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Based on a wide range of consultations with maritime organisations, the guide was produced by organisational psychologists gs partnership ltd, for consortium partners UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, BP Shipping, Teekay Marine Services, and the Standard P&I Club. Aimed at everyone in the shipping industry, the Guide explains the fundamental aspects of human behaviour, which together constitute what the commercial maritime sector calls 'the human element'. It makes clear that the human element is neither peripheral nor optional in the pursuit of a profitable and safe shipping industry. The Guide clearly shows that managing the human element must take place simultaneously at all levels of the industry. Analysis of continuing shipping disasters has increasingly implicated the human element. The loss of life, the impact on company profits and credibility, and the vast environmental damage that can result from the loss of even a single vessel remain clear. The Guide offers insight, explanation and advice to help manage the human element more effectively, more safely and more profitably.