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Human Factors as Causes for Shipboard Oil Pollution Violations

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Shipping is a crucial transportation mode for world trade. Operation of ships has become a specialisation. Maritime training addresses the needs and in doing so is heavily regulated. STCW lays down the requirements for such training and all training patterns in the world follow these. An important aspect of the training is the environmental factor. Ships use and carry large quantities of oils. This increases the potential for pollution. The laws and penalties on this front have increased and become stricter. This has decreased the operational pollution yet, there are violations occurring. The natures of violations are not only physical but al-so in documentation such as falsification of Oil Record Book entries etc. A study was undertaken to understand the effect of factors such as training, experience, attitude and fatigue on the oil pollution violations. The adequacy and effectiveness of current maritime training has been verified with reference to STCW and the recommended Lesson Plans of the IMO. Training apart, hypotheses on other human factors have been framed and tested by statistical methods. In this paper the human factors of experience, attitude and fatigue are projected and the results are discussed. The various statistical methods such as ANOVA, Chi-square and correlation analyses have been applied as appropriate to the nature of the data obtained from the survey results. The survey conducted amongst seafaring officers formed the basis for the hypotheses and the tests. Whereas training is found to be adequate, attitude and fatigue are shown to be the primary factors affecting oil pollution violations. Negligent attitude appears to diminish with increased experience but good attitude to-wards pollution prevention practices remain irrespective of the variation in experience or training. The factor of fatigue has a mention in many studies and the study validates the same. The concerns on this front are highlighted and recommendations for further probing into attitude-behaviour and fatigue are suggested. Mind-set behaviour training at management levels and pro-activeness of companies in overcoming some reasons for fatigue such as long working hours etc. are suggested. It is observed that attitude and fatigue could be the main causal factors which are resulting in pollution violations.
  • Faculty of Maritime Studies and Marine Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
  • Faculty of Maritime Studies and Marine Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
  • Akademi Laut Malaysia (ALAM)
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