Operational Social Anthropology

I have a proposal: let us give room for an operational social anthropology!

Let us pay more attention to social anthropology in order to better understand and have more knowledge of individual and contextual factors that affect human behavior and the micro-dynamics of social interaction. Psychologists have a well established field of “operational psychology” which with its excellent and unique knowledge on human behavior. However, by paying further more attention to contextual, social and dynamic aspects of operational teams and its cultural and outer frame, we will have a complementary knowledge to better understand operational teams in different micro-dynamics and context.

An operational social anthropology will increase the understanding of human behavior in relation to socio-economic, political, historical, religious, language and the omnipresent “culture” as factors which affects human behavior and interactions in the act of the world of the mundane.

“Culture” is a widely discussed word world-wide, nonetheless an area of great ambiguity within the area of social anthropology. If you google “what is culture” you will get a result of 2.390.000.000 in less den 0,55 seconds! Impressive! It has taken me a masters degree and 10 more years to accept a definitions that define culture roughly as skills, perception and manners which a person has adapted as a member of a society (Thomas Hylland-Eriksen 2010:15). The unease of defining culture persist omnipresent though the need for using it as a reference to understand human behavior continues to remain an imperative.

Let us pay close attention to how the language-barrier can affect the social interaction between the captain of the mother vessel and the Mooring master in communication with tug-boats and coordination in general during a ship-to-ship operation. Let us pay more attention to the subtle “yes sir” when orders are given from captain and what is actually meant by this “yes”. Let us pay more attention to how gender, religion, ethnicity and other factors can affect and even challenge the maritime hierarchy. Let us pay attention to cultural differences between seafarers in the operational field and their colleges on land which both work in different social and physical frames as a team to achieve a common goal. Let us pay attention to the difference in risk assessment despite the existence of well-developed check-lists and protocols.

An operational social anthropology looks to the uniqueness of the empiric findings in order to better understand social interaction and the larger frames that affect human behavior. Let us devote more attention to cultural understanding and intercultural communication.

Therese Landås, Social Anthropologist and Human Factors Specialist, Test and Assessment Center Responsible

Flerkulturell forståelse og kommunikasjon

“It is recognized widely that one of the characteristics separating humans from other animals is our development of culture. The development of human culture is made possible through communication, and it is through communication that culture is transmitted from one generation to another.” (Gudykynst 2003)

I 1960 hadde 80% av mannskap i maritim næring engelsk som sitt morsmål. I slutten av 1970 årene var situasjonen snudd og 80% av mannskap hadde annet språk enn engelsk som sitt morsmål. I maritim næring sies det at kommunikasjonsutfordringer utgjør opp til 35% av årsakene til ships-ulykker. (Ref. Safety4sea) Kommunikasjon viser seg å være en kompleks prosess og en essensiell faktor innen «human factors» i maritim næring. Tverrkulturell kompetanse er en sentral ikke-teknisk kunnskap som maritim næring kan gjøre seg nytte av i en hverdagslig setting hvor kommunikasjon og samhandling står sentralt.

Ordet kommunikasjon kommer av det latinske begrepet communicare, «å gjøre felles», og handler om utveksling av informasjon, om relasjoner og samhandling. Flerkulturell forståelse og kommunikasjon handler om forståelse og kunnskap om å forstå kommunikasjonsprosesser mellom grupper som betrakter seg selv som kulturelt forskjellig fra hverandre. Dette knyttes ofte til det som blir kalt tverrkulturell eller interkulturell kommunikasjon.

Mannskap på fartøy kommer ofte fra ulike land, kulturer, har ulikt språk til og med ulik forståelse av gester og kroppsspråk mer generelt. Slik er det i dag så vel som i 1983 når Seaspeak ble etablert av språkeksperter og ekseperter innen shipping for imøtekomme utfordringer tilknyttet kommunikasjonsutfordringer. Seaspeak er et kommunikasjonsverktøy som i 1988 ble av IMO definert til det offisielle språket på sjøen. Mens Seaspeak har en intensjon om å gjøre det verbale språket tydligere i maritim kommunikasjon vedvarer det fortsatt en rekke utfordringer tilknyttet kommunikasjon både blant mannskap som man definerer som relativt homogene så vel som mannskap som defineres som tverrkulturelle og med variasjon i språk så vel som andre forskjeller som utgjør en forskjell (les gjerne min tidligere blog om «hierarkier»).

