The safety of seafarers has always been important to those of us who work in the industry, but the way we achieve it is changing. Predictive modelling is enabling more and more shipping companies to sail our seas safely. Every single day, incidents are being avoided and risks are being eliminated, thanks to anonymous data sharing and the use of sophisticated data analysis and predictive modelling.
What is predictive modelling?
Every maritime voyage generates mountains of valuable data. This information is kept in many different formats and spread across databases and departments. Once this is collated, it is run through a predictive model to highlight real threats to seafarers. Predictive modelling works by combining the day-to-day experiences of seafarers – the ‘weak signals’ – with statistical analysis to see where small issues are likely to lead to catastrophic incidents. This modelling allows shipping managers to act much earlier and make small adjustments with a big impact.
Let’s look at some real examples of predictive modelling in action. It has only been used in shipping for the past few years, but it has been making its mark on other industries around the world for decades. After the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in 1999, the industry formed the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) to implement effective data sharing. The incident was caused by issues with signal visibility, which had been flagged numerous times but had not been addressed. The rail sector saw the need to create a central safety database to prevent future accidents.
The RSSB collects data from every rail company in the UK and uses it to achieve safer practice across the industry. The organisation pinpoints the issues causing serious incidents and equips companies with the resources they need to reduce risks. As a result, accident rates have dropped significantly.
So, who provides the data?
Over 50 of the world’s leading shipping companies anonymously share their data with HiLo in return for in-depth risk analysis. Some of the biggest names in the industry are committed to making our seas safer for everyone by providing their full internal safety data, including incident logs, audit reports and unscheduled work orders. This system is automatic, with no need for classification or standardisation, so HiLo receives every piece of safety data collected from over 4,000 ships.
Predictive modelling is used to assess data and calculate risks, enabling shipping companies to take action and limit danger to lives, the environment and their bottom lines. The more businesses who offer their data, the greater the benefit for the industry. Anonymous data sharing allows companies to learn from one another, turning everyday data into invaluable insights that can save lives.
In return, HiLo Risk Management delivers tailored reports to shipping companies, pointing out potential risks to their fleets. To give an example, based on the risk and size of its fleet, HiLo predicted for one company that 15 individual fires would occur, which were likely to be a result of various different leading events. Subsequently, the company ran a safety campaign to manage the risks highlighted by HiLo, and fires were reduced from 15 to just two. In other words, because the company acted on the leading events identified, they stopped the weak signals from becoming fires.
What makes HiLo different?
With 20 times more data than the leading incident databases, HiLo Maritime Risk Management are a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the safety of those who work at sea.
HiLo was founded in 2016 as a Joint Industry Project to answer the question ‘is there anything we can do to predict and prevent shipping accidents?’ These high impact, low frequency (hence HiLo) events are notoriously difficult to predict and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of seafarers. HiLo revolutionised risk analysis, using never before exploited data and a first-of- its-kind maritime statistical model to empower shipping companies to save the lives of their crew.
Because HiLo are non-regulatory, maritime companies can anonymously share their data without the threat of penalisation for mistakes. HiLo’s secure portal gives businesses the chance to learn from near misses and incidents in the industry without risking their own confidential data. In the last four years alone, the team have analysed risks for approximately 4,800 ships and 150,000 events.
How HiLo save lives at sea
HiLo’s CEO, Manit Chander, has been with the company since the very beginning. Chander spent almost 20 years working at sea and has dedicated his career to the safety of seafarers. As HiLo are independent, they are free to focus exclusively on what’s always been their mission – using predictive modelling and data sharing to reduce the risks for seafarers.
HiLo Maritime Risk Management is saving lives in the shipping industry by hanging the way companies understand and address risk. HiLo translates near miss, accident and incident data from its customers into a comprehensive risk profile for each company and the HiLo fleet as a whole. Armed with this information, companies using HiLo analysis can stop catastrophes in their tracks.
HiLo has also launched CUPID [Community Powered Ideas Dashboard], a subscriber forum for mariners to share tried and tested solutions to the highest risks in the industry. By connecting the industry with high quality safety information, HiLo has empowered a community of people passionate about saving the lives of seafarers and provides them with the resources to do so. This is a unique innovation which builds on Predictive Modelling, using big data and valuable insights from experienced mariners who have faced near misses, incidents or accidents in shipping.