“Holding on to tight" - is procedural compliance overriding "good seamanship"?
Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet), 2019
Shipping as a very diverse domain. Seagoing vessels are sociotechnical systems that comprise
a large variety of ships tankers, cruise liners, container ships, bulkers, tug boats, military
vessels, fishing boats, sailing on the high seas and along coasts and rivers. Most of the vessels
in international trade rely on international rules, codes and regulations. The technical,
operational and commercial differences are enormous and this is recognized in the preamble to
International Safety Management code (ISM)”...no two shipping companies or shipowners are
the same, and that ships operate under a wide range of different conditions...”. However, the
implementation of the code follows an industry best practice approach striving to be compliant
thus resulting in a dangerous conformity. Talking to practitioners, there is a growing frustration
and detachment as procedures are not adjusted to their actual everyday working life.
The advancement of technology has brought changes to the design and operation of ships. The
need to exercise care when introducing change is recognized by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO). Trade efficiency and cost cutting have been driving this change leading
to an imbalance of the impact on personnel on board. With smaller crews and new technology,
the need for training and coordination increases but there is a reluctance from the industry to
invest in training that is not mandatory through international rules or guidelines. Further, despite
the acknowledgement by IMO of the human element as being the last safeguard in maritime
operations, there is a lack of an understanding for the positive contribution of personnel onboard
to operational safety.
This presentation will address two different examples on how to create safe and efficient ship
operations using the concept of joint activity. The cruise industry has, with recognition from
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), adopted a policy with recurrent training and
assessment working with harmonized standing operating procedures, technical systems training
and efforts ensuring good teamwork. The tanker industry has, through the Oil Companies
International Marine Forum (OCIMF), a Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) that focus
the awareness on the importance of meeting satisfactory tanker quality and ship safety
standards. Finally, these examples and especially the implementation of the efforts made in
relation to the idea of procedural compliance and a resilience perspective, will be discussed.