Research aims to improve safety at sea

08/05/04

New specialist unit announced

New research, which will result in a better understanding of maritime risks, will result from a major programme of support for research at Cardiff University, Wales, UK by Lloyd's Register.

As part of its programme of support for education, training and research, Lloyd's Register has agreed to provide funding of £500,000 over five years to establish a special research unit within the Seafarers' International Research Centre at the University.

The research unit will be led by Dr Helen Sampson, Director of the Seafarers' International Research Centre. It will draw on expertise within the centre and will be supported by the Research and Development Department of Lloyd's Register. Its focus will be on the 'human element' of seafaring, with a view to informing policy makers and ultimately preventing accidents and saving lives.

"I am delighted that Lloyd's Register will be funding the establishment of this Research Unit at Cardiff," said David Moorhouse, Chairman of Lloyd's Register. "Helen Sampson and her team have a well established reputation in a number of fields relating to the human element issues encountered in ship operation and I believe that the Lloyd's Register Research Unit will develop a strong, internationally recognised programme of research activity which will benefit Lloyd's Register and, more importantly, the wider maritime community.

"This funding of a research programme in the human element furthers our commitment to the industry where Lloyd's Register is also funding a three year human element awareness initiative through the Nautical Institute, which is based on Alert!, a quarterly bulletin, raising human element issues, aimed at maritime professionals in probably the largest circulation ever attempted in the industry."

The Seafarers International Research Centre was established in 1995 and is based in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. In recent years it has attracted commissioned work from bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) relating generally to issues of seafarer welfare, health and safety.

"This is the first time the Centre has embraced an externally funded Unit devoted to the interface between ships as technical systems and humans as fallible beings," said Dr Sampson.

"I am delighted that Lloyd's Register has agreed to support this Unit. It will allow us to undertake research that will inform those seeking to contribute to debates on safety and specifically on issues relating to the so called 'human element'. This is an area in which much work needs to be done and we look forward to playing our part in stimulating debate and policy development with the ultimate ambition of helping to reduce accidents and incidents at sea."

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