The existing common accident and incident analysis schemes in maritime operations do not pay adequate attention to human and organisational errors, and differ significantly between EU countries. Moreover, the gathering of facts by authorities is coupled to the question and investigation of guilt, which inevitably limits access to crucial and unbiased information.
CASMET aimed to help develop a common methodology for the investigation of maritime accidents and the reporting of hazardous incidents, and to improve the understanding of human factors related to accidents.
The main objectives of CASMET have been:
- to develop a procedure and methodology for the investigation and analysis of maritime casualties which can be introduced into a common EU casualty database;
- to demonstrate the results of the proposed methodology and to evaluate its impact assessment with selected cases, in particular with respect to human factors;
- to develop a cost-effectiveness model, that estimates the risk reduction effect of a preventive measure by means of a formal safety assessment technique which is supported by the casualty analysis methodology.
- carried out a critical assessment of current (European) practices for maritime accident investigation and analysis;
- found that existing practices for casualty investigation vary considerably, even though common features could be identified as well;
- discovered a frequent shortcoming in taking into account Human and Organisational Errors (HOE), or an inadequate treatment of these issues;
- compared maritime accident investigation procedures outside Europe, and schemes employed in other industries, such as aviation, nuclear and off-shore operations;
- described a comprehensive methodology for accident recording and analysis, and elaborated a structure for coding information in a database;
- tested and validated the project's approach by considering a set of typical accident scenarios and well documented real-life incidents, that had been attributed to technical as well as HOE factors; and
- performed a simplified cost-benefit analysis of implemented risk reduction measures.
One of the key recommendations from CASMET is the development of a common, European-level, well-maintained maritime accident database. Such a database would allow for the detailed assessment and analysis of individual accidents, as well as the statistical evaluation of the entire casualty record.