Mange tverrkulturelle misforståelser er med bakgrunn i en ikke-intensjonell adferd fra en person som blir forstått, tolket og reagert på av en annen person.

Kommunikasjon er en kompleks prosess. Kommunikasjon er kompleks i den forstand at den innebærer et stort sanseapperat som involverer mer enn det talte ord og det øyet kan se. Viktig å bemerke seg er at et verbale språket utgjør kun ca 30% av kommunikasjonen mens det non-verbale språket utgjør den resterende prosenten. Det non-verbale språket som utgjør ca 70% av kommunikasjonen består av gester, bevegelser, ansiktsmimikk, tonefall mm. Kommunikasjon er likeså en prosess som involverer ulike faktorer i ulik rekkefølge og er prosess som forekommer i samhandling med andre mennesker. Når vi kommuniserer samhandler vi med andre mennesker.

Når vi samhandler med andre mennesker involveres et helt sanseapparat med syn, hørsel, lukt, følelser blant annet som så generer komplekse fysiologiske prosesser for individet som kan forklare mye om samspillet mellom hjernen og kroppslige reaksjoner. Dette er prosesser innen menneskelig adferd som i seg selv også er interessante da de detaljert kan si mye om hvilke prosesser et individ gjennomgår som ekesmpelvis tilknyttet prosesser i nervesystemet, kognitive prosesser, hukommelse, adferd med mer. Like interssant er sosialpsykologien som forsøker å fortså menneskers tanker, følelser og adferd i relasjon til andre (Allport 1935).

Når vi kommuniserer tolker og mistolker vi hverandres signaler, kroppsspråk, adferd og ord.

Interkulturell kommunikasjon handler om å ha kunnskap om faktorer som påvirker kommunikasjon mellom mennesker med forskjellig sosial identitet. Dette kan settes i kontrast til intrakulturell kommunkasjon, kommunikasjon innenfor en bestemt kultur (intra=mellom). Det å forstå bedre betydningen av kontekstuelle, sosiale og dynamiske aspekter ved interkulturell kommunikasjon er da av stor interesse. Det er viktig å se på hvilken inflytelse faktorer knyttet til interkulturell kommunikasjon mellom individer fra ulike religiøse, historiske, sosiale og politiske faktorer har. Like viktig er det å huske på at i interkulturell kommunikasjon er det ikke to kulturer eller flere som kommuniserer, men mennesker som kommuniserer i en situasjon hvor man samhandler ut i fra et meningsfellesskap. Kommunikasjon er en dynamisk prosess.

I interkulturell kommunikasjon kan tema som eksempelvis høfflighet, å tape ansikt, fysisk avstand, tillit være noen av svært mange tema som gjør seg gjeldene og kan påvirke kvaliteten av kommunikasjonen og relasjonen til andre personer. Et «yes, maybe, yes» med noen nikk kan være en måte å si nei på. Kristin Rygg (2017) har forsket på høflighet og mener at høflighet handler om subjektive forventninger til høflig adferd. Sosialantrpologen Anh Nga Longva sin kronikk fra 2004 illustrerer dette godt når hun skirver om «Nordmenn, høflighet og kunsten å omgås fremmede»

«Nordmenns komplekse forhold til høflighet er som et vindu: gjennom det får vi innblikk i norske forestillinger om en rekke grunnleggende relasjoner og om det som er moralsk og riktig i livet. (…) I alle kulturer og til alle tider fremstår den fremmede som et usikkerhetsmoment og en trussel mot det kjente og det etablerte. Dette har gitt opphav til tradisjonen med omfattende gjestfrihet overfor fremmede, som preger flere middelhavssamfunn. Gjestfrihet kan i dette tilfellet sees på som et “forebyggende” tiltak for å avvæpne den potensielt farlige fremmede.» (Longva 2004)

Illustrasjon 1 og 2: “The social guidebook to Norway” av Bourrelle (2017)

