Q. a) How is Human Element issue addressed in STCW code?

b) Discuss the IMO guidelines on fatigue mitigation and management on board ships.



1. Human element issue is addressed in STCW code by human element training and watch keeping (HTW) subcommittee.

2. All the human element issues are discussed in sessions of HTW subcommittee previously called as standards of training and watchkeeping (STW) subcommittee.

3. The aspects discussed includes

a. minimum International standards for training and certification of seafarers and fishing vessel personnel

b. Technical and operational issues related to Maritime safety and environmental protection

c. Promoting and implementing the IMO human element strategy

d. Review updating and revision of IMO model courses.

e. Guidance addressing issues such as fatigue.

4. At the end of each HTW subcommittee meeting a final report is prepared for submission to the maritime safety committee.

5. The final report provides record of the issues discussed and actions taken by the subcommittee.

The fourth session of HTW subcommittee was held from 3rd January to 3rd February 2017. Following issues related to human element were discussed.

Validation of IMO model courses. Model courses have become increasingly important in supporting the implementation of IMO instruments, by providing relevant guidance which can be used globally by trainers and at institutes approved by national Administrations.

The Sub-Committee validated the following model courses:

New courses validated:

  • Basic training for ships operating in polar waters  Advanced training for ships operating in polar waters
  • Ratings forming part of a watch in a manned engine-room or designated to perform duties in a periodically unmanned engine-room;
  • Ratings as able seafarer deck;

Revised model courses validated:

  • Engine-Room Simulator
  • Assessment, Examination and Certification of Seafarers
  • Training course for Instructors
  • Onboard assessment

Interim Guidance for STCW implementation approved –

The Sub-Committee approved a circular giving advice related to implementation of the 2010 Manila amendments to the STCW convention, clarifying

1. the requirements related to the provision of documentary evidence for PSC officers and other third-party inspection regimes

2. the training requirements for ECDIS required under the STCW Convention.

B) IMO guidelines on fatigue mitigation and management on board ships :

1. The guidelines are composed of Modules each devoted to an interested party.

2. The Guidelines on Fatigue contain practical information that can assist interested parties (Naval Architects/Ship designers, owners/operators, Masters, Officers, other crew members and training institutions) to better understand and manage fatigue.

3. The guidelines provide information on the potential dangers of fatigue and ultimately the effect on the health and safety of the personnel working on ships. The guidelines contain information on the symptoms & causes of fatigue, & address solutions to combat fatigue in order to reduce associated health problems & avert fatigue-related accidents from occurring.

4. The guidelines have been divided into nine modules, as follows:

1. Module 1 – Fatigue

2. Module 2 – Fatigue & the Rating

3. Module 3 – Fatigue & the Ship’s Officer

4. Module 4 – Fatigue & the Master

5. Module 5 – Fatigue & the Training Institution & Management Personnel in charge of the Training

6. Module 6 – Shipboard Fatigue & the Owner/Operator/Manager

7. Module 7 – Shipboard Fatigue & the Naval Architect/Ship Designer

8. Module 8 – Fatigue & the Maritime Pilot

9. Module 9 – Fatigue & Tugboat Personnel

5. Although all Modules are self-contained, it is recommended that all parties become familiar with the Module 1, which contains general information on the fatigue. In other instances it will be beneficial if the reader (interested party) becomes familiar with Modules other than the immediately applicable one.

6. Following points are discussed in each module giving each interested party an individual overview :

1. How to recognize fatigue in yourself and others (Signs/symptoms)?

2. What can cause fatigue?

3. How can people prevent the onset of the fatigue?

4. What can mitigate the effect of fatigue?

5. What can be done to reduce crew fatigue onboard?

6. What rules & regulations are in place to prevent & deal with fatigue?

7. How does fatigue relate to the ILO & IMO instruments?