The JH 143 – Shipyard Risk Assessment form is a tool insurers can use to find out more about the yards they would like to insure.
Ship repairing is an inherently hazardous operation. Hot work in tanks previously used for carrying crude oil or chemical products emitting explosive or toxic fumes, inflammable liquids, paint and cleaning solvents in enclosed areas, flammable industrial gases, electrical hazards through welding or electrically operated equipment in wet environment, lifting and transporting all kinds of loads, working on scaffolding, areas with inadequate ventilation or lighting, transfer of liquids on board, x-ray work, slip and trip hazards, airborne contamination through blasting and painting, all create a hazardous environment where a potential risk is continuously present.
The increase in shipbuilding activity took its toll on insurers and the market was hit by several major claims – especially in the earlier stages of the boom, from late 2002 to early 2004. During that period a number of claims, totaling approximately USD 740 million, hit the insurance market, whilst total world-wide premium for all new-buildings was believed to be in the range of approximately USD 125 million.
Something was terribly wrong and needed to be corrected. The claims prompted insurers to take corrective measures; as such losses could not be sustained by the relatively small builder’s risks insurance market. In particular, the fire on board the DIAMOND PRINCESS triggered a greater interest in yard safety, security and loss prevention management, methods and organization.