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The Human Element in Container Shipping

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Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.

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6 Human Error in Shipping: Katrin Ewert

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105 1 Introduction Human error is generally referred to as the predominant cause of marine casualties. This comes as no surprise, as the maritime industry despite its excessive technological advances still remains and will remain a people’s industry. The objective from the accident investigator’s point of view must therefore be to identify impacts on human behaviour and develop safety actions that help in preventing future casualties. 2 Marine casualty investigation Whenever serious marine casualties occur, several investigations are carried out by all different kinds of interested parties: the ship’s operators, insurers, classification societies, the police, the flag State and/or the coastal State as well as third parties (e.g. cargo interests). Each investigation has its own agenda, with the results being used in different ways as shown in Figure 1. Although States might also be carrying out administrative procedures by way of maritime boards, this article reflects on the safety investigations as stipulated by the IMO in the Casualty Investigation Code (CIC1) only. As shipowners, operators and insurers understandably tend to keep their internal accident investigation reports confidential, collecting sufficient and comparable data for an accurate cause analysis poses a great challenge. The database for this article was therefore generated from worldwide State investigation reports published online in English by national investigation authorities2 in the years 2010 and 2011. These investigations generally take one year to completion, which is why the respective investigators have more time on their hands to 1 Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a...

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