Click for next page ( 38


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 37
~2 Managing the Human Factors Aspects of Change The introduction of new technology in ships sometimes permits re- ductions of crew sizes. However, these changes must be well thought out and tested extensively before full implementation. Ships are complex sociotechnical systems, consisting of (1) technologies, (2) people, (3) orga- nizational structures, and (4) an external environment. As the literature on sociotechnical systems shows, the four dimensions are interdependent; when one changes, it affects the other three. Because of this fundamen- tal interdependence, the introduction of technological change can not be viewed in isolation, or even at a subsystem level; it must be viewed from a true systems perspective. Thus, whether the introduction of new technology will permit safe reduction in manning will depend on whether appropriate changes can be made in the other three sociotechnical system dimensions. If inappropriate changes are made, or if the macrosystem in which the ship system is enmeshed constrains appropriate changes, then simply reducing crew size is likely to have unintended or undesirable effects that result in a reduction in safety. Undesirable human factors effects are especially likely under these circumstances (e.g., see DeGreene, 1973~. The sociotechnical systems literature has shown that where change to all four sociotechnical system dimensions can be properly managed, the introduction of new technology can not only increase productivity, but also improve working conditions, the intrinsic motivational features of jobs, and safety. In short, proper introduction of technology using a true systems approach provides an opportunity to improve health, safety, the quality of work life, and operating efficiency. 37

OCR for page 37
38 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY In the case of ships, stress, fatigue, boredom, living/social conditions, and individual and team skills are among the most critical human factors issues that must be addressed in managing the introduction of technological change from a systems perspective. Adoption of new technology will need to be supported by training, reallocations of personnel responsibilities, and careful attention to ergonomic design. HUMAN FACTORS REQUIRING PARTICULAR ATTENTION The extent to which technology implementation and associated crew reductions increase the risks of stress, fatigue, and boredom is not precisely known, since little research has been devoted to stress in the shipboard environment. Relatively high levels of stress and fatigue are considered normal in the maritime world. However, anecdotal evidence and the results of the few studies carried out aboard ship tend to confirm the conclusions one might draw from studies in the laboratory and in other working environments, such as aircraft and long-distance trucks (Hockey, 1986; Parasuraman, 1986, 1987~. These sources suggest that stress, fatigue, and boredom, if not appropriately addressed, may be significant safety concerns aboard ship. It should be noted that feelings of stress and fatigue, as well as degraded human performance, may result from either too high or too low a workload (Saunders and McCormick, 1988; Salvendy, 1987~. Jobs that are physically or mentally demanding can produce erratic performance and/or narrowing of attention. Too light a workload most likely to occur in passive monitoring tasks, with infrequent stimuli that require active response can result in a low level of arousal of the central nervous system, with an attendant lack of vigilance and feelings of boredom and sleepiness (Hockey, 1986; Thackray, 1987~. These concerns suggest the need for caution and the need for further crew reductions to be based on sound research conducted under realistic conditions with a thorough analysis of the human factors issues involved. Work Hours and Fatigue There are no universally accepted standards defining maximum or permissible work hours for shipboard personnel. Some European national authorities do have written standards setting work hour limitations for vessels in their national fleets (International Transport Workers' Federation, 1990~. However, U.S. maritime statutes do not contain meaningful guidance or standards for defining permissible work hours. If smaller crews mean longer working hours, the result may be in- creased fatigue. Fatigue may show up as lack of attention during or after