Sosialantropologien kan lære oss mye om mellommenneskelig kommunikasjon. I det operative feltet i maritim næring står operativ psykologi sterkt som faglig innfallsvinkel til å forklare essensielle aspekter ved «human factors». I dette fagfeltet kommer det frem svært viktige aspekter ved kommunikasjon som berører komplekse prosesser for et individ. Sosialantropologien er et flott supplement til dette og kan i større grad lære bort mye om hvilken inflytelse faktorer knyttet til interkulturell kommunikasjon mellom individer fra ulike religiøse, historiske, sosiale og politiske mfl faktorer har. Ta tillit i det operative feltet som et eksempel: Det sies at evnen til å vise tillit er en del av menneskers personlighet (Eid og Johnsen 2018). En leder i et operativ felt vil i en situasjon med lav tillit ha behov for kontroll og med det kunne svekke samarbeidet i det operative feltet. Men tillit kan også være påvirket av tidligere erfaringer både situasjonelle så vel som kulturelle faktorer.

Jeg har selv skrevet en masteravhandling som berører det sistnevnte. En masteravhandling om antropologiske perspektiver på hverdagspraksiser av sikkerhet i det urbane rom i Lima, hovedstaden i Peru, hvor jeg gjorde feltarbeid blant det nasjonale politiet i Perú og andre sikkerhetsaktører.

Mitt feltarbeid gjenspeiler en grunnleggende mistillit som preger mye av verdagspraksisen blant innbyggerne. Hva er tillit spør Harald Grimen (2009) i hans bok hvor han også knyttet tillit til forhåndshåndsregler som gjøres når tillit settes i relasjon til usikkerhet. Tillit og mistillit har en koeksistens og når man lever en hverdag hvor tilliten til myndigheter og sikkerhetsaktører er skjør, slik som mitt feltarbeid gjenspeiler, kan det sies å være en faktor som potensielt kan bæres med inn i andre situasjoner i møte med andre mennesker og som må forstås for å bedre forstå hverandres forhold til viktige tema som hierarki, respekt, tillit og andre større tema som kan påvirke kvaliteten av kommunikasjonen og relasjonen til andre. Dette er da også en faktor som kan gjøre seg gjeldene i hverdaglig kommunikasjon i maritim næring enten det gjelder i møtevirksomhet eller om det gjelder en ship-to-ship operasjon i Brasil.

Socrates skrev i sin tid; «I am not an Athenian, or a Greek, but a citizen of the world”. I maritime næring kan man også si at man er en «citizen of the world». Det refereres ofte på fartøy til «sjømannskulturen» og den felles forståelsen og kulturen man deler i det. Sistnevne kan ses på som et godt verktøy i å ha et felles utgangspunkt og felles forståelse som letter kommunikasjon og samhandling. Men kommunikasjon og samhandling er meget komplekst og dermed kan en økt interkulturell kompetanse være en sentral ikke-teknisk kunnskap som maritim næring kan gjøre seg nytte av i en hverdagslig setting hvor kommunikasjon og samhanlding står sentralt.

Therese Landås, sosialantropolog og Human Factor Specialist ved Simsea Real Operations

Team seminar “at sea”?

Team building is a lot of things. Having fun is one of them. And why not combine business and pleasure?

In our full-scale state-of-the art maritime simulators we can take you at sea on-board different types of ships and demonstrate different ship operations or even let you steer and operate the ship on your own along different coastlines and in different harbors. With no risk and a lot of fun!

In your daily life at work you might find yourself in situations where you listen to or talk about different types of maritime and offshore operations. Many times, you could wish that you had more insight in these subjects to increase your understanding of your clients’ needs or perhaps go into further details regarding ship capabilities and solutions

We offer a learning arena combined with great fun specially designed for non-operational bodies, brokers, finance institutions, politicians, etc.

Any team building sessions will be tailor made for you and will typically last for less than a day unless you want to go deeper into the subjects.

Did you by the way know that Haugesund is just one hour away from Oslo, 2-3 hours away from Bergen and 1-2 hours away from Stavanger? Take the morning flight and you could be back the same afternoon. Or, you could arrange a team seminar the day before or after and enjoy swinging Haugesund in the evening.

If you fancy this idea do not hesitate to contact Simsea any time.

