The SAFEMED Project and the Human Element – Jun 17, 2008

Ten years after the coming into force of the International Ship Management Code (ISM Code), the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) organised a three-day seminar, entitled ‘Human Element Influence on Maritime Accidents’. The Seminar was held between the 17 and 19 June 2008 at the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) premises in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Seminar was one of the main activities in the field of human element carried out within the framework of the EU-funded MEDA Regional Project “Euromed Cooperation on Maritime Safety and Prevention of Pollution from Ships” (SAFEMED) which the Centre is implementing in ten Euromed Mediterranean partners.  Over twenty officials from nine SAFEMED Project beneficiaries and from Italy, Portugal and EMSA participated in the Seminar.

The main objectives of the Seminar were to familiarize participants with human element aspects; to familiarize participants with the work carried out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on human element, in particular the International Safety Management Code (ISM Code); to familiarize participants with the EU policy on human element related issues; to provide the participants with the lessons learnt, ten years after the introduction of the ISM Code; for the participants to appreciate the influence of human element in maritime accidents; and to present and discuss the work being undertaken by the SAFEMED Project’s short-term experts in the project beneficiaries related to the implementation of the ISM Code.

The various aspects of the Human Element, including the ISM Code, the recently adopted Casualty Investigation Code and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), were presented to participants. Players in the field, including representatives from the ship management sector, the classification societies, insurers and training institutions, also presented their views on the subject. The lessons learnt over these last ten years, in respect of the ISM Code, were also covered by one ISM expert.  A representative from the Administration of Portugal also shared his experiences with the participants with regard to the implementation of the ISM Code in Portugal.  At the end of the Seminar, two DVDs, related to the topic of the seminar, were shown to the participants.

The number of questions and statements that followed after each presentation indicated that the presentations had stimulated substantial interest within the participants. Judging from the response and feedback received, both from the eleven speakers and the participants, the Seminar can be considered a great success.

REMPEC, through the SAFEMED Project, will be distributing CD-Rom containing all the seminar presentations and other supporting documents to all the participants and speakers.