The process of integration of the Human Element into a complex system a like putting together a puzzle. Some of the components involved are readily identifiable and easy to be linked together. There are, however, others that are not so obvious, and it takes a certain amount of'trial and error'to fit them into the right slots until, eventually, the whole picture is complete.

A ship comprises of a number of component parts (systems) each of which will have some effect on the overall performance of that ship. The extent to which a system will have such effect will depend on how critical it is to the safety of the ship and to its crew. Some systems may be fully automated, but they will still require a degree of intervention from the seafarer, whether it is to set the initial tolerances or to respond to alarms. Some may require direct seafarer input for their operation and for their maintenance.

Others will require humans to interact with other humans, and some may be driven by 'outside influences' such as the environment, other humans, or technology. Furthermore, the shipboard environment requires seafarers from a variety of cultural backgrounds to work, socialize and live harmoniously with one another. Use this short video as the supplement.

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One more release of Human Alert Bulletin. This one is dedicated to the accidents. Today, slips and trips, together with the falls account for the major portion of the occupational accidents occurring on board vessels, and there is so much evidence of that. And we would not say that it is very surprising, taking into consideration the environment in which people work aboard ships.

The risks may be coming from literally everywhere including but not limited to the slippery surfaces, e.g. decks, rolling and pitching movements of the ship, various moving objects like hatch covers and cranes, confined spaces, hot works, oils and greases, chemicals, noxious and dangerous substances, and so many others. The owners and managers of the ships are obliged to ensure that the above stated hazards are reduced to the reasonably practical level.

However, many seamen would be ready to tell you about the design weaknesses of the vessels that led to falls and slips. Moreover, numerous accident reports are telling about people who have fallen from height, i.e. platforms, ladders and masts. It is therefore very important to pay attention to the design features and also to keep them under review throughout the whole working cycle of the vessel. Supplemented with this video.

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The issue no. 7 of the Human Element bulletin. In this release, as it is implied by its title, the authors have included the most important and relevant articles to address the usability principle as applied to the maritime industry, the role of the ISO, designing of the usable vessels, a human-centered design (i.e. HCD) approach to ship and design approach, definition and principles of the "good design" of ships and their systems, valuable feedbacks from the users modulating the designs etc.

The booklet includes some information on the designing the world famous Queen Mary 2. Every vessel in the world consists of a number of systems and each of these systems has its own purpose; the systems can either form a component part of another (larger) system or operate alone. Since the reliance upon complex systems in merchant vessel operations is increasing, certain constraints and demands are placed on the human element, which is an extremely critical feature of all aspects of the design or operation of any ship or her systems. In addition to all stated above, as usual, there are some investigation reports and studies included in this release of the bulletin. Better if supplemented with this video file.

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In many parts of the world recognition of competence is a necessary professional requirement for employment, career development and, unfortunately, liability insurance. As interest in the Human Element grows, not least in response to the awareness raised by Alert!, there will be a need for recognition of competence in the skills related to the science and practice related to addressing Human Element issues in the marine context. Traditional professional bodies, such as the Ergonomics Society and Psychological Societies, emphasize academic qualifications as necessary entry requirements.

For such bodies, technical experience that contributes to recognition is centered on the application of particular technical skills, rather than experience in a particular sector of industry. Sector experience, in this case experience in the marine sector, is not taken into account. In any new area of application of the sciences and techniques related to the Human Element the individuals with the responsibility and interest to address these issues will come from a range of backgrounds including, in the case of the marine industry, ship's officers, engineers, surveyors, designers, office staff, academics, etc.

A coherent professional body of knowledge may or may not emerge, depending on the depth of the requirement and the novelty of the treatment of the Human Element in the sector. What is required in terms of professional recognition is a scheme that recognizes a range of academic backgrounds and gives due regard to experience and achievement. Supplemented with this video film.

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Another release of the Human Element bulletin, and this one is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of people who are working at sea. Since so many of the systems on board ships are dependant on human involvement to some extent, we need to consider this link as a potential frailty that requires to be under periodic monitoring and management.

It is very important to keep the mariners healthy and happy since this will definitely result in the safe and commercially efficient of the vessel. In the fourth article of the MLC Convention it is emphasized that every seafarer is entitled to the right of working in a safe and secure working place complying with the applicable recognized safety standards, as well as to fair employment terms, decent conditions of living and working on board, protection of their health, and other forms of protection. It means that the owners and managers of the ships are obliged to provide their employees with secure and safe working place, and comply with the requirements of all relevant regulatory documents.

This can be done through encouraging of the safety culture and security awareness, provision of adequate benefits to the employees, establish and maintain the working policy of openness and good communication, and everything else that is required. The present issue of Alert is supplemented with this short training video.

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Here is the another issue of the popular Human Element bulletin. The key topic is the rogue behavior. Unfortunately, there is no any single and, at the same time, effective solution to the problem of rogue behavior.

However, the actions that could be undertaken in order to avoid the negative effects, may include providing the safe and secure working environment, that should also be usable, as well as proper living and working conditions plus the terms of employment. Another way to do that could be the encouragement of a healthy lifestyle and establishing the reasonable balance between the people and the job that is required for the ship to be operated in a safe and effective way.

Then, one of the additional options would be ensuring the required consistence in the education and recognized standards relating to the vocational training by means of the specific training, noting the job, operational role as well as the operating pattern of the vessel, together with the environment in which the ship would most likely operate, conducting the continued professional training on board the ship, including the analysis of the lessons that have been learnt from the AIRs, i.e. accident investigation reports, and providing of the most clear yet concise instructions as well as technical and operation manuals... Better if supplemented with this short video.

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One more issue of the Alert. Nowadays, the image of the shipping industry in the eyes of the general society is not that good, rarely hearing any positive news. People are, instead, usually informed of the vessels in difficulties in stormy conditions, groundings and pollution of the surrounding environment.

They are commonly told about the maritime piracy taking place in some parts of the world ocean, ship masters jailed for misdemeanor etc. People who are familiar with the maritime internet resources read the articles berating the current state of the shipping industry, and the life at sea, in particular.

For sure, there will be numerous comments concerning the over-regulation, excessive paperwork and constantly increasing number of checks, reduced manning of ships, fatigue problems, owners not caring about the seafarers and not investing any part of their profits in the human element. It is not said everywhere that the maritime industry is a high-tech one, and that is because, regardless of the level of automation introduced into a vessel, there is always a need for human to keep that vessel operating.

These is also a demand for pilots and ship managers, marine surveyors, regulators and investigators of the accidents, experts and all other specialists, all of whom should better e coming from seafaring backgrounds. Use this short video as a supplement.

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Alert issue no. 21. Throughout all last twenty issues of the Bulletin, the author have tried to emphasize the significance of the human element to operating the vessels in a safe and effective manner; the proper communication between all players to ensure the fitness of the ship for the intended activity is also very important.

We have also touched such the critical aspects of ship operation as the requirements applicable to the secure and safe working environment, fair employment terms, decent conditions of living and work, etc. The discussion of the topics listed above was intended to serve the ultimate goal, namely to ensure the safe conduct of the vessel and safe/timely delivery of the transported goods. We would like to underline the importance of the timely, accurate and relevant information and feedback to the successful design and subsequent operation of any vessel.

Another important issue is the information management involving the storage and processing, as well as transmission and input/output of the information. Nowadays, major part of it is undertaking using the so-called IT, i.e. information technologies - the application of computers, software and communication for the information management, dissemination and processing. This booklet shall be supplemented with the associated video film.

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