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.
The Japanese classification society NK published earlier this year 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. Despite training and instruction of crew members accidents occur that are attributable to confusion or ignorance in the operation of equipment. 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 to prevent human error, explaining causes and giving advice on information displays, prevention of wrong operation, improvements in operability and working environment. An interesting section titled countermeasures gives advice on risk assessment and how to analyze accidents and malfunctions to determine the best course of action to remedy the cause depending on the severity and (re-)occurrence.
To illustrate practical aspects of the guidelines, the publication includes a number of detailed reports of marine accidents, ranging from a broken gen set con-rod to falls with fatal consequences. Their cause is identified and showing how changes could be made to prevent their recurrence. Good reading for anyone concerned with ship design or operation.
 
 
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