Simsea can help reducing footprint in subsea operations

Simulating subsea operations ahead of a project’s offshore phase has direct benefits in terms of improved overall performance and execution; reduce number of vessel days offshore, reduced costs and reduce operational risk.

In today’s digital world it is possible to conduct most offshore operations in our advanced full-scale simulators before you go offshore. No footprint there!

A modern subsea simulator park like we have at Simsea, is an excellent arena for testing or even better; conduct a complete dry run of your operation! These full-scale integrated simulators can run most offshore operations. No footprint here!

And you personnel will be familiar with procedures, equipment, seabed and other on scene conditions when they finally reach the destination offshore. They will be on top of the situation and know that they master the challenges and have this good feeling of professional confidence in the project and in each other. Of course, such confidence is a prerequisite for efficient execution offshore!

Our facilities consist of several real ship bridges with DP, engine rooms, offshore crane, WROV, ‘shift supervisor’ desk and – the relevant field’s existing infrastructure and typography.

In these simulators, the operators have a focus on the solutions, the equipment, the procedures and the tooling on a quite different level then by getting a presentation in a meeting room: Tooling design and detailed sequence planning for the operations are tested and confirmed; contingency operations and parallel operations are identified. By joint testing of procedures and task plans you will avoid stops in the operations offshore and redesign on deck due to unforeseen challenges. Simulator tests, dry runs, etc. should be done by onshore and offshore personnel, together, reducing the cost of sending a lot of onshore based personnel onboard for many days. And not to mention: You can do your HAZID and HAZOP by doing the operation instead of talking about it in a crowded meeting room.

After such preparation’s footprint and costs will definitely be reduced.

Maritime engineers: Building electric competence

Many shipping companies have experienced unexpectedly issues with the electric propulsion system on their ships and need to take several actions to ensure that incidents are properly investigated and that prevention measures are deployed to avoid reoccurrence of similar problems.
One of the actions needed is to enhance the electric competence of the engineers onboard the vessels. The main purpose of such training is to contribute to

  1. closing an identified competence gap in the customer’s current shipboard organizations related to existing electrical propulsions machinery,
  2. bridging the competence gap between engineers and ETO’s and
  3. develop the understanding of each other’s roles and functions.
    Simsea is currently running a training session like this for one of our customers. We run the course in Rijeka to meet the customer’s need for arranging the training nearby where their maritime engineers live. We will pursue such solutions for any customer; identifying course locations that would reduce travel costs.
    The learning objectives is that after the course, participants should have an in-depth understanding of purpose, functionality, interdependence and operation of
    • Generators
    • Switchboards
    • Transformers
    • Converters
    • E-motors
    • Gearbox
    which are the main electrical components in the electric system onboard. Special emphasis will be put on issues primarily related to the variable speed converter system:
    • Connections
    • Ethernet switch
    • Fast Link cable • IGBT
    • LOW Speed Manoeuvring
    • PCB & Capacitor • Relays
    • Rough Sea
    • Snubber Capacitors
    In addition, the Engineers shall be able to handle any emergency and crisis scenarios.

One of the main challenges in running such training is to maintain an operational rather than an engineering terminology and focus during the lectures and to demonstrate professional challenges and solutions by employing realistic simulators. Often, courses held by suppliers of electric solutions do not meet such an operational focus and thus the learning outcome is reduced.

Please contact A Rune Johansen in Simsea at +47 909 30 668  if you would like to hear more about this opportunity.

Simsea arrangerer nå hurtigbåtkurs i Tromsø

I tett samarbeid med den maritime fagskolen i Tromsø vil Simsea i løpet av 2020 arrangere hurtigbåtkurs til våre Nord Norske kunder over samme lest som vi til nå har levert i Haugesund og som beskrevet nedenfor. Kursene leveres med e-læringsmoduler noe som gjør at vi kan levere grunnleggende kurs over 4 dager på senter og re-trening over 2 dager.
I første omgang har vi satt opp kurs i uke 9, 24, 35 og 49.

For booking bruk denne linken https://sts.simsea.no/course-types/category/high-speed eller kontalt
Turid Landås på telefon +47 940 05 770 eller tl@simsea.no..

