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Afternoon Seminar

The Importance of the Human Element in Shipping

Commodore David Squire, CBE FNI FCMI

       On Thursday 21st October 2004 at the Vinson Room, Pacific Place Conference Centre, Commodore David Squire, presented a talk on the subject: "The Importance of the Human Element in Shipping"

       Dr. S.Y. Tsui, the Director of Marine was presented with Honorary Fellowship of The Nautical Institute by the President of the Nautical Institute, Dr. Philip Anderson, at the commencement of the seminar.

       Developing technology has revolutionised the way in which ships and their systems are designed and operated, but there still remains the need for human involvement at some stage or other, no matter how much "automation" may be introduced. Wherever there is a human interacting with a system there is a Human Element issue. Lack of attention to the human system interface, in terms of design, layout, and integration  of systems and training in their use, is the root cause of many accident today. The key to improvement is in the close involvement of all stakeholders to ensure that a ship is "fit for purpose" and that the master and his crew are provided with the proper tools and are adequately trained to be able to conduct their business in a safe and efficient manner.

       The presentation looked at some of the factors that can affect the ability of the master and his crew to ensure the safe conduct of the ship and the safe and timely delivery of its cargo, and what the Nautical Institute is doing to improve the awareness of the human element in the maritime industry.

 David Squire is a Master Mariner and former Commodore of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Since retirement from the RFA in 1999, he has remained active in the maritime world through his membership of a number of UK of navigational safety committees. He is a member of Council of The Nautical Institute and of the Papers and Technical Committee. He was a Nautical Assessor to the Marchioness?Bowbelle Formal Investigation. David is the editor of  "Alert!"the International Maritime Human Element Forum, which was launched in October 2003, by The Nautical Institute under the sponsorship of Lloyd's Register EMEA. The purpose of this three-year project is to raise the awareness of human element issues as they apply to the commercial maritime industry.

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16 July 2024
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