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It's a small world, after all

By Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner

I was reminded of the term ‘global village’ this week, when I attended the ATSB’s course in human factors.

There were 32 transport safety investigators in Canberra, all learning how human factors influence accidents. Human factors is basically the science of understanding why humans make mistakes and how we can prevent or minimise the impact of these mistakes in transport safety.

Of the 32 investigators who attended, 11 came from four countries other than Australia. The overseas nations represented were Taiwan, Cambodia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

The course, which has been running for more than 20 years, demonstrates how the ATSB collaborates internationally to help share knowledge and build capability to make transport systems safer.

As part of its regional engagement, the ATSB makes the course available to countries that are developing a capacity to investigate human factors, or those that want to update their knowledge base.

This course shows how international collaboration can build investigative capability in transport safety and ultimately save lives.

Of particular interest was the participation of two members of Cambodia’s newly-formed State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.

In existence for only a year, the Secretariat delegation was headed by Chay Pheap, the deputy director of the Air Accident Unit.

Chay is a former Air Traffic Controller and safety inspector who has just hired the first 11 trainee investigators, mostly from university.

He explained that countries in the Asia Pacific region are keen to establish best-practice investigation systems. This is a result of the formation of the The Asia Pacific Accident Investigation Group, which held its second meeting in Hong Kong in May.

“We are still very new to doing major investigations and we will need help in training our team,” he said.

At the end of the course, participants will take back their knowledge and pass it on to others in their organisations.

Of course, this is a two-way street. The ATSB has also learned a great deal from participants’ collective skills and experience and uses this knowledge in our investigative process.

I’m proud of the work we are doing within the region. This course shows how international collaboration can build investigative capability in transport safety and ultimately save lives.

Also, the popularity of the course is indicative of the high regard it’s held in. I’m told bookings are already being taken for 2016.


International participants at the ATSB’s Human Factors for Transport Safety Investigators course

Participants at the ATSB’s Human Factorscourse



Written by Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner at 10:29 AM
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Alok Rajvanshi said...

Human Elements in preventing marine accidents is also the topic of discussion at IMO HTW1(Human Element, Training and Watch keeping) sub committee meeting held in Feb 2014. Next meeting is proposed for Feb 2015 with more input from AMSA.
However, along with consideration for accidents at sea due to Human Elements, shipboard equipment designs (Ergonomics) should also be considered, as is mostly the case in Aviation industry. Perhaps standard ergonomics on board can lessen the number and impact of accidents at sea.

November 25, 2014 14:44
Mark Rossiter said...

At Jetstar many of our investigators have attended this course. I can highly recommend it on behalf of all here. Well done again to the ATSB in leading the way with broad reaching safety initiatives - punching well above your weight guys! Mark Rossiter Head of Safety Jetstar

November 25, 2014 15:39