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 39 peak periods and could cause accidents, endangering life or property. The round-the-clock responsibilities of deck officers during cargo operations are of special concern, since ships may leave port after loading under the guidance of severely fatigued officers. Other crew members may suffer similarly from disrupted sleep and associated fatigue. Vessels that make frequent port calls are of special concern, since crew members must interrupt their sleep often for mooring, unmooring, and cargo operations. Beetham (1989) notes, "Certain classes of ship, notably coastal, gas and chemical tankers, make particularly heavy demands upon their crew, which can give rise to serious fatigue. This should be taken into account by the flag state when issuing their manning certificates." A study by the Coast Guard's Marine Investigation Division found that, between 1981 and 1985, fatigue was listed as a direct or indirect cause of casualties in only about 1 vessel in every 200 involved (Pettin, 1987~. However, the author noted, "It is believed that the impact of fatigue in casualties is substantially under reported as most accidents are not investigated in sufficient detail to identify its exact role" (Pettin, 1987~. Some of the tendency for working hours to increase is mitigated, in some companies' fleets, by efforts to shift maintenance activities to shore personnel or to special "riding crews" that are carried aboard ships to perform maintenance. These shifts may produce their own risks; however, where safety-related maintenance is deferred, some regulators and others have noted a deterioration of maintenance standards associated with smaller crews (Folsom, 1988; Perkins, 1988~. In any case, these organizational changes have little effect on the most critical fatigue-related risk, that of deck officers' inattention on the bridge. Organizational innovations developed in Japan and Western Europe could help alleviate some acute fatigue at peak work periods by spreading the work load more evenly among crew members. For example, a few nations license dual-qualified officers, able to work in both engine and deck capacities. More common is the use of general purpose ratings, similarly able to cross departmental lines. In this country, so far, the nearest approach to such flexibility is the certification of some vessels to carry maintenance departments, composed of nonwatch-keeping personnel who perform maintenance, but can also be assigned to help in the engine or deck department as needed. Moves to increase work flexibility across traditional departmental lines with general purpose unlicensed ratings and dual-qualified officers have not met with broad acceptance in the United States. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, in the past has offered students the opportunity for dual licenses in both deck and engine specialties, but these intensive programs have attracted fewer and fewer enrollees, largely because

OCR for page 37
40 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY young officers are encouraged to specialize by the departmental distinctions built into manning statutes and the license structure, accumulating the necessary hours of service on deck or in the engine room to qualify for the next steps in their licenses. The academy today is instituting a pilot program with the intent of qualifying ship operations officers for newer, more automated ships, in which control functions are being centralized on the bridge. In these circumstances, watch officers responsible for operating engines as well as navigating will need greater training in engine operations (personal communication, Paul Krinsky, Superintendent, U.S. Maritime Academy, November 15, 1989~. Standard Watch Rotations and Fatigue The traditional watch schedule followed by most of the world's fleet, with four hours on and eight off, seems designed to interfere with normal sleep cycles. Some researchers have proposed alternatives. In the labora- tory, sleep loss or sleep disruption lowers human performance in mental tasks involving working memory, and lengthens the response time to critical events. One important finding is that fatigue and sleep loss, like exposure to loud noises, heat, vibration, and other physical sources of stress, generally produce a narrowing, or selectivity, of attention. That is, in dual-source vigilance tasks (e.g., monitoring two indicators), subjects tend to monitor one source more closely than the other. They also tend to focus on the expected event, often missing the unexpected when it happens (Hockey, 1986~. In one of the few shipboard experiments to document fatigue effects related to sleep loss, a two-year study conducted on German vessels found that the standard three-watch system (four on, eight oi~\upsets crew members' circadian rhythms and deprives them of sleep (tow 'et al., 1987~. Low and his colleagues confirmed that personnel do not fully adapt to night watches and are generally less alert then (see also Hockey, 1986~. In addition, they found that the three-watch rotation imposes more measurable stress (as indicated by physiological measures such as catecholamine and electrolyte excretion rates) than two-watch systems. They recommend for general use a system in which each watch keeper has a 10- to 14-hour period of unbroken free time each day, to permit uninterrupted sleep. Another shipboard study, funded by the West German Ministry for Technology and Research, confirmed that the three-watch system produces sleep disruption that degrades performance in monitoring and judgment, especially during the night (C,olquhoun et al., 1988; Condon et al., 1988; Rutenfranz, 1988~. The research group proposed a new system that would give the second and third officers full-length periods of unbroken sleep

