July 9, 2009 | Mark Paradies

Debate About Training – How Much is Enough? Tugboat Pilot Training vs Accidents

The Associate Press ran an interesting story about accidents climbing in the tugboat/barge industry. The story implies that “new” pilots with too little training is the cause.

Whenever anyone refers to an accident trend, I’m always suspicious.

The article says that accidents are up 25% since 2003. From 1.399 accidents in 2003 to 1,754 in 2007.

But to see a real trend I’d need to see at least 7 years worth of statistics (I’d rather see 11 to 18 years worth) and also see the number of miles travels (I would think this would be the denominator in the equation). The fact that this information isn’t provided makes me suspicious.

(For more about how to learn from real trends, attend the Advanced Trending Techniques Course before the TapRooT® Summit.)

And here is one of those famous quotes. A pilot quoted in the article said:

I started out here when I was 14 years old, and I’m 58 now, and I’m still learning, This is hands-on. The stuff we do cannot be put in a book.

So this is a debate about how to train someone for a particular job. Or is it?

Perhaps the main point is being missed. The real interesting statistic would be an accurate accounting of the root causes of tug boat accidents. If accurate root cause analysis was performed, my guess would be that fatigue would be a much bigger issue than training (because of the schedules that tugboat pilots are required to work).

To learn more about finding the real root causes of accidents, consider attending a TapRooT® Course to learn a systematic process that is used by industry leaders around the world.

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