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ABS: Industry-Leading Study of $246m of Injury Claims Offers New Shipping Safety Insight

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ABS, the American Club, and Lamar University are calling on industry to advance the cause of safety at sea with more comprehensive requirements for injury and near miss reporting.

The call follows an industry-wide project analyzing more than 12,000 injury records with a financial cost of $246m and a further 100,000 near miss reports from the ABS and Lamar Mariner Safety Research Initiative (MSRI) and nearly a decade of data from the American Club.

The research offers unprecedented insight into accidents at sea but inconsistent data along with a lack of consistency and comprehensiveness have led the project team to urge industry to adopt a comprehensive new standard for maritime injury reporting.

“Nothing is more important to ABS than the safety of the men and women working at sea. This project offers a deeper insight into how and where seafarers are being injured and highlights what industry can do to take our understanding of safety to the next level,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

The research reveals how injuries sustained while lifting or in slips, trips/falls are the most frequent at sea, with more than 1,300 in this study’s dataset. American Club data records these cost in excess of $85m for the period. The average cost per incident exceeds $65,000: lifting incidents averaged $48,000; falls and trips averaged $88,000; slips averaged $56,000. Looking at costs and anatomical locations, the two most costly body locations were the head and neck, averaging just over $100,000 followed by the back and torso at $66,000.

Joseph Hughes, the Shipowners Claims Bureau’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “Shipping is currently navigating through a digital era in which asset owners are increasingly able to use the power of operational data to predict potential failures. As those capabilities grow, the industry would be well counselled to get ‘smarter’ about how it compiles and uses its safety data.”

“This industry, academic, and class partnership provided valuable insight into the impact of injuries across the maritime industry. This is another tool to provide better solutions to help prevent the occurrence of maritime injuries,” said Dr. Brian Craig, Lamar University, Dean of Engineering and Co-Director of the Mariner Safety Research Initiative.

A report summary is available here.

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Gareth Lewis
glewis@eagle.org

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