This paper discusses a new approach for applying the Systems Thinking concept and techniques to risk assessments for multi-functional offshore support vessels (OSVs) to address safety considerations associated with service combinations which have, so far, not been the main focus of attention. Diagrams are used to reveal the interactive relationships between different functions of OSVs. A précis of the finding are provided in the form of a matrix with a series of notes discussing the logic behind the diagram and the table for possible functional combinations. These will help designers, shipbuilders and ship owners by providing insight into ways of understanding concerns so that they can be addressed early in the planning stage. It also will provide tools and suggestions to operators to use to help mitigate the risks associated with operations that they may consider engaging in simultaneously. The goals of this paper are:

  1. to introduce and demonstrate application of a new methodology – Systems Thinking - into the field of marine and offshore engineering;

  2. in using the process, increase the awareness of the practical risk associated with the multi-function combinations through descriptions given in the notes.

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