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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Conflict between safety and security measures

There are several conflicts between safety and security measures, on different levels.

I would guess that the most common is the safety regulation versus security risk, were a safety regulation with good intentions is formulated in way so that it is too prescriptive (i.e. the intention is lost in technical details not always applicable) and makes procedures unnecessarily complex onboard. These complex procedures will then increase the security risk by making security measures hard to get in place at the right time and drowning security issues in administrative safety work.
Another one is the fact that safety hazards often are the same for the ship and the security threat. For example; making it easy and safe for the crew to embark also can enable the threat with easier access to the ship or sailing in good weather also makes it easier for the threat to come close.
In my research I come across a lot of these challenges between safety and security. They are seldom big problems and so far not a big problem by them self. Often the crew find ways to work around the problem and no changes are “needed” higher up in the organization. However, on a system level, these challenges between safety and security is a proof of that safety and security analysis is performed separate from each other and are therefore a symptoms of one of the big limitations with the security work performed today: it is not mature enough to meet the results of the safety analysis.
The only way to find the right mix is to do safety and security analysis in the same way…


  1. Has there been any research done on this topic? Quite interested while writing a thesis concerning this problem?

  2. I've not seen such research. I've been included in such discussions regarding both civlian ships and military ships, but they are often based personal experience without systematic support.