A serious incident can take months or even years to resolve. Even once the investigation is complete, post Incident Management is vital to ensure a favourable outcome.
The potential outcomes of a serious marine safety or pollution incident might include:
- prosecution by the regulatory authorities for offences, such as unsafe operation of the vessel or discharge of a pollutant into the sea
- suspension or cancellation of licenses or authorities, such as certificates of operation for a vessel, or a certificate of competency
- other enforcement options, such as improvement or prohibition notices that prevent the operation of the vessel until certain criteria are satisfied
- civil litigation arising out of an incident, including by claimants who have suffered loss and damage as a consequence of the incident
- in the event of a very serious incident involving death, a coronial inquest is likely
- investigation by the relevant safety investigation organisation, such as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
- employment and industrial relations issues, including potential disruption from concerned employees
- business disruption flowing from recommendations from investigators or compliance requirements
- review of an incident outcome to ensure that safety management systems and business continuity procedures are updated and revised.
Each of these possible outcomes requires careful incident management to ensure that risks are appropriately managed, costs are minimised and disruption to business is low.
At Pacific Maritime Lawyers, we have extensive experience in managing post-incident outcomes, and invite you to Contact us to arrange a consultation.