By Student’s Name Essay Example

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7THE RЕLАTIОNSHIР BЕTWЕЕN TRAINING OF SЕАFАRЕRS AND NUMBER OF АССIDЕNTS

ЕХРLОRING THE RЕLАTIОNSHIР BЕTWЕЕN TRAINING OF SЕАFАRЕRS AND NUMBER OF АССIDЕNTS IN THE CARGO INDUSTRY (2003-2013)

Abstract

This paper presents a proposal for a study that seeks to eхрlоre thе rеlаtiоnshiр bеtwееn trаining of sеаfаrеrs and number of aссidеnts in the cargo industry. This study will explore what training in the cargo shipping industry entail, the implications of training and subsequently examine whether training of sеаfаrеrs contributes to a decrease in the number of accidents in the cargo industry. In order to address the identified research objectives, this study will employ a mixed model that will include both the qualitative and quantitative designs. Content analysis, interviews and questionnaires will be used as the methods of data collection. It is expected that a positive correlation between trаining of sеаfаrеrs and number of aссidеnts in the cargo industry will be established.

1.0 Introduction

Over the years, a number of maritime studies have provided compelling evidence depicting that, 80% of all maritime incidences and accidents are caused by human error (Hetherington et al. 2006; Kristiansen 2005; Ziarati 2006). Many of these studies suggest that acts of commission or omission on the part of seafarers or ship operators play a significant role in instigating shipping accidents (Hanzu-Pazara et al. 2008; Hetherington et al. 2006). The lack of effective seafarer training has particularly been cited in many studies as one of the underlying human factors that contribute to accidents in the shipping industry (Antao & Suares 2008). A considerable number of studies have suggested that in order to minimise accidents in the shipping industry, effective training is essential (Clini et al. 2010; Hetherington et al. 2006; Rothblum 2000). Some studies have explored the relationship between training and shipping accidents and have found that training enhances competence by facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and skills related to various aspects of job performance. In essence these studies suggest that, training has a positive impact on job performance and is instrumental in averting and reducing maritime accidents associated with human error (Emad & Roth 2008).

In a bid to avert and minimise accidents in the shipping industry over time significant efforts have exerted towards improving seafarers training. In 1978, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) developed the International convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW). This convention outlines the minimum requirements for the training and qualification for seafarers. Moreover, member countries of the IMO have also developed standards and requirements for seafarer training in order to improve training. Besides this, many maritime training institutions have exerted significant effort towards improving training by introducing new training programs and directing more resources towards increasing the effectiveness of training offered (IMO 2013).

Over time, a number of statistics on maritime accidents have shown a pattern of reduction in the shipping losses and fatalities from shipping accidents. IMO data particularly show an annual declining casualties from shipping accidents between 2006 and 2011with the exception of 2010 (IMO 2012, Butt et al 2012).Simialrly,data from Lloyd’s Register particularly show a decline in the number of vessels lost globally from 2000 to 2010 (ACGS 2012). Based on these statistics, it is worth questioning whether training has contributed to the recent decline in the number of shipping accidents or whether there are other factors which have played this role. It is for these reasons that this study seeks to eхрlоre thе rеlаtiоnshiр bеtwееn trаining of sеаfаrеrs and the numbеr of aссidеnts in the shipping industry between 2003-2013.

Scope and Objectives of the Study

This study will examine the implications of seafarers training. It will critically explore the relationship between training of sеаfаrеrs and the numbеr of aссidеnts in the cargo shipping industry between 2003-2013. It will seek to establish whether training has contributed to a reduction in maritime accidents. Some of the key research questions that this study will seek to address include;

  • What does training in the shipping industry involve?

  • What are the implications of seafarer training?

  • What is the relationship between trаining of sеаfаrеrs and the numbеr of aссidеnts in the cargo shipping industry?

  • Has training contributed to a decline in shipping accidents in the cargo industry?

