable talking to them.
“That’s the area of concern for us because…the crew are pretty nervous facing the property inspectors onboard and…the inspector is going to spend probably with four or five or more number of ratings and not just talking to them but also asking them to perform certain tasks…I think that’s going to be one of the biggest challenges,
Another main challenge will be the training of inspectors to show a fair assessment of the human element while also having the technical abilities to use the tablet
…added Lennart Ripke, Director Sales, Green-Jakobsen.
SIRE 2.0 implementation will bring many challenges for the inspectors who will be under strict control by OCIMF, stressed Capt. Kanellopoulos. More specifically, inspectors will have to:
- Carefully review already uploaded data prior to going aboard.
- Ensure that this notional time is assigned to each person. Since there will be 100 questions, it is important to ensure, e.g., at least five minutes and not just quickly pass a question for 30 seconds and then jump to the next one. This will also be verified by OCIMF.
- Follow the context of the table level. All the steps that they have to do, even GPS location, will be benchmarked with the other inspectors in the area. They will not be able to delete observations as they will be under full control.
- Make a fair judgement based certainly on the professional experience about the competence of the officers.
SIRE 2.0: Challenges for crew
In addition, the stress factor will be significant for the crew members, specifically from ratings’ perspective, as they are not used to being interviewed and scrutinized that much, noted Mr. Ripke. Another one will be that crew will be forced to undertake more responsibilities because, at the end of the day, the master is still responsible for the vetting result.
How could the transition from SIRE 1.0 to SIRE 2.0 become smoother?
In this respect, a key way forward for the industry will be to become able to convince the crew about the positive side of this transition, said Mr. Ghosh.
“I think it would be good if we would have a more gradual implementation of the human element survey, so essentially speaking, top to bottom. And obviously, when you have established it in your offices, to have a review, look at what you’ve learned, what needs to be adjusted and simply ease the stress on the lower ranks that are absolutely not used to bearing that much responsibility as a master or a chief engineer,
…added Mr. Ripke.
“It is a huge critical importance to any operator that they are able to analyze the report with the same degree of fineness that anybody else is. Depriving an operator doing this is self-defeating and not what OCIMF would want. So, we would ask for all the information needed to be released through operators, so they can build automation in their system to make the collection of the pre-inspection, all that information that needs to be put in some kind of a hub to be able to submit it without a huge amount of pressure from either the ship or the officer,
…argued Mr. Savage.
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