"I believe that one of the
fundamental reasons why so many accidents occur is because the human factor
is consistently ignored"
Rear Admiral John Lang, Chief
Inspector UK MAIB
of the human factor in the corporate governance of any industry should be
obvious to all. And how much more crucial this is in the hazardous
environment of marine transport, where skill and professionalism are required
to co-exist with an unforgiving sea.
For years it
has been recognised that "human error", directly or indirectly, has
been responsible for the vast majority of marine accidents, but curiously,
the human element has tended to be positioned well down on the list of
priorities, with regulatory efforts focussed upon the structure and equipment
of ships and their operating criteria. Perhaps it has been considered too
hard to tackle the human element; easier, by comparison, to regulate the
2001: Corporate Governance in Shipping :
The Human Factor, the latest in a series of high level quality
shipping conferences, attempts to tackle human factors head on, with a
carefully developed programme concentrating on the importance of people and
their contribution to the quality and safety culture. Previous events in this
series of meetings have focussed upon the shared responsibility for shipping
safety, the regulatory response to safety demands, risk based solutions and the
development of incentives for best practice and quality shipping. But all
these strands can be traced back to the human factor, and it is this feature
which the meeting on 29-30 October will strongly emphasise.
There is no
doubt at all that human factor issues have become both urgent and
It is urgent
because of the manning crisis which faces the industry, a consequence of a
failure to recruit and train in the 1980s , the ageing of the seagoing
workforce and difficulty in persuading good people to seek a seafaring
career. It is urgent because of raised expectations for shipping quality and
safety, public intolerance of any marine accident and the sheer cost of
mistakes and maritime aberrations.
It is topical
because of current attempts to raise the skill level of the maritime
workforce through the STCW Convention and the IMO "White List"
procedures. Topical because of the perception that standards are
declining and there are too many people "out there" who are inadequately
trained and insufficiently qualified.
Mare Forum 2001
will once again bring together those who can influence these elements of the
industry , to identify the problems and propose strategies for dealing with
them. It will examine the role of regulators, trainers and educators,
employers and marine professionals of every type. It will propose
practical solutions that will tackle human element difficulties head on.
The Conference Organisers look forward to
welcoming you to the Mare Forum 2001 Corporate Governance in Shipping, The
Human Factor, and wish you success during the conference.
Head, Maritime Transport Division
Dutch Ministry of Transport
For further information on the conference please
Rotterdam - The Netherlands
+31.10.2057455 Fax: +31.10.2055655
Head of Transport
Dutch Ministry of
Pieter van AGTMAAL
of Netherlands Shipowners
Union of Greek
Admiral Robert C. NORTH (RET.)
Star Maritime, Inc.
President and Managing Director
CERES Hellenic Shipping
Director, Logistics and Maritime Transport,
Dept. of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, UK
Workers’ Transport Federation
DET NORSKE VERITAS
Cees van der SLIKKE
AON Marine Energy
& Construction Insurance Brokers
Dr Hans PAYER