This study will also seek to approve or disprove the following hypothesis

Hypothesis: Training of seafarers contributes to a decrease in the number of shipping accidents in the cargo industry.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 The Link between Training and Shipping Accidents in the Cargo Industry

A number of studies such as those carried out by Clini et al (2010) and Hetherington et al (2006) have examined the underlying causes of accidents in the cargo industry and recommended the need to improve training in order to curb accidents. Besides this commissions set to investigate the causes of accidents in the shipping industry have also emphasised on the need to improve training in order to minimise accidents in the cargo industry. For instance, following the Bourbon incident which led to the loss lives of eight crew members, the Commission investigating the accident recommended the need for improvements in training in order to enhance the level of expertise of ship operators and minimise accidents (Norwegian Royal Commission 2008). In essence, training is considered as a suitable intervention that can enhance the determinants of individual job performance (Campbell & Kuncel 2001). According to Emad & Roth (2008), training mediates job performance by equipping personnel with knowledge and skills that enhance competence in various occupational tasks. They further argue that training has a positive impact on job performance and safety especially in high risk occupations such as the maritime industry. It is instrumental in preventing the effects of accidents associated with human error (Emad & Roth 2008).

A study carried out by Hale (1989) examined the relationship between training and industrial accidents and found that, when training is effectively conducted accidents rates are less frequent. Barnett et al (2006) also argue that the quality of maritime training is crucial in the reduction of environmental protection, maritime safety and promotion on safety in shipping. Moreover, incident reports from a several shipping accidents have cited poor training as one of the causal factors of the accidents (Wagenar & Groeneweg, 1987; Kristiansen, 2005, Hetherington et al 2006, Ziarati, 2006). Similarly, analyses of casualty reports in many maritime accidents have reported crucial omissions or deficiencies in the training received by mariners as major contributors of accidents. Some of these reports have particularly pointed with fatal consequences (Kristiansen 2005).

Emad & Roth (2008) observe that under the STCW regime, global maritime training has become outcome and competency-based. It combines elements of knowledge, skills and experience thus seafarers who undergo training are not only expected to demonstrate adequate knowledge but also skills relevant skills and practical experience on-board ship (Emad & Roth 2008). According to the IMO (2013), the main objective of maritime training is to ensure that seafarers are have adequate knowledge, skills and are competent to carry out their duties in a way that ensures lives, property and the environment are protected. Emad& Roth (2008) argue that, the effectiveness of maritime training when it comes to mitigating accidents is highly dependent on the extent in which training equips seafarers with knowledge, skills, experiences and competencies that enable them to respond appropriately in high risks situations(Emad & Roth 2008). Therefore, in reference to Emad & Roth (2008), the knowledge, skills and experiences gained through maritime training can play a significant role in reducing maritime accidents.

3.0 Methodology

Study design

To explore whether the training of seafarers has an impact on the number of accidents, the study will employ a mixed model where both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used. While the quantitative approach is objective, the qualitative approach is subjective. The qualitative approach will make it possible for data that cannot easily be reduced to numbers to be collected and analysed. Anderson (2010, p 141) states that qualitative research is important, especially to policy makers, since it gives a description of the setting where the policies are to be implemented. It is characterized by a number of traits such as asking why, how and under what circumstances, having a holistic view of a social phenomenon, and being iterative as opposed to fixed (Babbie 2007, p. 14). Since seafarer’s training cannot be easily quantified, this approach will make it possible for training as a variable to be analyzed.

The quantitative framework will involve the utilization of both primary and secondary data. Secondary data collection methods would be utilized to collect the secondary data. The secondary sources to be used would include journals, secondary books as well as online databases. After the secondary data has been validated, it would be evaluated by setting up the data set variables together with the definitions and explanation of each variable. The data set variables would then be utilized to place the collected data in a tabular form. After that, the highlighted points would further be analyzed. Secondary data that would be utilized in the research included raw data as well as published works in this area of study. The Secondary data will be used to provide a conceptual framework as well as comparative data, which in turn made it possible to triangulate the final findings. Primary data will be obtained through the use of a questionnaire.

