Latest Port of London Authority safety campaign targets human error

The Port of London Authority (PLA) launched its latest safety campaign, focused on the Human Factor, at its Annual Stakeholder Forum today (Tuesday, 9 May).

The PLA decided to target human error after analysis of incident data showed that it was the leading cause of navigational incidents on the tidal Thames in the last two years. It drew on Maritime & Coastguard Agency guidance highlighting the ‘deadly dozen’, the twelve Top People Related Factors, in developing the campaign.

Bob Baker, Chief Harbour Master and Nick Evans, Deputy Harbour Master
Bob Baker, Chief Harbour Master and Nick Evans, Deputy Harbour Master

Speaking to more than 150 stakeholders at the annual Forum, PLA chief harbour master, Bob Baker, said “Over the last two years, human error was linked to more than 40% of the accidents on the river. Often it’s the simplest of things that trip people up, whether recognising that their mind’s not on the job or suddenly thinking ‘I wasn’t clear in my instructions’.”
The campaign highlights the Deadly Dozen things to watch out for are:

  • Habits – Don’t confuse efficiency with dangerous short cuts
  • Unity – Do you work well together?
  • Mindfulness – What have I missed?
  • Attentiveness – Are you multi–tasking or dangerously distracted?
  • Notifying – Do you speak up when you should?
  • Fitness for duty – Are you fit to carry out your duties safely?
  • Ability – Is your crew capable?
  • Communication – Do you understand each other?
  • Tensions – Are you just busy or dangerously overloaded?
  • Overtired – Are you just tired or dangerously fatigued?
  • Routine – Just because things are going well now, doesn’t mean they can’t go wrong.
  • Safety Culture – Do it the safe way, do it the right way, do it everyday.

“Our campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the Deadly Dozen. Over the next twelve months we will be giving hints and tips to river users on a variety of elements, including best practice, communication and avoiding distractions,” added Bob Baker. “Our statistics show, for example, that as the winter nights close in, the risk of accidents increases. October, between 5 pm and 6 pm, is a real accident ‘hot spot’ people need to be alert to, for example.”

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