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Industry pays tribute to Alert!

Posted on: 10 January 2016

Just over 12 years ago The Nautical Institute launched its international human element bulletin, Alert! The first issue came out in October 2003, as seafarers were getting to grips with new technology and automation. It was becoming clear that more attention needed to be paid to human-centred design and human factors engineering as well as seafarer training.

Since 2003, there has been a transformation in the industry’s understanding of the human element in ship design, construction, management and operation. Alert! has played its part in that sea change.

Former Lloyd’s Register (LR) CEO Richard Sadler noted, “Every article in every issue over the years has dealt with the fundamentals of the human factor and increased the awareness of every reader. I am sure we could find evidence that this publication has directly or indirectly saved lives and accidents.”

Alert! has won numerous industry plaudits, including the Seatrade Award in 2004, the RINA Ship Safety Award 2005 and the 2012 Lloyd’s List Global Award for training. Thanks to Lloyd’s Register Foundation sponsorship, some 2.5 million paper copies have been distributed worldwide.

Publication of issue 40 marks a significant milestone, because it is the final Alert! bulletin. This special edition includes articles from some of the key professionals who have influenced the project in one way or another. The centre spread summarises the many human element issues that need to be considered in the design and operation of a ship.

Like the previous 39 issues, number 40 has been edited by Commodore David Squire CBE FNI FCMI who is a leading human element adviser to The Nautical Institute.

This is not the end of the Alert! Project, but rather the end of the beginning, for this huge body of knowledge is available as an online resource. A legacy of 350 articles, 21 instructional videos and 250 papers and presentations can all be accessed at Further articles will be added to the website in the coming months and years.

Alert! project patron Julian Parker OBE FNI emphasised: “The leadership challenge now is to embed this rich human element resource more deeply into our industry’s culture.”

Paying tribute to the bulletin’s role in contributing to a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally friendly shipping industry, Efthimios Mitropoulos KCMG, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, said: “Alert! has rendered valuable services to shipping.”

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