The value of learning from Incidents | HELMEPA and the Nautical Institute

13 August 2021

Incident and near miss reporting in the development of safety is recognized in many high-risk industries, including shipping.

While most shipping companies have mandatory internal reporting procedures for incidents and near misses within the Safety Management Systems, only few voluntary shared reporting schemes exist due to poor or inappropriate feedback, complicated reporting systems and wide variations in the definition of incidents and near misses.

The need to overcome the blame culture and benefit from the sharing of ‘lessons learned’ from incidents was highlighted during the webinar “Safety First: Learning from Incidents” co-organized (June 2021) by HELMEPA and the Greek Branch of the Nautical Institute.


Expert speakers from the Nautical Institute, Lloyd’s Register and the Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI) presented the main safety trends and findings of established reporting schemes such as MARS and CHIRP Maritime, risks arising from simultaneous operations onboard and ‘lessons learned’ from recent case studies.


Participants included more than 280 seafarers of various nationalities and shipping professionals from managing companies-members of HELMEPA and CYMEPA, classification societies, Hellenic Coast Guard officers and others, who actively participated in the polls and in the Q&A session.


Additionally, they were informed about HELMEPA’s newly established Voluntary Incident Reporting Platform-VIRP, the ultimate goal of which is to constitute another key tool to improve safety performance in a proactive way and enhancing maritime safety culture in the East Mediterranean and wider. To this end, similar initiatives and synergies with expert maritime stakeholders will be further pursued.


The webinar was part of the 3-year project on “Enhancing the Understanding of New and Enduring Challenges in Maritime Safety Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean” implemented by HELMEPA in cooperation with associate members Lloyd’s Register and DYNAMARINe in Greece and CYMEPA in Cyprus, with the kind support of Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF).