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Cutting the Error Chain

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  • Humans make mistakes
  • Humans can't pay attention to everything
  • Mistakes are the result, not the cause

Be aware of the above, look directly at the results of the mistake, and think "How can we build an environment that reduces mistakes?" or, "How can we make it so that even if we make a mistake, it won't result in a maritime accident?" Thus from these viewpoints, we think about what is necessary to prevent an incident from reoccurrence, or to prevent one before it occurs.

By analyzing objective indicators such as the LTIF and vessel down time and incidents occurred, we found that many incidents are caused by human error. Humans make mistakes, and those humans build ships and they operate them, so it is probably impossible to eliminate 100% of mistakes. Actually, there is something lacking in the human thought process, and we must humbly admit it. So when something unexpected happens, it's not enough just to keep the effects from getting worse. In case of an incident, it is critical to minimize the damage by cutting the error chain—that is a key point in safe ship operation.

Behavior Based Safety (BBS)

To break "error chains" aboard its vessels, the MOL Group focuses on a program called Behavior Based Safety (BBS), which increases "safe behavior" and ensures the safety of the vessel by thinking of background factors when people select "safe behavior" or "unsafe behavior" and working on the factors behind the selection process. For example, drivers' fastening their seatbelts after they get behind the wheel is "safe behavior." Use of a mobile phone while driving a car is "unsafe behavior." Why does someone use a mobile phone while driving? The background issues may be "I was in a hurry," or overconfidence, for example, I'm accustomed to driving a car."

The team categorizes "safe behaviors" or "unsafe behaviors" in onboard activities, and proactively discusses what the team can do to make sure everyone is choosing "safe behaviors." Crewmembers pointing out "safe behavior" to their colleagues is in itself a "safe behavior" and accumulating such examples will lead to safer operation.

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