Despite the innovative trends in marine technology and the implementation of safety-related regulations, shipping accidents are still a leading concern for global maritime interests. Ensuring the consistency of shipping accident investigation reports is recognized as a significant goal in order to clearly identify the root causes of these accidents. Hence, the goal of this paper is to generate an analytical Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), based on a Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP), in order to identify the role of human errors in shipping accidents. Integration of FAHP improves the HFACS framework by providing an analytical foundation and group decision-making ability in order to ensure quantitative assessment of shipping accidents. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.