Workshop collisions (2019)


(26 September 2019)




In European inland navigation, collisions with bridges and other infrastructures remain a frequent type of accident (around 40 % of total accidents) and unfortunately with several fatal accidents in recent years. The analysis of the accidents revealed that human failure was overwhelmingly identified as the reason for the collision. In more than half of all cases, due to the helmsman not reacting correctly, the wheelhouse was not lowered, or insufficiently lowered. Technical systems exist on the market to warn the helmsman and thereby prevent collisions with bridges or infrastructure.

In 2019, the European Committee for drawing up Standards in the field of Inland Navigation (CESNI) decided to collect information on experience and draft requirements for systems intended to avoid bridge collisions involving the wheelhouse (task PT-5).




In this context, the CESNI organised a workshop with the following objectives:

  • evaluate the impact of the human factor in collisions with bridges and identify supplementary measures to improve safety of inland navigation;
  • develop an overview of available technical solutions;
  • collect experience from shipping operators who already use such systems;
  • allow a discussion between the manufacturers, the shipping industry, classification societies and the representatives of national administrations on minimum requirements that would be necessary to improve safety of inland navigation when using such systems as well as the need of certification of such systems.




Vessel bridge collisions and the human element


  • Ms Schreibers (Intergo – International Centre for Safety, Ergonomics & Human factors) EN


Overview of available technical solutions


  • Mr van Ooijen (Sensor Maritime) EN
  • Ms Bantle (SICK) EN
  • Mr van Veen (Alphatron) NL
  • Mr Sobotka (Ship solution) DE
  • Mr Hoppe (Laessi / SCIPPPER) DE


Experience from shipping operators and boatmaster


  • Mr Arntz (IVR) EN
  • Mr Klonki (Imperial Logistics) EN
  • Mr Munck (ME-Protect)/Mr Weber (GDWS – Generaldirektion Wasserstraßen und Schifffahrt)/Mr Galko DE


Need of minimum requirements as well as the certification of systems intended to avoid bridge collisions


  • Mr Kliche (BMVI) DE