PLA targets human error

PLA campaign The PLA launched its campaign at its Annual Stakeholder Forum

The human factor is the focus of the latest safety campaign by The Port of London Authority (PLA), launched at its Annual Stakeholder Forum.

The PLA decided to tackle human error following analysis of incident data which showed it was the main cause of navigational incidents on the tidal Thames in the last two years.

Speaking to more than 150 stakeholders at the forum, PLA chief harbour master, Bob Baker, said: “Over the last two years, human error was linked to more than 40% of the accidents on the river. Often it’s the simplest of things that trip people up, whether recognising that their mind’s not on the job or suddenly thinking ‘I wasn’t clear in my instructions’.”

Over the next 12 months the campaign aims to provide river users with hints and tips on issues such as best practice, communication and avoiding distractions.

Commons reasons for errors that are brought to attention in the campaign include poor attentiveness, lack of communication and bad habits.

This is according to Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), whose ‘deadly dozen’ guidance forms the basis of the campaign.

MCA’s 12 factors to watch out for include habits, unity, mindfulness, attentiveness, notifying, fitness for duty, ability, communication, tensions, overtired, routine and safety culture.

Baker added: “Our statistics show, for example, that as the winter nights close in, the risk of accidents increases. October, between 5 pm and 6 pm, is a real accident ‘hot spot’ people need to be alert to.”