IMCA’s Human Factors in modern maritime security seminar

Associations, Events, Conferences,Forums and Symposiums, Maritime Education and Training, Piracy and Terrorism, Safety and Security — By on November 1, 2016 at 8:40 PM
Richard Benzie

Richard Benzie

Registrations for the International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) forthcoming Security Seminar being held in London on Thursday 10 November are coming from home and overseas, from companies and individuals concerned about the human factors on security in key areas of the offshore marine contracting industry, both in the offshore oil and gas and renewable energy sectors. Sponsored by Subsea 7, the event is a continuation of IMCA’s new series of mini-seminars – niche events tailored to tackle specific topics.

Nicolas Krmic of Subsea 7, and IMCA’s Security Workgroup Chairman, will welcome delegates – primarily security professionals, vessel security managers, academics and other interested parties; and then Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will provide an insight into the general state of maritime security.

The morning will then concentrate on cyber security with a 25-minute scene setter on current cyber issues, including most recent examples of attacks, but stressing the point that the biggest threat is from within – company employees (both senior and junior).  Delegates will then be grouped, and each group will have a facilitator to assist in addressing the scenario-based discussion topics.

“The aim is to utilise the collective knowledge base to identify some key aspects and recommend solutions to address them,” explains IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie. “A mix of generic, individual experience and marine-specific cases and topics will be developed by the groups. Topics already identified include:

  • Senior management viewpoint
  • Juniors’ viewpoint
  • What can be done?
  • Is there a need for more industry agreement and/or effort?
  • Does the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (or STCW) Security Awareness Training need to be adjusted?

“More topics will be revealed on the day,” he adds. “And the decisions and conclusions drawn will be recorded on flip charts, for discussions at subsequent IMCA seminars to help to determine our future work programme.”

The afternoon will be devoted to ‘Global risk exposure: The changing face of employers’ duty of care’ with Rob Taylor of Alert 24 setting the scene with a presentation on the duty of care concerns in the modern security environment.  He will be supported by Rob Acker of Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance who will provide a departure from the group session in the afternoon with another presentation on the subject. Thereafter delegates will again be divided into groups to discuss topics such as:

  • How is the duty of care affected by the modern security environment?
  • How can this be approached more proactively?
  • What is needed to deal with the consequences of violent criminal acts?
  • What can companies do to contain, mitigate and defend their people?
  • How to adopt an ‘inform, prevent, respond and insure’ strategy

Further information on the seminar and all aspects of IMCA’s work on behalf of around 1,000 member companies in over 60 countries is available from and (for event registration) and The association has LinkedIn and Facebook groups and its Twitter handle is @IMCAint

Background notes on the topics coming under the seminar ‘spotlight’:

  • ·Global risk exposure to our people – considering the nature of risks for IMCA members and their personnel in the global market place. The recent terrorist attacks in seemingly safe locations such as Rouen, Nice, Brussels and Orlando have served to demonstrate that the security threats posed to marine contractor employees travelling on company business to known high risk areas are considerably higher than they were a few years ago.

Concurrently, while piracy and violent maritime crime has declined in some areas it has become more virulent in others. Dealing with the issues generated by the instability in the modern world is a real challenge, particularly for many IMCA members who are operating on an international basis.

The duty of care expected and required from employers has greatly increased and new considerations such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are no longer just features of the battlefield, and are now having to be faced by employers whose personnel are victims of kidnapping and witnesses to violent criminal acts. Companies now have to provide a level of duty of care that has not been seen before. What are the issues and how do we deal with them?

  • The internal cyber security threat – the ‘Human Factor’ in cyber security. It is becoming widely accepted that the biggest cyber risk posed to companies comes from their own employees both senior managers, who may not understand or recognise there is a cyber security risk, but also the juniors coming into companies who have hitherto unfettered access to 24/7 internet connectivity and have little sense of cyber ‘tidiness’.

Is it an over-exaggerated risk or simply not understood? What measures can be taken in tight financial circumstances? How do companies prepare for the implementation of greater IT and data protection regulations?

About IMCA
IMCA, the international association representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies, publishes some 200 guidance documents, safety promotional materials, timely information notes and safety flashes. Its members benefit from a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training, lifting and rigging and four technical divisions – Diving, Marine, Remote Systems & ROV, and Offshore Survey; plus five active geographic sections encompassing the globe.

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