Risk assessments in the Norwegian aquaculture industry: Status and improved practice
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAquacultural Engineering. 2018, 83 65-75. 10.1016/j.aquaeng.2018.09.002
The Norwegian aquaculture industry has the potential to become the country’s leading ocean industry in the future. More than 99% of the produced biomass is Atlantic salmon and trout. Norwegian fish farming is characterised by operations that are susceptible to changing weather, wind and currents, and face challenges in terms of safety for fish, personnel, environment and material assets. Previous research and accident analyses reveal an incomplete knowledge of risk factors during aquaculture operations. In order to raise standards of safety in the workplace, operators need to be aware of the challenges to safety in their work environment. The objective of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status of the implementation of risk assessments in the Norwegian aquaculture industry, according to Norwegian legislation and compared with recommended requirements in the Norwegian standard for risk assessments (NS 5814). This standard largely follows ISO 31000 for risk management. We also propose, test and evaluate an improved approach to risk assessment that will ensure stronger operator involvement. Our findings demonstrate that there are several gaps between the current practice and the standard. At the present time, operator involvement is not sufficient according to the regulatory requirements of internal control. Although the approach improves critical steps in the risk assessment procedure, it remains to be implemented in the fish farming industry.