Alert! 16 - Complacency and routinisation


Rogue behaviour is not the hallmark of a professional mariner

Some time ago, the United Kingdom's Chief Inspector of Accidents reported that one of his greatest concerns for safety in merchant vessels was complacency. This caused some people to suggest that his statement was an affront to the professional mariner, while others conceded that it was a serious issue that had yet to be addressed.

Complacency is but one of a number of character traits that can bring about a culture of non-compliance, lapses of judgment and unprofessional behaviour. In the book Darker Shades of Blue - The Rogue Pilot, the author introduces us to the term Rogue Behaviour, which he defines as willingly and unnecessarily failing to comply with existing guidance or taking unwarranted risks.

Rogue behaviour can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some rogue behaviour inducing conditions are readily recognisable: boredom, complacency, drudgery, familiarity, ignorance, impulsiveness, risk taking and routinisation.

Others may not be so easy to recognise: apathy, assumptions, compliance, contentment, contempt, dumbing-down, invulnerability, perceptions, predictability and seclusion - all of these are explored further in the centrespread feature of this bulletin (see page 4).


Staff Author