Maritime risk and safety management with focus on winter navigation

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Maritime transport is commonly categorized as one of the riskiest industry sectors. In Finnish sea areas, the risks increase during winter navigation when ships have to navigate in sea ice conditions. In order to support and ensure the integrity of people, ships, and environment during winter navigation, different safety and risk management strategies are developed. Risk management aims at developing methods for detecting, analysing, mitigating, and controlling the risks threatening the safety of winter navigation. Safety management aims at establishing and promoting organizational practices for planning, implementing, reviewing, controlling, and improving the safety performance of winter navigation. This thesis provides a review of the current safety performance of winter navigation in Finnish sea areas and proposes alternatives to control and improve it. To this end, the thesis first provides understanding and evidence of the risks threatening the safety of the winter navigation system. Ship collisions during ship independent navigation and ship collisions in convoy operations in medium and severe ice conditions are identified as the accidents with highest risk. These identified contexts are the basis for developing a model that analyses the risk of collision during winter navigation. The model combines the analysis of the role of humans in the execution of the operations and operational aspects of the performance of ships in ice conditions. It is used as a risk management tool that proposes risk control options and assesses their potential efficiency for supporting and improving the safety performance of winter navigation. The assessment of the risk control options points out the need for improving and simplifying safety and risk management in the planning and executing of winter navigation operations. In particular, there is a lack of coherent safety management systems that would enable practical adoption and application of regulatory demands, ensure their suitability to actual operational needs, and determine coherent safety key performance indicators. Based on this, the thesis offers a method for executing a systematic application and performance measurement of the requirements contained in maritime safety management regulations. Moreover, the thesis introduces a process for designing maritime safety management systems based on a system engineering approach and proposes a tool for reviewing safety performance. Through a case study, these proposed alternatives are combined for designing a safety management system for one of the main responsible actors controlling and ensuring the safety of ship navigation. This case study makes a representation of the advantages in the management of maritime risk and safety, with a special focus on winter navigation.
Translated title of the contributionMaritime risk and safety management with focus on winter navigation
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Kujala, Pentti, Supervising Professor
  • Goerlandt, Floris, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-7454-2
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7453-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • risk management
  • safety management
  • Finnish-Swedish winter navigation system

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