Why do people make mistakes?

By Keith Henderson at August 04, 2010 15:53
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Mistakes cause accidents. That is the inevitable sequence of events and we humans are the people making the mistakes, but why? What are the reasons that people make mistakes? NK’s guidelines covers how to prevent them, it focused mainly on design of equipment and operator training. Why people make mistakes? - some opinions and answers were given during the June 2010 Members Day of the marine insurance organization Swedish Club. Firstly the world crew shortage estimated at 50,000 seafarers isn’t helping the industry. Good relations, communication and training are conducive to people making the right decisions yet having the confidence to challenge questionable decisions. Capt Gustav Groenberg of Star Cruises, Malaysia pointed out the importance of recruiting the right people, offering them good working conditions to motivate and retain them. Peter Groenwoldt, MD of Harren & Partner Ship Management, Bremen’s opinion is that the reason for a mistake is always, without exception, human error caused by: lack of or poor training, ignorance or an over estimation of their skill and experience. Martin Hernqvist, MD of the Swedish Club Academy touched on the sensitive issue of culture on the individual’s ability to challenge mistakes and unsafe acts quoting the Power Distance Index as a measure of different cultures and their behavior.


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Human Error & Accidents

By Keith Henderson at August 04, 2010 08:03
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The Japanese classification society NK published a 42 page booklet titled “Guidelines for the Prevention of Human Error Aboard Ships”, with the sub heading “Through the Ergonomic Design of Marine Machinery Systems.” According to the guidelines, man-made causes are said to account for 80 per cent of all marine accidents. The guidelines stress the importance of standardization in operating, control, methods, indicators, labeling and color coding to reduce confusion, avoiding the situation when crews familiar with a procedure on one ship are faced with opposites in procedure on another ship. To this end ergonomic design plays an important part so that operation of equipment is easy to understand and logical (even though logic differs by culture). A chapter covers design considerations and recommendations and there is an interesting section titled countermeasures giving advice on risk assessment and the best course of action to prevent (re-) occurrence. The publication includes a number of detailed reports of marine accidents and how to prevent their recurrence.



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