Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Muirhead, Peter M.
This dissertation examines the need for the training of shore based personnel employed in shipping companies. Numerous studies address the human element in shipping - the Seafarer, as one of the main causes of accidents and pollution. As a result, regulations targeting the training of seafarers have been greatly enhanced in the recent past. Very little has been said about personnel manning shipping companies in numerous offices ashore. Rapid strides in communication have brought the “seafarer” and the “shore-farer” in close contact, the two being separated virtually by just the dialling of a few buttons of a telephone or a fax. This study examines the role of the human element in maritime losses, a proportion of which can definitely be attributed to the role of the office staff or the “shore element”. An examination of the present training being imparted to employees in shipping companies in India and the rest of the world has been carried out. A survey of shipping companies was conducted for this purpose. The author has observed that many companies refer to the experience gained while performing a job as ‘on the job training’. This dissertation deals with formal training of an employee. Some accidents and incidents involving the human element have been examined. Hidden casualties and latent errors resulting in commercial losses have also been overviewed. The latter are normally not reported, and definitely do not form the basis of any investigations. Yet it is these commercial losses that can total up to massive losses for a shipping company. The training of personnel so as to avoid these latent commercial losses is therefore of paramount importance. An overall overall look at the regulatory environment in which the shipping industry operates today is provided. The development of safety management guidelines by the International Maritime Organisation, and the initiatives of various organisations within the shipping industry to develop safety, pollution prevention and quality codes, most of which are directed to the seafarer have been delineated. Safety management and quality management being intrinsically linked, the various aspects of quality management and their applicability to safety management have been examined. An analysis of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, ISO 9002, and the STCW convention has been undertaken. In doing so, requirements of the regulations as related to the shore personnel have been examined. Analysis of training needs have been carried out in the past. Some of these studies have been overviewed. An analysis of training requirements as perceived by employees in the shipping industry has been carried out by means of two separate surveys. One of these surveys was targeted at shipping company employees in India, and the other at shipping industry employees in the rest of the world. The dissertation closes with conclusions drawn from the investigations of this study. Recommendations have been made on how various shipping companies can train their employees and contribute to the overall safety and successful running of their respective companies, and to shipping in general.