The management level HELM course is designed in line with the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and examines the crucial role human factors play in high-risk work environments while focusing on the effective handling of workloads through adequate leadership and management strategies.
“Up to 96% of marine casualties are caused by some form of human error”, says Sultan Al Jaberi, VP Regulations, HSE and security, ADPC. “Today, we live in a world with greater technical reliability and highly advanced automation procedures and quality control systems. Since the human element has been identified as the weakest link in the chain, we need to be self-aware and understand its components to guarantee a healthy and safe work environment.”
Over the course of five days the participants learned about the limitations of human performance and how stressors such as fatigue and work overload contribute to the occurrence of errors. Also, the participants took part in various practical exercises on ADPC’s state-of-the-art bridge simulators, practicing comprehensive communication processes while learning how to effectively prioritize events.
Captain Simon Flitch and former Royal Navy Officer Bob Hubble, both with several decades of extensive experience in high-risk work environments, instructed the exercises which were recorded and played back, giving the participants the opportunity to assess and evaluate their performances.
”Taking the HELM training has been a great experience. It gives you the chance to analyze yourself and makes you aware of all non-technical aspects of seafaring which are as important as the technical ones”, comments Fayed Hamad Saeed Hamad Alnuaimi, 2nd officer on board of oil tankers at Abu Dhabi National Tanker Company (ADNATCO), who was one of the participants.
As a result of the Manila amendment to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), the five-day HELM course, which is taught for senior officers (management level) and junior officers (operational level), has been made mandatory for all officers on-board of merchant vessels with a gross tonnage of 500 and above.