May 012010


Currently the term  ‘human error’ is being bandied about with regard to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe so the latest issue of International Human Element Bulletin Alert! is rather timely in covering the often-ignored corporate area of the human element.

“Human error may well have started at the procurement or chartering stage – if little consideration has been given to ensuring that the ship and its crew are really ‘fit for purpose’, or indeed, if that ship is ‘“fit for the crew’” says HE Alert!

“Corporate Social Responsibilities have become one of the mantras of our age, a measure of an organisation’s willingness to take proper account of the health, safety and welfare of its employees. But we have also become aware of the fact that these responsibilities are shared between direct employers and also all those who have an interest in the proceedings – the ‘stakeholders’, as they have become identified.”

Human Element Alert! looks at shared responsibilities and show that all these links in the chain of responsibility are important, and need to be considered. Safe, sustainable and dependable shipping depends upon all those interests considering their own contribution to the end result. It is not much use the operations department doing their job, if they are being undermined by the financial rug being pulled from under them, or the owners’ efforts being hazarded by ignorant or unscrupulous charterers.

Contributors like Lloyd’s Register’s Richard Sadler, suggests that those at the top in our industry have an obligation to improve the social conditions of seafarers, and Anglo-Eastern’s Captain Pradeep Chawla, argues for a more realistic attitude to costs. Clay Maitland urges a ‘climate of inclusion’ for seafarers. There are contributions from all the links in the chain of maritime responsibility. The Alert! centrefold summarises the responsibilities which those in the financial, underwriting, P&I, broking and chartering communities need to remember as they undertake their specialist work.

Says HE Alert! “We need to consider these shared responsibilities and recognise that CSR is a lot more than producing some nice words on a policy document.”

The PDF version of Issue 22 of the Alert! Bulletin is now available for download from:!_23.pdf

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