✔ Grunnkurs hurtigbåt

Grunnkurs hurtigbåt er rettet mot navigatører og maskinister på hurtigbåt.
Kurset er et scenariobasert kurs, som skal gi deltagerne en økt forståelse og erfaring av å operere hurtigbåt under forskjellige situasjoner. Kurset skal gi deltakerne økt forståelse for menneskelige faktorer som påvirker vår atferd og måten vi samhandler og kommuniserer på, være bedre rustet til å jobbe i team, og kunne være med på forhindre misforståelser og hindre at uhell og nesten-uhell skjer.
Deltakerne skal oppnå kunnskap om grunnleggende psykologiske og sosiale forhold som påvirker situasjonsforståelse, beslutningstaking og atferd i kritiske situasjoner og hvordan disse kan påvirke teamets prosesser, evner og ytelse i operative sammenhenger.
Deltagerne skal demonstrere kompetanse og ferdigheter i henhold til STCW Tabell A-II/1, A-III/1 og forskrift fra 2011-12-22 nr. 1523 § 65, emneplan for hurtigbåt fra 2014-11-18.
Kurset vil også gi opplæring på gjeldende regelverk, standard prosedyrer og prosedyrebygging, krisehåndtering og teknisk karakteristikk av hurtigbåt. Relevante «Case studies» gjennomføres for å belyse årsaker til tidligere operative ulykker.
Varigheten er 4 dager (29 timer) i tillegg til en e-læringsmodul (9 timer).
Det er plass til 12 deltakere per kurs. For å kunne motta kursbevis må deltakeren bestå vurdering i simulator samt skriftlig eksamen.
Kurset er i henhold til Sjøfartsdirektoratets emneplan pr 18.11.2014.

✔ Re-treningskurs hurtigbåt

Re-treningskurs hurtigbåt er rettet mot navigatører og maskinister på hurtigbåt.
Opptakskrav til kurset for deltager, er gyldig kvalifikasjonsbevis for hurtiggående fartøy i henhold til §65 i forskrift om kvalifikasjoner og sertifikater for sjøfolk. (FOR-2011-12-22-1523).
Kurset er et scenariobasert kurs, som skal gi deltagerne en økt forståelse og erfaring av å operere hurtigbåt under forskjellige situasjoner. Kurset skal gi deltakerne økt forståelse for menneskelige faktorer som påvirker vår atferd og måten vi samhandler og kommuniserer på, være bedre rustet til å jobbe i team, og kunne være med på å forhindre misforståelser og hindre at uhell og nesten-uhell skjer.
Deltakerne skal oppnå kunnskap om grunnleggende psykologiske og sosiale forhold som påvirker situasjonsforståelse, beslutningstaking og atferd i kritiske situasjoner og hvordan disse kan påvirke teamets prosesser, evner og ytelse i operative sammenhenger.
Deltagerne skal demonstrere kompetanse og ferdigheter i henhold til STCW Tabell A-II/1, A-III/1 og forskrift fra 2011-12-22 nr. 1523 § 65, emneplan for hurtigbåt fra 2014-11-18.
Kurset vil også gi opplæring på gjeldende regelverk, standard prosedyrer og prosedyrebygging, krisehåndtering og teknisk karakteristikk av hurtigbåt. Relevante «Case studies» gjennomføres for å belyse årsaker til tidligere operative ulykker .
Varigheten er 2 dager (15 timer) og en dag e-læring (9 timer).
Det er plass til 12 deltakere per kurs. For å kunne motta kursbevis må deltakeren bestå vurdering i simulator samt skriftlig eksamen.
Kurset er i henhold til Sjøfartsdirektoratets emneplan pr 18.11.2014.

CAN THE MARITIME HIERARCHY BE CHALLENGED?

By Therese Landås, Human Factor Specialist

The hierarchy is a central structure and form of organizing roles, relations and responsibility in the operating field of the maritime organization. There is no doubt that this is a structure which is well established and a natural way of organizing the human resources in the practices of everyday life amongst officers and crew on vessels. Bridge Resource Management, Engine Room Resource Management, are one of the many important courses in accordance to IMO and the STCW convention in which officers on the bridge are trained in increased understanding of human factors in consideration to resource management.

