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June 14, 2010

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Shipshape behaviour

A guide to human behaviour in the shipping industry has been launched by a consortium led by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Developed by organisational psychologists, the guide shows how human behaviour sits at the heart of the shipping industry, and is a major factor behind its commercial successes and failures.

Analysis of shipping disasters over the years has increasingly implicated the human element. The loss of life, the impact on company profits and credibility, and the huge environmental damage that can result from the loss of even a single vessel remain clear and present dangers.

Aimed at everyone in the shipping industry – from ship designers to ship crews – the guide explains fundamental aspects of human behaviour and makes clear that the human element is neither peripheral nor optional in the pursuit of a profitable and safe shipping industry.

Captain David Turner, head of the development project at the MCA, said: “The guide clearly shows that managing the human element must take place simultaneously at all levels of the industry – from deep within the engine rooms and decks of the smallest cargo ships, through company boardrooms to the international conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). In the end, it is the strategies and policies of shipping executives and regulation-makers that shape the space in which ships and their crews operate.”

‘The human element: a guide to human behaviour in the shipping industry’ is available as a free download – click here to access.

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