It’s a sad, sad world…

Safety is paramount in every industry, but in the maritime industry, perhaps even more so.  Mariners work and live in remote settings, whether it is a harbor tug or workboat that is a matter of hours from emergency services or a deep sea vessel or drill rig that could be days or weeks from emergency services.   In any case, they need to be somewhat self-sufficient and the incident that doesn’t happen is always better than the incident to which mariners have to respond.

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting is underway in Washington D.C.  One of this afternoon’s sessions is titled, “Current Research in Marine Accidents and Human Factors.”  There were three papers to be presented.  The first was “A Systems-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes Based Causal Approach on a Single Case Waterway Accident in Bangladesh.”  The second was to be “Analysis on the Causes of Seafarers’ Unsafe Behaviors: Using Structural Equation Modeling.”  The third was “Does Ship Type Matter?  Using Structural Topic Models to Identify the Causes of Ship Accidents.”

It sounded like a great lineup of presenters.  Unfortunately, the session was cancelled as none of the presenters, all of whom are from China, were able to attend.

It is stunning that :

  1. Only 5% of new attendees to the TRB annual meeting are from the maritime industry.
  2. There are only a few exhibitors in the TRB exhibit hall that are maritime related.
  3. There’s not more (any?) research being done or papers written in the United States on maritime safety (both operational and theoretical) and human factors.

We encourage maritime academies, training facilities and individuals to consider submitting papers or posters for consideration to AW040 The Standing Committee on Marine Safety and Human Factors.  The deadline for papers is August 1st, 2023 for the next annual meeting January 7-11th, 2024.

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