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Analysis of accidents in Greek shipping during the pre- and post-ISM period

By Ernestos Tzannatos and Dimitris Kokotos


In shipping, safety depends on the reliability of the technical and human components of the ship-system, although the marine environment itself may sometimes be so hostile as to give rise to accidents that are beyond technical and human control. The need for a continuous analysis of shipping accidents is dictated by the accumulated evidence for the predominance of the human factor and the ever-increasing pressure for further improvement on the safety record of shipping. In this context, the effectiveness of enforced regulations towards the promotion of safety policy in shipping is assessed and the debate and focus on this issue are maintained. The purpose of this paper is to examine human reliability with reference to all accidents involving Greek-flagged ships during 1993-2006, a time-scale that spans over the pre- and post-ISM period. The accident data were processed through a decision tree analysis, which enabled the classification of various accident factors, which, for the purpose of this approach, were treated as the tree variables. In the context of assessing the effectiveness of the implemented ISM Code, the above-mentioned analysis revealed that although the human element maintained its dominance in shipping accidents, there is also substantial evidence in support of its effective control during the post-ISM period, since the implementation of the ISM Code led to an overall reduction of human-induced accidents. Furthermore, the ISM Code was found to remove the influence of vessel type upon the human or non-human source of accidents, since prior to ISM implementation tankers and Ro-Pax vessels were profoundly linked to human-induced accidents. In terms of location, the ISM Code improved the human-induced accident record in both navigational regions of restricted and open waters. However, its impact in terms of location was less effective, since the navigation in restricted waters proved to be distinctively linked to human-induced accidents in comparison to that of open waters, over the entire period of investigation.Shipping safety ISM Code Human element Human factor

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