New Research Aims To Improve Ship Safety By Reducing Human Error

Making ships safer is the aim of Dr Rabiul Islam’s research into reducing the human error associated with shipping operations. Human error is cited as the cause of 80 percent of maritime accidents, including during the maintenance of marine systems. Dr Islam’s research will provide a comprehensive source of knowledge and techniques to better understand the human factors associated with maintenance activities.

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This research provides new methodologies to accurately estimate the probability for human error during routine maintenance, leading to a better understanding of accident causation and risk reduction.

The methodologies and tools developed by Dr Islam will be used for human reliability assessment for the shipping industry, to help meet the International Maritime Organization requirement for safe and reliable maintenance activities and marine operations.

“The unique and user-friendly tools will help the chief engineer or captain to quickly estimate human error probability, rather than following step-by-step procedures,” Dr Islam said.

“They could also be used as guidance for ship owners, operators, masters and classification societies to better prepare, prioritise and sort the maintenance activities for safe and reliable on-board maintenance operations to reduce the potential of accident occurrence.”

Dr Islam, a lecturer in marine engineering at AMC, was awarded his PhD in Maritime Engineering in 2017. He started his own career as a marine engineer and has used the collective experience of professional seafarers from around the world during their studies at AMC to inform his research. He conducted part of his research at the Centre for Risk, Integrity and Safety Engineering (C-RISE) of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, as a visiting research scholar.

Dr Islam’s research project was highly commended for the 2017 Rob Lewis medal for excellence in postgraduate research. He described the award as a “great honour” in recognition of his hard work.

“On a professional level, it is a great achievement, as it is highly acknowledged by AMC, which inspires me to keep working hard and conduct more excellent research,” he said.

“I am looking forward to seeing the developed methodologies and tools applied to the maintenance operations of marine systems in real-life scenarios by the shipping industry, and to see the reduction of maritime accidents due to human error.”

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