Simsea offers various courses that focuses on resource management and these are courses of high quality and gives the participants an increased understanding of human factors that affect behaviour, interaction and communication, and improve team-working skills as well as develop skills for avoiding misunderstandings and the prevention of incidents. One interesting aspect of looking at resource management then, is to understand the structure in which the resources operate and the human factors which can affect its structure. Let’s take the 2019 IMO campaign as a point of departure to answer the question presented here.

2019 has been a year in which IMO, the International Maritime Organization, enforced its focus on empowering women. As the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping, IMO has lifted a central issue both for the maritime community as well as for the international community at large. The campaign IMO has fronted is to empower women in the maritime community. The goal has been amongst other to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality in an otherwise male-dominated maritime community.

While the campaign looks to the broad aspect of empowering women by focusing on the gender equality, the recruitment of women to the maritime community and the importance of having women in the organization, it is inevitable to look at how gender is a factor that can cause the experience of social inequality. Throughout history up until modern times, it is a well-known fact that women have been perceived as inferior to male, and the struggle of gender equality is a still a phenomenon of modern time.

Now, when we look at one of the essential structures of the operative field of shipping industry it is the hierarchy which is the leading structure of the organization. A hierarchy is a system in which one person is put in relation to another in a linear structure where persons are arranged according to their importance. The hierarchical structure spells out a clear organization of roles, responsibilities, and nonetheless authority. Hierarchy is also a structural form of organizing people in different societies and cultures, weather in formal systems or in indirect underlying forms which shape the social life of people. Consequently, when looking at differences, we here then look at differences which make a difference and generates a distinction of social inequality. In the latter, it is interesting to look at how a social factor can affect the authority of one person in relation to another.

In the international shipping community, there are many teams on vessels dominated by a broad specter of different nationalities working together. It has become common, and expected, amongst officers to pay attention to “good BRM, Bridge Resource Management” in which looking at the human factors in its micro-dynamic processes, have become essential. When we look at how to work with a good BRM (which effectively have become an expression amongst officers) we are focusing on how every person is both the causing factor of challenges in maritime operation, non-the-less, and more importantly, the great resource to safe, secure and well-executed voyages an operations. BRM is primarily about acknowledging the fact that we are human beings that work with other people and that there are broad aspects of this to be considered. At SIMSEA we focus amongst other on situation awareness, decision making, teamwork and leadership as central elements to good BRM. These processes are shaped by the structure in which they operate: the hierarchy.

While considering the importance of the human factors in maritime operations, it is important then to understand that a person is strongly shaped by the role in which (s)he functions, never-the less, it is important to have knowledge about other social factors that can affect human behavior. Looking at authority then as a central element of hierarchy, it is like ways important to understand what legitimates the right exercise power. Take a ship-to-ship operation as an example. Two essential roles and responsibilities that are played out in a ship-to-ship operation is the role of the Captain and the role of the Mooring master. Roughly speaking, the Captain has the responsibility of the vessel and its team whereas the Mooring master is responsible of the operation. The Captain is the authority. Though, in its micro-dynamic process and complexity of a ship-to-ship operation, to what extent does (s)he exercise the authority given a situation where the Mooring master makes firm suggestions during a ship-to-ship operation of continuing the process based on the knowledges the Mooring master have of local conditions while the Captain is not convinced that the conditions of the operations a acceptable for the vessel? In most cases, the Captain will practice his/hers given authority, however, in other cases, we could be witnessing a Captain that experiences a Mooring master being so convincing in hers/his authority that the Captain chooses not to overrule the decision in the operation.

Now, for the simplicity one can say that the above-mentioned example is question of whose knowledge one makes most relevant in the given operation. However, knowledge is also a factor of power and authority. Furthermore, looking at the roles of the Captain and the Mooring Master, one can also in one way claim that they both have different kinds of authority given the considerations that one have to make towards the vessel, the team on the vessel, the ship-to-ship operation in it selves and the “external” team involved in the ship-to-ship operations for instance when tug-boats are involved etc.

When we talk about whether or not the hierarchical structure in the maritime organization can be challenged, more specifically in the operational field amongst officers and crew on vessels, there are situations which can challenged the well-established structure.  It might be easier perhaps to understand that if we give an example of a situation of crisis on the bridge where the primer authority, the Captain, suffers from a panic attack and is unable to handle the situation or falls ill during an operation. In such case one can say that on the one hand chief officer is obliged to take command, nonetheless, s(he) must first understand the situation and actually take the authority in a given situation. Of equal interest is the factors of the mundane that could challenge the established authority amongst officers and crew on vessels.