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 41 each day, by assigning them to 12-hour watches followed by 12 hours of free time (Fletcher et al., 1988~. This issue is not directly related to crew size, except to the extent that vessels with smaller crews may make heavier demands on crew members' time and stamina, aggravating any possible effects of fatigue. The Impact of Automation 4~7 Highly automated ships with smaller crews will place new demands on crew members. When automation is poorly designed or crews inappropri- ately or inadequately trained, the result can be increased boredom, fatigue, and stress. The goal is to establish optimal levels of mental workload for each shipboard function that is to be automated. Human factors concerns have received insufficient review in shipboard automation, as they have in most complex engineering systems. Many automated systems reduce operators to passive monitors (Parasuraman, 1987; Schuffel et al., 1989) and remove much of the active content from the job without decreasing the need for vigilance. In addition, some say, the lack of standardization and the poor ergonomics of the systems make them difficult and confusing to use. One pilot told the committee, "Computerized navigational systems are designed without obtaining input from the ultimate user. They do not use common language and nautical terms to define functions. As a result, the people serving on board ship must accommodate the manufacturer and learn the specific programs involved in the equipment, rather than the other way around. At some point vessel safety will be compromised" (Bobb, 1989~. Integrated Budge Systems The extent of these problems for operators of newer, state-of-the-art bridge automation systems is uncertain. The bridge, in some new ships, has become a ship operation center, incorporating controls and monitors for all essential vessel functions, including navigation, engine control, and communications. Many routine navigational tasks, such as chart updating, position plotting, and steering, may be automated. Ballast may be adjustable from the bridge while the ship is underway. Logs, reports, certificates, documents, and letters may be computerized, with electronic mail links via satellite to shore (Grove, 1989~. When systems are working properly, this environment may be stimulating enough to keep the officer on the bridge awake and alert. On the other hand, it may be distracting enough to degrade performance on critical course-keeping and collision-avoidance tasks.

OCR for page 37
42 CREW SIZE AND MARTTIME SAFETY In most cases where integrated bridges are introduced, bridge equip- ment is automated and decision aids are added (Grabowski, 1989, Kris- tiansen et al., 1989; Schuffel et al., 1989~. The systems need to be designed in a systems engineering fashion, with careful attention to the operator tasks to be supported, limitations of the hardware and software, appropri- ate allocation of tasks between humans and machines, and ergonomic and human factors design. However, decision aids that have been developed within the context of integrated bridge designs have often been stand-alone systems, not integrated with existing bridge designs (Grabowski, 1989~. The results of experiments evaluating the impact of integrated bridge systems on bridge watch team performance have been mixed. Kristiansen, Renswick, and Mathisen (1989) found improved track-keeping and watch- keeping skills in experiments aboard seven Norwegian ships outfitted with highly automated bridges equipped with decision aids. Grabowski (1989) described the piloting expert system, a navigation aid for pilots and ship's officers. In tests at MARAD'S Computer Aided Operations Research Fa- cility (CAORF) ship simulator, junior watch officers using the aid showed improved watch-keeping skills, but showed no significant improvement in track-keeping. The system is one piece of an integrated bridge system. Unlike Schuffel's (1989) design, it is not intended to integrate all bridge functions and so cannot be judged on the basis of its allocation of functions between human and computer. Single-Handed Bridge Operation Single-handed bridgeson which the watch officer serves also as helms- man and lookout are being introduced by some foreign-flag shipping op- erators, and some national certificating authorities have permitted some vessels to operate this way, provided they have certain automated equip- ment (Habberley, 1989; Vail, 1988~. Many other vessels reportedly operate in this way without permission, even in restricted waters (Beetham, 1989; Habberley, 1989; Parker, 1987; George Quick, International Order of Mas- ters, Mates and Pilots, oral statement at September 13, 1989, committee meeting). One attempt to integrate bridge functions aboard single-handed bridges, with a careful allocation of functions between humans and com- puter, is described in a paper by Schuffel (1989~. In a simulation study of navigation performance and mental workload, an officer of the watch focused on the feasibility of single-handed navigation using an automated bridge design called "Wheelhouse 90." He found that "a careful func- tional allocation [between human and computer] can lead to an automated wheelhouse concept suitable to single-handed navigation.'' His analysis of 276 accidents due to human error showed that 68 percent would have

