The EU-funded SAFEMODE project highlights the power of group learning reviews during an incident investigation. Most of the time, those involved in an incident are interviewed separately, and the interviewer’s role is to ‘put the pieces together’.
However, if investigators take a group-focused approach, they will be able to see the big picture of the factors influencing the event, what went right, and what could go better next time. It is critical to consider bringing the crew together later, or subsets of the crew, to review the event and learn from it. This is less about investigation and more about learning and improving onboard safety culture.
3 reasons why group learning matters
1. When people hear other people’s accounts of an event, they see it in a new light and become aware of new information, other roles, equipment design, and communications.
2. Crew members are given the full picture of what is thought to have happened and why, and they are not allowed to draw their own conclusions, which may or may not be correct.
3. Group learning reviews can improve ship safety culture by involving the crew in a non-threatening, non-derogatory open discussion whose sole purpose is to learn to be safer.
7 blockers when reporting an incident for experience feedback
The following factors are real blockers to reporting and learning within the maritime industry, and hence to safety overall:
#1 Less human factors than in other industries
#2 Variety in ship design
#3 Onshore non-understanding of life at sea
#4 Captain is the person to blame for, even if not on duty
#5 Blame the ship/ scant consideration of upstream factors
#6 Over focus on procedural non- compliance
#7 Criminalization of seafarers
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