In recent years there has been a steady increase in accidents and incidents in the maritime sector. Groundings and collisions with fixed objects in confined waters due to high speed or lack of manoeuvring skills have increased significantly. Collisions with other ships or with offshore installations, onboard fires and environmental incidents are also increasing. What is the human factor in such incidents?
Do we really understand the human factor at all? How does the human factor apply to owners, operators of ships? 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 - often referred to as "the HTO elements". Human factor is to see humans in interaction with its biology, physiology and psychology.
Why did we make the wrong decision? Why didn’t we see or understand (what in hindsight is) the obvious? Why didn’t we hear the alarm and act accordingly? The answer to such questions are mostly found in the way the human brain works in a given situation. The human factor concern the working environment, the organization and its leadership, the tasks at hand, individuals and teams, and thus 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.
Problem: The human factor affects our ability to understand how we safely and efficiently can integrate our knowledge and capabilities with the ever advancing technology and increasingly complex maritime operations - whether this is in operations on ships, offshore installations, sub-sea or in ports.
Solution: SMSC believe that the number of accidents can be drastically reduced. Advanced simulators can be used to develop best practices and to train on using them. Furthermore, good training scenarios that 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.