“It has become clear that while electronic charts can be a good addition to bridge safety, training in their use is not always as good as it could be,” adds Chris Turberville, Head of Marine Hull & Liabilities, UK, AGCS. “It is imperative that not only training on the new equipment is given, but also training on how to use it in conjunction with radar and other bridge equipment. Simulation is a great way of providing this integrated training.”
It is estimated that 75% to 96% of marine accidents can involve human error . Furthermore, AGCS analysis of almost 15,000 marine liability insurance claims between 2011 and 2016 shows human error to be a primary factor in 75% of the value of all claims analyzed – equivalent to over $1.6bn of losses. Given the role of human error in so many incidents, the quality of crew and ship owners’ overall safety culture are of increasing importance to risk assessment. “How an operator takes care of the crew can be seen in the claims pattern. Good conditions, working hours, salaries and opportunities for career development, as well as access to training, fresh air and exercise will all help improve crew quality,” says Justus Heinrich, Chief Underwriter Marine Hull, Central and Eastern Europe at AGCS.
Yet a survey of 2,800 maritime employees by recruiter Halcyon Recruitment and training provider Coracle  reveals decreasing confidence in shipping industry job security, as volatile market conditions continue to impact. Over half of shore-based employees surveyed are actively looking to change jobs with nearly two thirds worried about job security. Crew costs are a soft factor in what is a cost-conscious industry. This will be an area to watch as ship owners face the increased cost of operating under the International Maritime Organization’s pollution prevention treaty MARPOL Annex VI emissions cap, Heinrich predicts. “My fear is that we could see an increase in human error and claims related to fatigue or a lack of crew engagement,” says Heinrich. “As part of client risk analysis, insurers such as AGCS now routinely dig deeper into the quality of crewing to see if operators are doing more than the required minimum.”