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The Human Element in Container Shipping


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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7 Criminalization of Seafarers in the Event of Maritime Accidents and Ship-Source Environmental Pollution. The Necessity for Fair Treatment: Prof. Dr. Henning Jessen


117 1 The Problem “Should I go down with the ship, or should I rot in jail – A modern master’s dilemma”.1 Seafarers are trained to do everything in their power to avoid pollution of the marine environment, collisions or all other types of troublesome maritime incidents. Moreover, it is the explicit objective of modern maritime conventions like the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code) to establish a “safety culture” and various shipping companies apply their own “best practices” at a very sophisticated level of safety and security.2 However, there is sometimes a big gap between shore-based management safety pledges and the relevant perception of seafarers in practice. 3 Additionally, as a number of dramatic events of the past decade have made evident, any action that could cause damage to the marine environment or a third party, whether intentional or by accident, could lead to seafarers being blamed directly and being held accountable for the consequences of the relevant incidents.4 In the event of maritime accidents, especially in the follow-up of devastating marine casualties with a negative environmental impact, usually national investigations are started with the objective of identifying both the ultimate cause of the accident as well as responsible individuals and entities. In these 1 Quote taken from: Chalos, M. G. (2004), p. 1. 2 The ISM Code has been implemented under Chapter IX of the SOLAS Convention 1974, for further details see Mandaraka-Sheppard (2009), Chapter 8 (1.3.4). 3 See Lloyds List, 4 May 2012, “Seafarers cynical about management...

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