Over the last years there has been a steady increase of accidents and near accidents related to the maritime sector. Groundings and collisions with fixed objects in confined waters, due to high speed or lack of manoeuvring skills, are significant.
Collisions between ships and between ships and offshore installations, onboard fires and environmental incidents like breach of bunkering procedures are increasing as well.
What is the role of the human factor in this? Do we really understand the human factor at all? And how does the human factor apply to owners, operators of ships and how do professional mariners understand the concept of human factor?
To understand human behaviour, we have to comprehend the human in three interactions; human to human, human to technology and human to organizations, in another way, the HTO elements.
Human factor is to see humans in interaction with its biology, physiology and psychology. Why did we do wrong, and why didn’t we see or understand the obvious? Why didn’t we hear the alarm? All these factors are in our brains.
Human factors concern the working environment, organization and leadership, factors of the jobs, individuals and teams, which influence the way we do things.
“Human error” should rarely be the conclusion of an incident, but rather the start of an investigation revealing underlying causes.
The human factor involves our ability to understand how we safely and efficiently can integrate our knowledge and capabilities with the always advancing technology and increasingly complex maritime operations, whether it is operations on ships, offshore installations, sub-sea or in ports.
SMSC believe that accidents can be drastically reduced. Advanced simulators can be used extensively to identify best practices. Furthermore, good training scenarios which address error management before performing complex maritime operations and include assessment of operational competency will contribute to building a higher barrier against unwanted chains of events. In other words, proper operational procedures and processes, combined with real time simulation training of operational skills, communication and teamwork, makes it possible to dramatically reduce the risk of human involvement in errors.
At SMSC we dedicate ourselves to creating any complex maritime operation into an advanced simulated environment for training & skill enhancement. We believe in “learning by doing” under supervision of professional instructors and assessors who will take all aspects of human factor into account during the teaching, training, debriefing and assessment.