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safety-alert-operations

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[Alert! The Nautical Institute, Lloyds Register, Educational Trust, VIDEOTEL] [Issue 9: Operations] [Its time to stop pretending...] Hello and welcome to this issue of Alert! [STEPHEN HENRY] The forum for discussing a whole range of human element issues in the maritime industry. One of those issues is absolutely key, the need for ship owners and operators to recognize the needs of the end user, the seafarer, during the design and build stages. Maybe you don't need to think about people when designing a ship or get rewarded for not involving them during build. But nobody can pretend that ships can operate without them. But our ships are increasingly complex, and a high price is often paid when critical systems fail. And we're not just talking about dollars and cents, we're talking about human life. But in most cases, ship systems are protected by strict design standards and tolerances, by redundancy, and by feedback processes. These will ultimately activate and alarm of some sort, will take corrective action. But the performance and wellbeing of the crew are also critical. And although they are protected by standards and codes, such as STCW, ISM, and ILO, there's a problem. Seafarers don't come fitted with gauges and alarms. If the manning policies are not realistic, if the watchkeeping patterns are not workable, then the seafarer might well become fatigued and eventually worn out. If there's no feedback process in place through education, effective communication, and a positive safety and company culture, then the seafarer will not be able to recognize when he or she becomes worn out. We need to start putting things together, we need to understand that the efficiency and reliability of seafarers will be undermined if the ship itself hasn't been designed and built to purpose. Or if they haven't been provided with appropriate training, easy to understand procedures, and clear instructions, so they can safely operate the ship systems, or if there are no appraisals, no mentoring, and no regular health checks, or if they're not following a healthy lifestyle. The ship is a dangerous place, and it's the responsibility of ship owners, managers, and operators [DAVID SQUIRE, FNI Editor ALERT! ] to develop proper procedures and maintenance programs, and to ensure that their seafarers are properly trained. [Communication skills are vital to safe ship operations] When it comes to safe ship operations, as the title suggests, communication skills are vital. A powerful tool for understanding, cooperation, and action, but communication can also make us confused and frustrated. With a mixed group, communication becomes more of a challenge since very often the message is sent but not the same as the message is received. A situation not helped by the fact that, in some cultures, people speak what they mean, while in other cultures, people do just the opposite. There is no doubt, the poor communication can and does cause accidents, loss of life, environmental damage. It is an increasing concern for ships' crews, owners, and operators. [Stress at sea] Stress at work is probably the most neglected area of injury. Again, it's something that could affect the safe operation of the ship. Yet, how many doctors during a medical examination ask a seafarer about living and working conditions, the environment, the hours, and the workload? How many seafarers complain of harassment by officers or of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion etcetera, how many complain about bullying or intimidation? Now if the answer is none, then we need to ask why. And the chances are it's because employers simply don't have, as part of their grievance and disciplinary policies, the procedures in place to educate, to prevent, or complain. There is a commonly held feud that the image of the industry needs to be improved by promoting it, quite rightly, as the driver of global commerce. But we need to look at more than just the public image. Good ship operators understand the benefits of a well-trained, reasonably paid, and well-respected crew, and they need to make life more difficult for those operators who do not. That's all for now, visit the website if you want to look at this issue in more detail. You can read what other marine professionals from around the world have to say on the subject. Until next time, take care. [If you are in any way involved in the design operation or support of ships and their systems,] [you have a role to play.] [All the Alert! bulletins can be downloaded from the Alert! website.] [www.he-alert.org]

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Posted by: maritimetraining on Apr 16, 2018

safety-alert-operations

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