Now, returning to the point of departure then, the issue if gender is part of a long history of understanding social organization of society. Age, cast, class, ethnicity, religion are just some of the few complex relations in which there exist an organization of power relation which in a broad specter of different societies worldwide have become expressed in some kind of hierarchy. When we talk about these human factors, we talk about potential pre-dispositions that have the potential to shape the social relations between individuals or groups. To what degree would it affect the relation of authority between a Captain and a Chief officer if the Captain was female and the Chief officer was male, or if the Captain was younger and female and the Chief officer was older and male? There are two answers to this question; yes and no, depending on many other situational factors and non-the-less depending on other human factors.


With great respect for the well-established hierarchy in the shipping community and its social organization, it is imperative to consider human factors that might challenge its hierarchy in specific situations. The human factors might present themselves as aspect of individual personalities or choices or these might be connected to other complex systems of social organizations which touches up-on other system of social organizations.
IMO has rightfully in 2019 given attention to the issue of gender equality, followingly, it is important for all of those who work in the maritime community to continue the good work of gender equality. In the field of human factors in maritime operations it is followingly important to pay attention to factors of gender equality, but furthermore important to pay attention to other forms of social organization that makes a difference. Can the maritime hierarchy be challenged?

DP revalidation criteria for 2020 onward

Below you will find Nautical Institute’s (NI) guidelines as per December 2019 for revalidation of your DP certificate. If you have any questions or are in doubt how these guidelines we recommend you to contact Jenny Daintree in NI for clarification. We also recommend you to get any clarification in writing. Simsea will continue to run revalidation courses and you will find actual dates in our booking system http://sts.simsea.no. You may also contact Lars Gustavsen at +47 913 89 783 for further details.

The Nautical Institute has developed a set of guidelines for those revalidating after the transition period for revalidation finishes on 31st December 2019. These guidelines are to provide information for those who have not yet revalidated their DP Certificate or are due to revalidate for a second time, and the actions required if they wish to revalidate. This guidance particularly applies to:  

DPOs with DP Certificates issued before 2012  
Any DP Certificate issued before 2012 that does not have an expiry date will expire on 31st December 2019.  

DPOs with DP Certificates due for revalidation before 2020  
Any DP Certificate issued after 2012 (and due to expire before 2020) that has not yet been revalidated will also expire on 31st December 2019.  

The following points apply to all DPOs who are revalidating their certificate  

1. DP sea time can only be claimed while a DP Certificate is valid. Time completed after the DP Certificate expires cannot be used towards any revalidation.  

2. A DPO can still apply for their revalidation after the expiry date, however the new certificate will only be valid for a period of five years from the previous certificate expiry date.
 
3. DPOs may apply after their certificate has expired if they have met the DP sea time requirements for revalidation while their certificate was valid. [This applies to revalidation based on 150 days or more of DP sea time, or revalidation based on less than 150 days of DP sea time, in which case, the person needs to complete the Simulator Course and a minimum of 30 days DP sea time].  

4. If the DPO did not complete the required DP sea time for revalidation before the expiry of the certificate, then the following routes for revalidation are available for DPOs with an expired certificate: Take the Revalidation Course without DP sea time. Standard rules for revalidation with the course still apply.Take the Simulator Course with a minimum of 60 days DP sea time  

5. If a DPO cannot provide any evidence of the DP sea time within the last 10 years, or equivalent occupation or activities as recognised by the NI they will need to repeat their DP training starting with the Basic Course, and complete the training and sea time before a certificate can be issued.

Please see below for example scenarios.

Rent a Simulator, bring your own experts as instructors

A shipping company or sub-sea contractor has a wide range of training needs from ordinary familiarization to handling special operations and inherent risk. In many instances you will have the required coaching competence in your own organization. In some cases, training on board will be a good and efficient solution, in other cases this will be expensive or time-consuming to arrange. In such situations we offer rental of our state-of-the-art Kongsberg simulators.

