Alert Series


And here is the last, closing issue of the Alert Human Element Bulletin. That was a truly great project running nearly twelve years. The forty issues of the Alert bulletin all available here, comprise around 350 articles from the stakeholders across the shipping industry supplemented with twenty one instructional videos. It is really difficult to summarize the content of all forty issues in a single publication.

However, the authors have tried to make a sort of final message. First of all, note that the duly designed vessel and all systems on board shall meet all operator needs, they shall be easy to use and maintain and shall of course be reliable. The health taken together with the welfare and wellbeing of the crew members is a matter of utmost importance for the ship safety.

Another critically important aspect is the competency and professional experience of all people on board and their training. In addition, ship designers, seafarers and managers shall pay attention to the fatigue management. Moreover, another key item is effective communication providing safe and successful operation of any vessel. In short, just ear in mind that safe, satisfied, trained and motivated seafarers will eventually prove a best asset of any shipping company.

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This penultimate issue of the human element bulletin is devoted to the risk management. In the twenty-sixth issue of Alert the focus was made on the fundamentals of the IMS, i.e. integrated management system. The serious demand for the effective processes and working systems related to the health and safety, quality and security as well as environmental awareness was underlines - they shall be combined with the established good working practices.

Numerous amendments have been made to the content of the ISM Code since then and one of them was introducing the changes in Section 6.2 of the Code requiring companies to ensure that each of their vessels is duly manned to maintain safe operations on board. In fact, manning issues can present quite serious risks therefore due attention should be paid to the safe manning principles.

Some guidance on proper interpretation of the safe manning principles has been provided within thirty-second issue of our bulletin. The ISPS Code, in turn, is covering the general aspects of shipboard security plus security in ports; however, the content of this Code does not address such newly introduced risk as cyber attack which should also be considered.

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One of the last issues of Alert bulletin devoted to the human element and its importance for safe ship handling, safety of people on board and their wellbeing. This is one of the important aspects of the shipping industry and in the present volume we will focus on the health, wellbeing and welfare of the crew.

The impact of the MLC 2006 which is now supported by the relevant ILO Guidelines for Implementing S&H Provisions of MLC 2006 brought these subjects to the fore and emphasized the right of every crew member to a secure and safe working place complying with the established safety standards.

They also deserve fair employment terms and decent conditions of living and working, health protection and medical care as well as welfare measures and everything else required for social protection. Some of the aspects have already been addressed in the Issue 13 - Fatigue, Issue 17 - Accidents and Issue 17 - Health and Wellbeing.

The seafarers shall be not only physically but also mentally fit to cope with various demands of living and working on board such as loneliness and irregular contacts with family, language barriers, and many other things that can make it difficult and eventually affect their wellbeing since they are stressors...

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This issue of Alert bulletin is focusing on the operability, referred to as the controllability combined with the workability, maneuverability and accessibility. They often say that if you ask ten masters how they would prefer their navigation bridge laid out you will always get ten completely different answers. And, if you ask ten chief mates about the design of the cargo control room of their vessel you will likewise get ten different answer.

Same situation will be there if you ask ten chief engineers about the preferable machinery control room layout. And there is nothing surprising in this since, due to many reasons, each human has some own preferences for the design and arrangement of the control spaces since this would directly affect the way in which this person receives the information and processes it, reacts to various alerts and alarms, and manages all controls commonly associated with the numerous systems and instruments concerned with the safe navigation of the vessel.

Though it is obviously not possible to pander to all personal preferences, it is still necessary to determines what is required from the designers of the ship in terms of various user requirements as well as of the required functionality of shipboard systems.

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Another issue of the Human Element bulletin, this one is devoted to the ergonomics and maintainability. Note that subject matter has already been partly addressed in the previous issues of Alert, such as the Issue 3 - Ergonomics and Issue 7- Design and Usability.

Making the vessel and the systems on board ergonomic is making them fit for the crew members operating them rather than fitting people to the vessel and the systems, which, unfortunately, is often the case. The accidents occurring at sea commonly manifest themselves in many different ways, for example lack of attention, operator error, or poor ergonomics.

Should insufficient attention be paid to the maintainability during the design of the ship and systems, this can eventually result in such issues as slips, trips and falls (addressed in the Issue 17) and many other problems. The risks stated above can be mitigated through the human-centered design of the vessel since well-designed one will meet all needs of the operator and will be easy to use and maintain; what is the most important, it will be reliable. have a look in this issue of Alert to have better understanding of how important the maintainability and ergonomics are.

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This issue of Alert bulletin is devoted to the Habitability. The very first impression in most cases has a long lasting effect on any person joining a vessel, that is why provision of good accommodation facilities is very important, and this is what the present issue of Alert is focusing on.

The purpose of Reg. 3.1 of Title 3 of the MLC 2006 is to ensure that the accommodation facilities are safe and decent. In one of the previous issues of the bulletin and associated video the Habitability has already been addressed. It is very important that all working spaces on board vessel are clean, comfortable and convivial, since the vessel environment directly affect conditions in which crew members work and rest.

Therefore the vessel shall be designed and built with the seafarers in mind and it is truly incumbent upon operators to make all above stated arrangements complying with the established and acceptable standards for both workplace and habitability on board. Regular inspections shall be conducted by the Master of the vessel in order to ensure that the highest standards are complied with. In addition, the Master shall conduct all require follow-up actions to rectify any deficiencies...

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This issue of Alert Human Element Bulletin is devoted to the fatigue, offering some good thought related to the safe manning of the vessels as well as mitigating the most frequently occurring fatigue effects together with the other important risk factors. The content of this issue is expanding the topic addressed within the previously released issue also dealing with the fatigue, and associated video.

The booklet starts with the short guide used for proper interpretation of the main safe manning principles. Human errors have been implicated in most of the maritime casualties. The play major role in grounding and collision cases. This has prompted to EU to conduct thorough investigation of the human factors directly relating to the working conditions and workloads contributing to the shipping accidents.

You will find some results of the subject investigation in this document and this information may help in prevention of such accidents in the future through avoiding the situations that may lead to the fatigue of the personnel and eventually to the serious consequences such as casualties. Since this directly affecting safety of the vessel's crew we recommend you to have a close look in the study.

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This is the human resources-related issue of our bulletin. Throughout the last three issues of Alert, the authors have been focusing on the matters influencing the interaction between people as well as between people and machines or systems aboard vessel. We have performed through examination of all potential causes and effects of the fatigue and offered some effective solutions for mitigating it.

The importance of establishing effective communication has been stresses; we have also explained the best ways to avoid complacency. We have touched the design of the vessels and seafarers' rights for decent living and working conditions on board their vessels, emphasized the critical importance of professional training, technical skills, practical experience and competence, and cautioned our readers against ineffective management systems.

In short, we did our best to provide coverage of all important aspects of human life and work on board. And now we will be trying to discuss human resources. It is important to have right number and correct mix of people having required competencies as well as familiarity with the vessel to achieve the desired effectiveness of the vessel and avoid any accidents...

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