A Cost Benefit Analysis Approach to Identify Improvements in Merchant Navy Deck Officers’ HELM (Human Element Leadership and Management) Training

A review of maritime accidents conducted over the last decade confirms that human error is the main contributing factor in these incidents. Well-developed Non-Technical Skills (NTS) can reduce the effects of human error. NTS include both interpersonal and cognitive skills such as situation awareness, teamwork, decision-making, leadership, managerial skills, communication and language skills. In a crisis situation good NTS allow a deck officer to recognise the problem quickly, take action to manage the situation, and utilise the available team members safely and effectively. This paper identifies the importance of NTS training for merchant navy deck officers. It also highlights room for improvement in the existing HELM training. Research has shown that at present the structure of HELM training is not very effective. The other safety critical domains’ efforts into NTS developments are investigated and examples of best practice are adapted into the maritime domain’s NTS training. Suggestions are given for improvements to the HELM course based on proven successful methods in other safety critical domains (aviation and anaesthesia). A subsequent Cost Benefit Analysis for improving deck officers’ NTS is also carried out through the use of Bayesian Networks and Decision Tree Modelling.


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  • Accession Number: 01635738
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 25 2017 2:02PM