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 43 been prevented by a single-handed bridge similar to the one described in his paper. Schuffel notes, however, that "ship control tasks have changed from active manual control actions to passive monitoring activities," and he warns against such reductions of operators to passive monitors of control systems. Kristiansen, Renswick, and Mathisen (1989) also studied single-handed bridge operations, and found watch officers generally satisfied with the bridge configuration, workload, and levels of stress, and with the absence of a lookout. Into essential elements of the officers' satisfaction were identified: (1) single-handed operations were restricted to times when the ships were in open seas under favorable environmental conditions, and (2) watch officers could suspend single-handed operations when necessary. A two-year study by Low et al. (1987) of watch-keeping officers on 10 West German ships with single-handed bridges found different results. There were objective indications of stress and only partial adaptation of circadian cycles to night watches, even though officers generally kept the same watch cycle every day for months. The authors recommended adjust- ing watch rotations, carefully selecting personnel, and operating with two people on the bridge at all times. Some empirical research shows that officers serving single-handed watches aboard such "Ship of the Future" bridges were significantly better at maintaining the vessel's course than traditional watches (Kristiansen et al., 1989; Schuffel et al., 1989~. These improvements were reported to have been accomplished with no accompanying information overload. However, caution with single-handed bridges is wise, because this mode of operation places responsibility for the ship on a single fallible person. No one may be present to catch errors, to take over if the officer of the watch is incapacitated, or to help keep the officer of the watch awake. More empirical work assessing mental workload, required decision supports, and human-machine trade-offs needs to be done. Deck and Eng~ne Room Automadon The U.S. Coast Guard specifies the levels of automation in certain systems necessary for safe operation with reduced manning levels. Deck manning reductions are permitted if the vessel has adequate labor-saving equipment, such as automated (self-adjusting) mooring winches, automated hatch cover securing equipment, and internal communications equipment sufficient to raise reinforcements if necessary (U.S. Coast Guard, Manne Safety Manual, 23.~2~. Automated engine departments are subject to the restriction that the vessel carry the minimum crew to safeguard it if all automated systems fail, including enough personnel for round-the-clock watches (Mane e Safer Manual, 23.A.3~.

OCR for page 37
44 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY Organizational changes associated with reductions in engine room watch-standing and operating personnel have had a significant impact on combatting fatigue, boredom, and inattention. Unattended engine rooms relieve engineers of the traditional four-hour-on, eight-hour-off watches. Instead, automation and alarm systems provide surveillance previously pro- vided by engine room watch-standers. The watch-standing engineers are thus organized into day working teams, working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts in groups, often troubleshooting problems together. One engineer is on call each night to respond to emergencies. The result has been increased socialization by the engineers, greater job satisfaction, and increased pro- ductivity. Interestingly, the deck officers aboaid such ships who were previously paired with their engine room watch-standing counterparts- have been increasingly alienated by these changes. Sociological Impacts Changes in shipboard living conditions due to the use of smaller crews (such as less social interaction and less time ashore) could produce a variety of stress reactions that make shipboard personnel less reliable. Some vessel operators regard this risk as serious and have assigned psychologists to address the problem in the course of manning reductions. On cargo vessels running experimentally with very small crews, scheduling pressures and minimal crew size means that shore leave is nearly nonexistent. On one Europe-to-North America run by a Swedish container ship, crew members stay aboard ship for the entire 28-day round-trip voyage in the company of as few as 15 shipmates, including officers. Attempts to address the problem on smaller-crewed vessels include moves toward increased social integration of officers and crew and rear- rangement of living and working spaces to encourage interaction. Most of these approaches have been pioneered in Europe and Japan, but a few U.S. operators are beginning to adopt some of them. Drug and Alcohol Abuse There is no evidence to suggest that drug and alcohol abuse has increased during the past 30 years while average crew size has fallen. However, the problems of shipboard drug and alcohol abuse could become more serious as crews grow smaller, since there would be fewer crew members to compensate for impaired shipmates. The Coast Guard in late 1988 issued its final rule, "Programs for Chemical Testing of Commercial Vessel Personnel" (COD 86-067), requir- ing employers to establish drug and alcohol control programs, including

