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The general aim of this research is clearly to improve the safety and the efficiency of the shipping not only in terms of reducing losses of human life, vessels and cargoes with the ecological damage to which they may lead, but also operational cost.

This objectives will be not complete without consideration of the role of the human operator. This should incorporate a task analysis and human error analysis to provide a basis for the assessment of all credible operator errors at each step of the task, and then an evaluation of the probability of each error. However, it should be noted that this analysis must be carried out within the specifing context of the scenario considered, with account taken of stresses which will affect performance.

For example, in a high stress situation with rapid changes of events where there might be a barrage of information and minimal time for response, operator reliability will be adversely affected.

In establishing the potential for error or inefficient operations these study will highlight the deficiencies, whether procedural, training based, design related response. This will then enable recommendations to be made for improvements where they will be most effective in the relevant systems, with the consequent improvement in performance and, hence, productivity and safety.

In the other hand, stringent manpower restrictions dictate the use of proven work study and human factors engineering principles in the development of future ship design and/or in the design of refitting of the existing ones.

Optimization of the shipboard system in terms of human operators, equipment and supporting software in the real operational environment have to be the future criterion.

The final objective of the proposed work plan is to improve the operational and functional interface between man and ship system in order that the on-board operator be effectively friendly interfaced with the technical system, in its varying complexity, represented by a modern merchant vessel in the european fleet scenario.
75% to 80% of ship casualties are caused by human error. To better define the causes of human errors a systematic survey of the work done by the crew members was carried out. First, data was collated from literature, particularly from national regulations on maning, educational statistics on seafarers and reports on ship casualties. Then detailed statistics regarding the structure of the European fleets were prepared. The sorting criteria were flag, ship type, size class and age. From these statistics, a more restricted set of ship categories was selected for further investigation. A questionaire was then drawn up to obtain complete and current information on the causes of human errors. The information needed refers to:
the crew (composition, qualifications, age, experience, frequency of training, living conditions on board);
the ship category (type, size class, flag, automization, communication facilities, safety aspects);
the ship equipment (mechanical or electrical aggregate, age reliability, type of maintenance);
on board functions;
duties per crew member.
The questionnaire was developed in 2 forms, one for the masters and one for the owners. These questionnaires were sent out and followed up with interviews where necessary. Concurrent with these activities, analysis was started on the data collected in the literature survey and a relational database system was designed for the results of the questionnaire
The purpose of this research being to identify the best man/ship interface through the wide employment of systems engineering and work study technique therefore the research proposal is broken down into a preliminary action and three work areas, themselves divided into subprojects named tasks for a total of ten tasks.

The first action is a preliminary one , regarding the collection and the documentation of links of this EURET program with other EEC schemes.

The first area includes the tasks n.2, 3 and 4 which are been grouped because all related to the collection of present data and to the building of a data bank easy to be used for the following tasks of the research plan.

The tasks 5 (Analysis of the behaviour of a standard crew), 6 (Analysis of the ergonomics and professional qualification required for a reduced crew ) and 7 (interference factors arising from the ship system and affecting crew members ) will be carried out taking into account the strong relationship between ship operational analysis and crew number, crew educational and training characteristics and the limiting effect of external factor on the crew behaviour.

Also the tasks n. 8 (Examination of human factors and the psycological and physical efficiency of the crew), n. 9 (Actions taken to deal with the interference factors and human factors ) and n. 10 (Cost/benefit analysis of the measures to be taken) will be grouped in order to give the task leaders a common approach and a coordination during the development of the new criteria for the optimization of the shipboard system. For this reason the Research Plan will be introduced presenting not only the Area research approach but also the work details of each task.

TASK 1: Documentation and links with other CEC/COST schemes
TASK 2: Systematic Survey of the work done by crew members
TASK 3: Overall analysis of the information obtained from the survey
TASK 4: Specific analysis of the duties of each watch and their reallocation
TASK 5: analysis of behaviour of standard crew
TASK 6: Ergonomics and professional qualifications required for a reduced crew
TASK 7: Reasearh into the interference factors arising from the ship/system and affecting crew members
TASK 8: Human factors and the psychological and physical efficiency of the crew
TASK 9: Proposed remedial actions
TASK 10: Cost/benefit analysis of the measure to be taken


Centro per gli Studi di Tecnica Navale SpA (CETENA)

Participants (5)

Cetemar SA
Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik
Universitätsallee Gw 1, Block A
28359 Bremen
Marconsult SpA
Assarotti 46
16122 Genova
University of Strachlyde
United Kingdom