Participant selection and access

Recruitment of participants in this study will involve purposeful sampling. This method of sampling involves choosing research participants as per the aims, objectives and requirements of the whole study. Both trained and untrained seafarers will be selected with the aid of the respective crew leaders. Participants who meet the inclusion criteria will be informed by the researcher about their inclusion. They will be allowed to think over whether they will able to participate in the study or not. A written informed consent will be obtained for the participants that will agree to be part of the study.

Number of participants

According to Holloway and Wheeler (2010, p.22), the number of participants in any quantitative study will depend on a number of factors key among them being availability of the necessary resources, type of the main research question as well as the total number of researchers being involved in the study. Schneider et al (2007, p.56) argues that the quality of data should be considered when determining the number of participants that should be involved in a study. In addition to that, they are of the opinion that the appropriate number of participants in a study should be between 8 and 15. However, there are no standard rules established with regard to the most effective number of participants in any given qualitative study. This study will utilize 30 participants, 15 of which will be trained and the other 15 would be untrained.

Materials

To collect primary data, the study will utilize a structured questionnaire. Apart from being inexpensive, questionnaires are also easy to analyse. Additionally, they are less intrusive and make it possible to avoid bias (Gerrish and Lacey 2006, p.52). The questionnaire will be divided into two parts with the first part requiring participants to fill in their personal details, namely age, gender and the period they have been seafarers. The second part of the questionnaire will present the participants with 6 close ended questions. The questionnaire will take an average of 10 minutes to complete and will not limit any respondent on the basis of time and came with all the necessary instructions to the respondents. The SPSS 12.0 software will be used to analyse the collected data.

Analysis of data

Finished questionnaires will be sorted out in terms of trained and untrained seafarers after which the data will be confidentially analyzed. The SPSS 12.0 software will be used to analyse the collected data. The several variables in the study would be identified and analysed using mean scores, frequencies, descriptive statistics as well as standard deviation. Background data variables such as training background, work experience as well as age would be classified before percentage distributions and frequency distribution are done. Cross-tabulation as well as the t-test would be used to analyse the correlation between the identified variables and the difference in the means between the treatment and the control group. Sum variables mean differences in background variables would be revealed using one-way analysis of variance. In this study, the comparison of means will seek to establish the following;

  • Shipping accidents are higher in small shipping companies than in big shipping companies

  • Training offered in big shipping companies is more comprehensive than the training offered in small shipping companies.

  • Training of seafarers contributes to a decrease in the number of shipping accidents in the cargo industry.

  • The relationship between training of seafarers and number of accidents in the cargo shipping industry.

4.0 Expected results

Based on evidence drawn from the analysis of the collected data, it is expected that shipping accidents will be higher in small shipping companies than in big shipping companies mainly because most big shipping companies employ trained seafarers while the small companies make use of the untrained seafarers. It is expected that, a positive correlation between trаining of sеаfаrеrs and number of aссidеnts in the cargo industry will be established. It is also expected that the findings of this study will show that improvements in training practices since 2003 have helped to minimise the number of accidents in the cargo industry. Hence, it is expected that the hypothesis established prior to the study will be confirmed.

Discussion

Over the years, a number of studies have recommended the need to improve training in order to avert and minimise accidents in the shipping industry (Clini et al 2010; Hetherington et al 2006). By examining the rеlаtiоnshiр bеtwееn trаining of sеаfаrеrs and number of aссidеnts in the cargo industry, this study will provide invaluable insights on the effectiveness of training as an intervention. It will showcase whether training as intervention training has a positive impact on job performance and is instrumental in averting and reducing maritime accidents associated with human error. The use of both the qualitative and the quantitative approaches will provide in-depth information and showcase different views and perspectives on the relationship trаining of sеаfаrеrs and number of aссidеnts in the cargo industry.

The fact that the study relies on both secondary and primary data presents some challenges, apart from being outdated, some secondary data might be biased. In addition to that, accessing some important information on the training of seafarers and the number of accidents might prove challenging cumbersome to the researcher. Collecting primary data is also expensive and might prove tedious. However, the researcher hopes to overcome all the mentioned challenges.

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