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Utility Navigation

Small Boat Program

Safety & Risk Management

Risk is inherent in any small boat operation, where the possibility of accident and injury is a constant presence. Operational Risk Management (ORM) is designed to help crewmembers assess the risks involved in any operation, evaluate the consequences of a unfavorable outcome, and pre-stage mitigation specific to each risk identified.

The goal of NOAA Small Boat Operational Risk Management is to support the highest level of safety and environmental stewardship among the small boat community.

Operational Risk Management is actually the formalized name for an ability we use in everyday life, often without consciously thinking about the process. If you’ve ever hesitated to cross a street at a complicated intersection, then you’ve used all the steps found in a good risk management plan.

The goal of Operational Risk Management aboard a small boat is to:

  • Identify the risks involved in your operation
  • Consider the consequences that could stem from each bad outcome
  • Decide if the consequences are acceptable or unacceptable
  • If the consequences are unacceptable, either mitigate the risks, or stop operations

For NOAA small boat operations, a complete Operational Risk Management plan has two elements:

  1. A formalized document that catalogues all possible risks, called an Annual Risk Assessment
  2. A document used to make daily go/no-go decision, called an Operational Risk Assessment

To report an near miss or accident, use the SECO reporting link. Log into the secure site using NOAA email credentials. The reporting link is on the right hand side under "Report Accidents and Hazzards."

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Reviewed: December 5, 2016. Contact us with page issues.

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