IMarEST Addresses, Human Element: Safer Crew and Vessel Operation

3 mins read  Sealuminati TeamJuly 1, 2021

The event which happened on Thursday 1st July 1, 2021, from 1300 to 1430 IST, organized by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Training (IMarEST), started with a welcome address given by the event session chair Ms. Kate Bollanou, who is an executive coach and trainer in the maritime industry. She has done her MSc in Shipping and Commercial law from Southampton Solent University. The session addressed one of the most important parts of the whole Maritime industry that is, the crew. In the pandemic times, due to harsh restrictions, the mental health of the seafarers was one of the most discussed topics, around the globe. Apart from this the industry being one of the most challenging and demanding, the safety onboard these heavy floating structures, remains a persisting concern.

This event discussed many important factors which affect the human element on the ships, that is the crew. Some of them were topics like safety, time pressure, small space management. The event opened with the presentation on the topic The Human Element, Safety Culture, and the ISM Code in Maritime Safety. It was presented by Mr. Eric Holliday, the CEO of FISH Safety Foundation. The FISH Safety Foundation is a non-profit organization promoting safety in the fishing sector. His presentation insightfully discussed the Safety Management Systems onboard the ships and their compliance with the ISM code. He also brought out the current problems the SMS is facing, that is after 20 years of its introduction to the industry, safety is still a concern. He concluded with his convincing ideas about the ‘Just Culture’ in the safety domain of the industry.

The next presentation was on the topic “Time Pressure: A Titanic problem in the Shipping Industry”. It was presented by Mr. Martin Shaw, who himself is the MD at MOAMS Ltd, which is a consulting organization. Prior to this, he was also involved in several seagoing careers and was an executive in a major shipping company. The presentation insightfully addressed the time factor in the industry which creates an extra load in the minds of the crew which consequently results in the majority of fatal accidents onboard the ships. He also several surveys regarding the accidents on the ships and, convinced the audience, that the time factor is an important reason for those accidents.

The third and final presentation of the session was on the topic “Safety Culture”, it was presented by Capt. Panos Stavrakakis, who is the head of organizational health and wellbeing at the Health and Safety Executive Research Centre. He also served the Hellenic Navy from 1989 to 2011 as a Naval Engineering Officer. Through his presentation, he defined what a safety culture means. He also established the fact that Safety culture is a part of the overall company culture and thereby brought out the poor company culture which is prevailing in the industry. He then showed how the tool developed by his company HSE, the Safety Climate Tool can help in establishing the appropriate safety and company culture in any shipping company and thereafter on board the vessel.