On a European level, we want to prevent accidents. This requires more than just technical investments, as the human factor plays an important role in these incidents. We believe that the current reaction – following an incident – based on regulation is too limited. An important first step is to have a good knowledge and analysis of the actual causes of an incident.

Funding investigation

A number of parties involved within the European Inland Navigation sector; the joint inland shipping entrepreneurs, organized in the IWT (Inland Water Transport platform), together with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Managements and IVR, combined their forces in funding a research project carried out by Intergo (International Center for Safety, Ergonomics and Human Factors).

First stage

In the first stage of this meta-study important databases from France, Germany and the Netherlands were gathered. The databases were not established for the analyses needed in this study. Another practical problem was the compatibility of the databases.

Intergo thoroughly looked into the databases and could come to some first remarkable conclusions and indications. Some of those indications seem to be related; darkness, time of incidents (early morning-late afternoon-late evening) and period of the year (November-January). Intergo also made a first analyze to the root causes and the type of error.

Next step

In stage two the participants and Intergo are going to consult experts in the field. They want to check and double check these first outcomes and are looking for some more (specific) information/data.

Based on the outcome of this second stage in our research, we hope to find the causes related to these incidents and be able to give recommendations in order to reduce the number of accidents in the future.