In life, not everything goes as planned. More so for jobs on board.

When unexpected things happen in your vessel, how do you view them?

While it is common to point to human error, the truth is that the crew should not only be seen as a source of error but rather as a resource of safety. And there could be more reasons behind the difference between ‘work as imagined’ (the ideal way we envision to accomplish a job) and ‘work as done’ (the actual execution of the job)



It is high time we look through the lens of a human factors approach

When we do so, we get a complete and more realistic view of the various things that influence crew and team performance.

This approach helps the crew, leaders, and the organisation:

To manage safety risks and improve team performance
Crew members, leaders, and the organisation broaden their skills of spotting the gaps between work as imagined and work as done, and thereby reduce the possibility of errors.

TIP: Toolbox talks and work debriefs where all team members actively participate are some ways to help bridge the gaps. Find easy tools in the SDLL to optimise these activities.

To promote crew well-being and employee engagement
Machines, systems, and work environment are developed to better accommodate human limitations. When all is working well, it improves the crew’s well-being, which leads to increased engagement and safer, more efficient work. Sometimes we need help to identify the weak points to better the circumstances for the crew’s well-being.

TIP: Fatigue management and mental health awareness are two modules that help the crew prevent job stress and create an open and caring atmosphere.

To build a learning culture
A human factors approach stimulates a learning culture that addresses unsafe and unhealthy work conditions even before incidents happen. This ensures more lasting effects in the improvement of safety behaviour and performance. That is why we have Safety Delta, because it makes us focus on issues that should be addressed, even if we don’t have an incident yet.

TIP: The Safety Delta cycle includes the Development stage where the crew strengthen their knowledge on certain areas identified in the Diagnosis stage. As you finish each cycle, take note of the learning opportunities linked to the CSD report result.

To satisfy with industry quality standards
The maritime industry has started calling for human factors management policies among shipping companies. There are signals from various regulatory bodies that human factors will play a major role in future safety requirements.

TIP: Even though how the industry should comply is still unclear, working with Safety Delta now will help you fulfil requirements that are already here or will come in the near future. We will ensure timely updates of the learning materials to help your vessels comply.

The human factors approach is at the heart of Safety Delta

Safety Delta helps you to identify and manage the human factors that influence the crew’s behaviour and performance.

It is an ongoing, collaborative process that aims to promote a proactive and resilient safety culture.

Because you continuously evaluate, discuss, and learn, you can find ways to bridge the gap between ‘work as imagined’ and ‘work as done’.

Next up in our human factors series. . .

We will talk more in detail about how Safety Delta can help you manage human factors using the ‘5-5-5’ tool, as well as the safety areas and modules that you can refer to. Stay tuned!

Safety Delta familiarisation webinars

Our free Safety Delta familiarisation webinars are still ongoing. Catch them on these dates:


News in the Safety Delta universe

• We are happy to welcome two new vessels from Stenersen AS – Sten Fjell and Sten Skagen.
• Berge Bulk Maritime is on their way to complete cycle 2 this year, with 59 vessels expected to participate.

Among Us
Among Us is a monthly digital newsletter, primarily for Safety Delta members, but also for those who want to get a ‘sneak peek’ at the experiences gained by those of us who are already ‘insiders’. It also presents the developments of Safety Delta.
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