Category Archives: Papers

Personal protective equipment: Managing safety or exercising control?

Post Image

Sir’, he said in a pale voice. ‘It was 59 degrees in the engine room that afternoon and I took my helmet off. Not for too long, sir, just a few minutes. I was standing under the blower to cool my head. And then this safety of­ficer comes to me and starts shouting. “Why are you not wearing your helmet? […]

Read More

Thirty years on: In search of broken components

Post Image

Introducing barriers has become a standard response to managing safety risks but it is not necessarily the most appropriate one. 

Read More

Imaginary checklists and defensive procedures: When safety tools serve another purpose

Post Image

Questions about procedures, checklists, their adequacy and effectiveness are frustrating to many of us across industries. The popular belief – An accident happened because procedures were not followed. But could it also be that the procedures could not be followed? This is  a theme that we explore in this article. Click here to read more. 

Read More

Bad seamanship: Is that so?

Post Image

Weighing options Dismissing the actions of crew involved in an incident as ‘poor seamanship’ ignores the myriad commercial and regulatory pressures that they operate under  Words: Nippin Anand Picture the scene: The Hoegh Osaka has just departed from the port of Southampton, at which point the master calls up the mate and says that the ship did “not feel right”, […]

Read More

Did you spot the elephant in the room? The non-sense of performance indicators and metrics

Post Image

Combining human efforts with technological advances to deliver services faster, better and cheaper has been a core ambition of management science (if there was such a discipline!) — at least since the start of the industrial revolution. But over time, machinery tends to wear out and men become lazy and complacent. Both need to be managed, not least for efficiency […]

Read More

Light Bulbs, Red Lines and Rotten Onions: Debunking the Myths of the Safety Management Systems

In January 2015, the pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) Hoegh Osaka developed a severe list on departing from Southampton, and was left stranded outside the port for more than 19 days. The official investigation revealed how decision making became the victim of production pressures. The vessel sailed from port without determining accurately the stability conditions upon completion of cargo.

Read More

When Less is More: Managing Safety in Time Critical Operations

Post Image

The article examines an accident investigation report and provides an alternative to the conventional ‘human error’ approach to managing safety in time critical operations in the maritime sector. 

Read More

Boxing and Dancing: The Challenges of Enforcement in Global Shipping

Post Image

In recent years, the spread of inspections and other forms of enforcement (audits, surveys, vetting, assurance etc.) has reached a stage of ‘explosion’ both in terms of scope and frequency. There is a real concern that the enforcement regime, i.e. compliance with rules, regulations and industry standards, has fallen victim to its original intentions of managing safety risks. Many seafarers I […]

Read More

Accidents at Sea: Causes or Constructs?

Post Image

If limiting liability trumps real action on vessel safety, then astute lawyers and shrewd solicitors should make a better choice than safety departments.

Read More

Lost Control, Just Stay in Command: What it Means to be a Ship Captain?

Post Image

The previous year witnessed two experienced ship captains being humiliated and eventually criminalized. Accidents, with no evil intentions, were turned into acts of crime. So strong was this perception that even veteran captains and the so called ‘experts’ within the profession found it difficult to understand the ‘erratic’ behaviour and ‘selfish’ actions of the captain in one case, let alone […]

Read More