Whatever happened to human factors aboard ships?

"The Need for Additional Human Factors Considerations in Ship Operations"

Author:  Rik van Hemmen

Published:  September 2008

Presented at the Second International Symposium on Ship Operations, Management & Economics in Athens, Greece


Many of Martin & Ottaway's investigations of environmental crimes, collisions and other shipboard non-conformances have indicated that crews are very heavily stressed as compared to even a few decades ago.


This paper summarizes an investigation in historical crew sizing methods and the lack of any present day investigations in crew sizing and workload.  The investigation is a summary of actual cases M&O worked on and work performed through SNAME's Technology and Research panel EC-7.


The results of this work indicate that with the advent of new regulations there is a significant shortage of crew dedicated to the environmental and safety systems that have been introduced aboard ships in the last decades.


The paper proposes the introduction of a shipboard environmental officer.  Follow-up discussions on this concept have not yet shown a strong trend towards the introduction of such a senior officer aboard international cargo vessels, but it is probably only a matter of time.


To download the full paper click this link: The Need for Additional Human Factors Considerations in Ship Operations


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