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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Impact of people on maritime safety addressed in new initiative

The Nautical Institute launched a three-year campaign this week to raise the awareness of human element issues as they apply to the commercial maritime industry. Supported by Lloyd’s Register, the project aims to help operational decision-makers across all disciplines understand the relevance of these issues and to offer guidance on how they can apply human element principles to their areas of influence in a practical manner. Human error costs the maritime industry over USD500 million a year, according to latest figures from the UK P&I Club.

Introducing the project, Alan Gavin, Marine Director of Lloyd’s Register, said that there is currently no defined body of knowledge concerning the human element that is acknowledged as ‘correct’ within the shipping industry. Therefore there is a need for a broad, sustained approach, devoted to increasing awareness of human factor issues and encouraging marine professionals – officers, engineers, ship designers, builders, managers, operators and surveyors – to adopt good practice and effective tools and techniques when they address the human element in their everyday work.

This initiative is a major new project for the Nautical Institute. Captain Robbie Middleton explained that modern technology has revolutionised the way in which ships are operated, but lack of attention of the human-system interface in terms of design, layout, integration of systems and training in their use is the root cause of many accidents today. The key for improvement is the close involvement of all stakeholders to ensure that a ship is ‘fit for purpose’.

It is evident that the human element remains very significant in ship operations, design and maintenance. However, it is also clear that the impact of people on maritime safety is not understood sufficiently by all members of the maritime community.

The initiative will bring together knowledge from interdisciplinary sources in the maritime human element field and disseminate it through the publication of a quarterly newsletter ‘Alert’ and a corresponding website covering i.a. ship operation, design, engineering, regulations, and training. An online database has been incorporated into the site to provide a structure for holding information about human element issues pertinent to the shipping industry in one location with a comprehensive search feature. An interdisciplinary advisory group has also been formed which includes i.a members of INTERTANKO and the Chairman of the IMO Human Element Working Group.

Contact:Sally Woulfe