Our simulators have models of real ships and equipment in daily use onboard. At time being we have models of semi-submersible rigs, shuttle tankers, coasters, anchor handlers, construction ships, ROV control room, shift supervisor station, work ROV, knuckle boom crane, wire luffing crane, diesel/ electric engines for ship and rig, high voltage and LNG bunkering stations. We can rent additional models from Kongsberg Digital’s library and – we can produce special models that has not yet been developed.

The SIMSEA simulators are delivered and updated by Kongsberg Digital and Fugro Intersite and certified by DNV-GL. As per today we have

5 Bridges, K-Sim Offshore with DP, DNVGL Class A

2 DP bridge trainers; NI class A and B (K-Pos, SDP)

6 ECDIS stations/bridges

Ship/rig offshore crane

2 Engine control rooms

1 High Voltage panel (real equipment according to NMA specifications)

1 DeepWorks subsea simulator, including ROV control room (Kystdesign),

All our simulators are integrated and can be used for advanced complex operations. Each simulator can also be used on a stand-alone basis. You will find our simulators very realistic and we provide different natural forces influencing your operations like weather, current, wind and heavy seas. The only thing missing is the fresh sea air.

We provide the necessary support like set-up of simulators for simple exercises or operating the simulator equipment for more complex training needs. We will also provide any administrative support, any documentation of the training and catering.

If you have any questions or want to examine this opportunity in detail don’t hesitate to contact Lars Gustavsen, telephone 913 89 783 or A Rune Johansen at telephone 909 30 668.

Non-conformities, corrective actions and root causes

Operating a ship requires painstaking and continuous planning, training, and preparation and follow-up of procedures. When we operate a ship there is an inherent risk in everything we do , which may lead to some kind of impact ranging from smaller incidents to huge disasters impacting on human life, the environment and material damage.

Any non conformity may harm the shipping company’s relation to its charterer. A risk analysis process is often carried out before hiring a vessel. A low risk vessel is good for business! One incident or non conformity is one too many. Dependent on the seriousness of the incident investigations will be carried out to identify and understand the root causes. This in itself could be a challenging exercise requiring thorough analysis involving different competencies. The same goes for identifying effective corrective actions that includes efficient learning processes and lasting improvements.

And of cause there is a cost side as well in addition to any loss of business due to dissatisfied charterers. Most maritime incidents are covered by insurance. According to CEFOR the insurance companies covered incident cost of approximately 1,5 billion USD in 2015. The policy holders’ own share of this add up to significant sums of money. For material damage the policy holder will have to cover normally 150 000 USD per incident and 16 days off hire. A total cost of 1 million USD for an “average incident” is not too much to put into your budgets.

So, what is the recipe for effective and efficient corrective actions?

The obvious answer is of cause that there is not one single recipe there to help us out. However, we know that human factors are the major root cause of incidents. Of this reason it becomes essential to increase the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the people on-board; their awareness, their ability to assess risk, to avoid it if possible and to handle incidents should it occur, and – their ability to cooperate and communicate . Yet, more and more companies choose to send staff with a bare minimum of training to work, vastly increasing the risk of incidents. 

In most aspects of life, we know that the only way to improve competence and performance is by training. Researchers have found several effective learning practices for adults meaning that grown up people is learning:

  1. when they know why they are learning something
  2. by doing
  3. by solving problems
  4. when the subject is of immediate use
  5. in social interaction
  6. when they can use their life experience
  7. when they can integrate new ideas with existing knowledge

Of cause training on-board will meet the most of these criteria and should be priority number one when it comes to learning normal operations and preventing incidents. However, when it comes to handle those incidents we know will happen someday (and they will; shit happens), there is simply no alternative to simulator training. The simulator training focuses safe handling of critical situations requiring awareness, close interaction and responsiveness in environments very similar to real life on board. The simulated operations are monitored and observed and the participants get feedback and proper debriefing. We can do it again and again until all participants get the good feeling of professional confident in various challenging situations. Simulator training is a way to reduce the risk for human errors especially when absolute precision, perfect teamwork and split-second decisions are needed. But the best of all; simulator training completely risk free!

Some argue that simulator training often is costly. Well, this is simply not the case anymore. Especially when you consider the business case: Less incidents. Look to the shuttle tankers, they do it!