Condition Monitoring In the Marine Community – A little help is needed!


In the UK the number of plastic bags being used by supermarket shoppers was astronomical, the waste and cost in terms of energy to produce something that was essentially an unnecessary item was considered by the vast majority of people to be   also an unacceptable situation. I can remember people being interviewed on TV saying that this was terrible and should be stopped.

Even so behaviour did not change. This is because we humans and creatures of habit, we don’t like change, we certainly find it difficult to behave differently even when we are asked and we make it clear that we think the behaviour is unacceptable.

So we have to legislate, as its not enough for us to simply feel better about our behaviour so we have to be actively participating in the avoidance of the danger of a penalty before we are prepared to change.

We now we have to pay for plastic bags at the supermarket. Occasionally I forget and have to buy a few but now I take with me the required carrying capability to allow me to pack my goods in the car and take them home.

We also used legislation to great affect with drinking and driving  and for very good reasons. Also for helmet wearing on motor cycles and seat belt wearing in cars. Now in the vast breadth of UK society drinking and driving, not wearing a helmet or a seat belt is simply not acceptable. If you don’t believe me get into a car with a 7 year old and see how long it takes for them to remind you ( with a disapproving face), to put on your seat belt.


The word is that paper cups for coffee will go the same way as the plastic bag as they are inherently non-recyclable and have to be made from premium materials (not recycled and high production energy costs). So we need to take a refillable cup into the coffee shop or they will charge us a premium for the socially unacceptable vessel they are forced to provide.

My point here is that people don’t naturally do stuff just because they know its the right or better way to do things. They do it because that’s the way they do it. Unless of course someones holding a big stick over them or threatening them with some detrimental thing, like a fine, or an on cost or a repetitional black mark or fewer customers etc.

Condition Based Maintenance as a primary maintenance strategy is proven ( see airline industry) to be the most effective way to ensure that your assets meet the reliability and operational requirements for your business. It is not just a good idea, it works, is is cost effective, it improves the bottom line of every business that has adopted it.

My guess is that soon the underwriters will get tough on preventable failures by ensuring that companies who do not do enough to protect their assets by managing their risks will not benefit from financial assurances in the event of a failure.

I also suspect that the shipping industry needs to take a look at the airline industry and take advantage of smart ship technology including that for reliability and maintenance and that the class societies will have to become more proactive in recognising that poor maintenance when set against best practice is effectively a negligent behaviour and one that should be highlighted and ultimately eradicated.



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