Something bad has happened; What can be learned?

We talk about learning from maritime accidents and incidents – and we certainly have our choice of those from which to learn.  But, first, we have to do an investigation.  One resource that will help guide you is the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) Guidance Notes on the Investigation of Marine Incidents.

Conducting the investigation properly and thoroughly is critical to learning from incidents, both big and small.  The issue with larger incidents is that there may be a fear of legal repercussions for the seafarer.  This may hinder an investigation if a true “just culture” is not perceived to be present.  Seafarers may be reluctant to discuss even small incidents – the near misses or safety observations – due to the possibility of professional embarrassment.

Once these accidents, near misses and safety observations are investigated the lessons learned can be critical to preventing future incidents.  There are a number of ways of spreading these lessons learned, such as print magazines,  videos or even graphic novels/comic books.  Regardless of the method of delivery, providing this information to other seafarers is key.

Stay tuned as we take a look at some of these products and resources.

Additional Reading and Links

SKYbrary – Just Culture in Maritime

NTSB – Safer Seas Digest 2021


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