Offloading regulatory responsibilities

Below. An interesting article on an accident in Australia highlighting the “self regulation” pitfalls. It seems people want to make money, but no one wants to get dirty, so they offload the responsibilities onto others. – Martin

‘Hands-off’ safety board blamed
From Fairplay 14 December 2007

BRISBANE 14 December – A board of Inquiry report into the Wunma incident, in which an Australian ore carrier was abandoned in Cyclone Nelson, has slammed Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) for its excessively “hands off” approach to regulation. “The Queensland government should consider whether legislative, administrative and financial arrangements have led to a system of self-regulation, and, if so, whether such a system serves the public interest,” the report concluded. “Beyond the [ship] registration stage, MSQ has a restricted view of its powers as a regulator,” the report declared, saying that this was demonstrated in MSQ’s powerlessness to insist on a cyclone mooring for Wunma, despite the fact that two senior MSQ officials had voiced safety concerns. The 494-page report also highlighted what it saw as weaknesses in the self-discharger’s ability to shed excess storm water, and identified various operational and “systemic” failures that led to Wumna taking on water and losing power when it was hit by the cyclone in the Gulf of Carpentaria in February. Reasons for the incident included the lack of a sheltered cyclone mooring and the inability of the ship to offload cargo to shore – meaning the ship took to sea in a loaded condition when a tropical low was threatening. There was also a failure to obtain current weather information by e-mail or satellite phone. The report seems sure to renew debate over the regulator’s role in achieving optimal maritime safety.

You can read the full report here.

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