Oct 052014

We are pleased to announce that Bob Couttie, administrator of Maritime Accident Casebook since 2006, has been appointed as one of twelve ambassadors for the joint confidential reporting programme of the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) and the Nautical Institute’s Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme (MARS). The programme enables seafarers to report hazardous conditions, situations and accidents without fear of their identity being known.

Says Couttie: “Reading serious accident reports it is clear that in most cases there are unrecognised, unnoticed situations that either lead to an accident or show underlying problems that lead to accidents. Many seafarers are aware of these problems but have either reported them and been ignored, fear losing their jobs or just don’t know where to go to report it. This programme not only gives them someone to go to but will also protect their identities so they can report with confidence.

“We fully support the initiative and are exploring ways in which we can bring our own resources to bear on it. By reporting the incidents seafarer may stop an accident happening.”

While ambassadors themselves do not file reports they can advice on how to report. A list of ambassador can be downloaded here.

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  2 Responses to “MAC Admin Appointed Ambassador for CHIRP/NI MARS Joint Program”

  1. Great news ,but how can anyone or any organisation maintain confidentiality?
    If a certain safety issue is brought to your attention on a specific fleet or even vessel, the issue potentially has already being raised via the workplace, exposing individuals, is there some protection via legislation to protect those who expose wrongdoing?

    • CHIRP has been in operation since 2003 with over 800 reports reviewed, investigated and lessons learned published for the safety of seafarers. There has never been any case where there has been any loss of confidentiality of information from the report writer or the companies involved. All reports are read by the Director Maritime. Each stage of the enquiry is discussed and agreed with the reporter.
      All reports we receive are processed to ensure the reporters’ identities are kept confidential; likewise the details of those who take action to remedy the problem are not shared with the reporter. The lessons learned from the reports are included in our publication “Maritime Feedback” past editions are available in pdf format from our web site. (www.chirp.co.uk) When reports are presented to the Maritime Advisory Board for their comment and expertise, none of the members can identify the vessels or companies involved – it could even be one of their own company and they would not know.
      On closure of their report, personal details are not retained in our database and are returned to the reporter or destroyed .
      Reporting serious breaches of regulations will require notification to flag state but only the name of the ship is given. The lowest number of crew onboard a confidential report was 4 and nobody knew where the report came from.
      CHIRP Aviation was formed in 1982 and has circa 300 reports p.a. There has never been a breach in confidentiality. The CHIRP process is widely admired and accepted, we have recently worked with the Medical profession following up an enquiry to create a system for operating theatres.
      With this level of experience and clearly defined process that is rigorously applied by a small number of professional staff.
      Using the established systems CHIRP and MARS, then reporters should have no concern over their exposure as a result of a breach in confidentiality.
      I trust this addresses your concerns and may we look forward to see a report from you in the near future? Please use our encrypted web site https://www.chirp.co.uk/reporting-Mform.asp

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