May 102010

heA consortium led by the UK Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has launched The Human Element: a guide to human behaviour in the shipping industry. Put together by organisational psychologists, the guide shows how human behaviour is at the heart of the shipping industry, generating its successes and its failures. The guide provides insight, explanation and advice to help everyone involved in the global shipping industry manage the human element more safely, more effectively and more profitably.

Says the Standard Club: “(We) became involved in developing the guide as we felt it would be an important industry initiative that would benefit all involved in the shipping industry.

“Analysis of continuing shipping disasters has increasingly implicated the human element. The loss of life, the impact on company profits and credibility, and the vast environmental damage that can result from the loss of even a single vessel remain clear and present dangers.”

Aimed at everyone in the shipping industry – from ship designers to ships’ crews – the guide explains fundamental aspects of human behaviour, which together constitute what the commercial maritime sector calls ‘the human element’. It makes clear that the human element is neither peripheral nor optional in the pursuit of a profitable and safe shipping industry.

The guide clearly shows that managing the human element must take place simultaneously at all levels of the industry – from deep within the engine rooms and decks of the smallest cargo ships, through company boardrooms to the international conventions of the International Maritime Organisation . In the end, it is the strategies and policies of shipping executives and regulation makers that shape the space in which ships and their crews operate.

The guide offers insight, explanation and advice to help manage the human element more effectively. Captain David Turner of the MCA, and head of the development project said, “In the shipping industry, human behaviour is the true secret of our success. But it also makes us the victims of our failures. This guide shows how to navigate a course between the two – resulting in increased profits and better safety for all”.

Based on a wide range of consultations with maritime organisations, the guide was produced by organisational psychologists, gs partnership ltd, for consortium partners UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, BP Shipping, Teekay Shipping, and the Standard P&I Club.

The Human Element a guide to human behaiour in the shipping industry

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