14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 4 — MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT

Here is another, fourth issue of the newly founded Alert bulletin addresses following important aspects of the today's shipping industry - Crew endurance management; The seven needs of the mariners - competence, attitude, motivation, happy and wealthy lifestyle, safe and secure working environment, self actualization and, of course, moral values; another topic is named "Maritime Education & Training providers take the initiative"; Endurance risk factors, Seafarers with Spirit, People; Communication; Seafarers' wellbeing; A research agenda; Principles of safe manning.

People are the most important asset and ships working at sea always need good, duly qualified and properly motivated personnel in order to operate well. Nowadays, efforts are made to introduce the use of the latest technologies into so many aspects of ship design and operation with the aim to reduce manning costs and levels, which would improve operations. This has been one of the core topics contained in the present issue of our bulletin. Have a look and, who knows, maybe you will find something that can be used during your everyday work and improve the safety. This interesting booklet is to be supplemented with this short video.

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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 3 — ERGONOMICS

Our project is continuously developing and we are now ready to introduce the third issue of the popular International Maritime HE Bulletin. Among the most important topics addressed in this one there are human errors, shipboard maintenance, the case for a decent design, designing to fit the user, an ergonomic nightmare, improving ship operational design, ergonomics, training and competence, the human element in pilotage, prevention through people - an overview, some relevant accident investigation reports and case studies also included.

As it is now obvious than most of the accidents happening in the shipping industry result from the human error and relatively few of them are rooted to the technical failure of the equipment, it is becoming more and more important to pay the extreme attention to the human factor as the main cause of the incidents.

Such errors may be done at the design stage or during the new construction, as well as during the operation and/or maintenance of any of the vessel's systems or equipment. Again, we are trying to find the ways to get the number of incidents caused by human error reduced, this is the most important yet most difficult aim... Supplemented with this short video film.

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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 15 — AUTOMATION

Here is the fifteenth issue of he Human Element Bulletin addressing the important matters related to the automation. The topics that have been dealt with by the authors of this release include trust and dependability of ship automation, increasing the manageability of the automated alarms, perspectives of the chief engineer, automation, electronics officers and STCW Convention, staying cool in the liquid natural gas business, mitigating human errors in the use of automated systems that are installed on board marine vessels, meeting various operator's needs, breakdown of the machinery and fire that can subsequently occur onboard a container ship, and others.

The systems that are installed on board ships are protected with the very rigorous standards for design, and redundancy, as well as with the feedbacks activating the alarms. Both reliability and efficiency of subject shipboard systems can be significantly decreased if they have not been properly set up and if they are not duly maintained including regular monitoring - and all these tasks are to be performed by the seafarer, i.e. the human element of the system. The technological revolution that occurred in the past decades totally changed the way of interaction between people and systems. In the today's shipping industry, such human element became an endangered species, and that is mostly because of the increasing number of automation arrangements... This booklet shall be supplemented with this short video.

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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 14 — COMMUNICATION

Another release of the Human Element bulletin. This one has been dedicated mainly to the effective communication matters, treating this as the key to successful operations. We all know that the ability of the human to convey the information properly, by means of verbal communication or in writing is critically important since it not only directly relates to the safety of the crew, passengers of the vessels and visitors, but also affects the wellbeing of the people on board. It may seem that the English skills of some seamen is too bad that they experience problems when trying to communicate between themselves and with the agents.

The IMO SMCP was specifically prepared with the intention to get round this problem and trying to avoid such misunderstandings caused by the language barrier... obviously, this might cause major accidents and shall be avoided. Well, one of the keys to the improvement of the verbal communication is recruiting the seafarers having the basic understanding of the language in use on board, and also continuing education - learning and control of the training process through regular testing.

Apart from this issue, the quality of shipboard documentation has also been addressed in this release of the bulletin, together with culture and communication, alarm system management, paperwork, visual signals etc. Supplemented with this video.

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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 10 — REGULATION

In this tenth issue of the Maritime HE following interesting and relevant topics have been highlighted - Culture of compliance - The seafarers as stakeholders - Safe manning - Maritime safety regulations save people's lives - The human face of regulations - Intent versus implementation - An administration's view - Good working practices always give good results - What is new... Well, we all definitely require certain regulations to be there in order to be able to ensure secure and safe shipping, to set the common standards for the design of ships and their systems, as well as for operational procedure and training. It is in human nature to break the rules at times. And this can be even unintentional or because the person is simply not aware of the rule.

However, sometimes it can be done intentionally, for instance, it can be a result of the huge commercial or operational pressure. In all cases, it is important to understand and always bear in mind that we take a certain risk when we are breaking the rules - this, in turn, may and will lead to the hazardous incident, especially if done repeatedly. According to the statistic data, the majority of the accidents are resulting from the human errors and failings... This training video may be used for better understanding.

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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 11 — INTEGRATION

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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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 17 — ACCIDENTS

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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14.07.2017
ALERT — ISSUE 7 — DESIGN AND USABILITY

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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