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 45 testing before employment, after accidents, and under other specified con- ditions (National Transportation Safety Board, 1989~. Since mid-1989, each crew member has been required to possess a "drug-free certificate" when first joining a vessel. Regulations prohibit a crew member's standing watch if he or she has consumed any alcohol within the previous four hours. A person is considered legally intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent or greater. Companies are now also required to have alcohol test kits on board, with personnel trained in their use, to test crew members suspected of being intoxicated. Many companies have introduced programs to teach key shipboard personnel to detect alcohol or drug abusers. Some have established strict prohibitions on alcohol consumption aboard ship. Others limit alcohol consumption to the use of beer during restricted hours. Many companies and unions have formal drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. In the future, companies may go further; personnel selection and assignment decisions, for example, may hinge on evidence of past drug or alcohol abuse. Adequacy of Coa.~t (guard Human Factors Analyses The U.S. Coast Guard recognizes the need to use more sophisticated human factors tools in judging the adequacy of future manning levels. As vessels are further automated and crews grow smaller, this need will become greater. At present, the Coast Guard has no explicit human factors models for judging the risks of stress, fatigue, and boredom. Automation of ships must address not only the reliability of the hard- ware and software (and its ability to fail safely, without endangering the vessel), but also the training requirements imposed by the automated system and the design of the human-computer interface to make it user-friendly. The design process is complex and subtle; the penalty for failure can be very high. MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE As Iloted in this chapter, much additional human factors research is needed to clarify the human factors implications of technological change in the maritime industry. However, as suggested by research already accom- plished, sufficient knowledge does exist to effectively manage the critical human factors issues noted. The additional research needs cited above will enable the maritime industry to more knowledgeably, effectively, and precisely manage change. Much can be done to address each of the major human factors issues within the present state of the art.

OCR for page 37
46 CREW SIZE AND MARTTIME SAFETY Fatigue and Boredom While there is much still to be learned, it is known that excessively long work periods are likely to result in serious fatigue that can increase the likelihood of human error. As noted earlier, voyage profiles that call for frequent in-port time loading and unloading cargo and related transiting of restricted waters greatly increase the man hours worked. Any technological change that reduces shipboard manning will have to address the distribution of work load among crew members (and possibly shore- based personnel) and the organizational structure of the macrosystem to ensure that excessively long work periods do not occur. This systems assurance must be verified as a part of the authorization for reduced shipboard manning if safety is to be preserved. Function and task analysis methods can be adapted to assist in this purpose; a functional analysis model developed by this committee is described in Chapter 4. Another factor known to increase the likelihood of fatigue is the traditional watch rotation system, which fails to provide a long rest period (10-14 hours) each day for uninterrupted sleep and relaxation. Use of a revised watch system on long voyages may reduce fatigue and could become an important component of operating safely with small crews. It should be noted that the proper introduction of new technology not only may enable a reduction of crew size, but also may actually reduce the workload or other fatigue-inducing aspects of the job for the remaining crew members. An excellent example of this has been the development of the unattended engine room and elimination of watches for the engine personnel (described in Chapter 1 and later in this chapter). New technology provides a unique opportunity to ergonomically re- design jobs and related human-machine interfaces to make them intrinsi- cally more interesting. In particular, providing for active as well as passive activity and a sufficient variety of tasks is essential to minimizing boredom (and related subjective fatigue) and maintaining alertness. This type of good ergonomic design is within the state of the art for automated systems, and should be incorporated in any automated system's design process. The redesign of jobs will require breaking away from the traditional departmental and officer-crew distinctions, which are based on old tech- nologies. It also will increase the skill requirements of jobs, and hence their education and training requirements. Changes in regulations and union-management relationships and contracts are likely to be required to redesign these jobs and change related sociotechnical systems. For tasks in which vigilance is critical, such as watch-keeping, the use of technological innovations such as integrated information and decision support systems should enhance reliability and safety. For single-handed navigation, the use of "dead man" switches and alarm systems to guard

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 47 against lapses in attention, sleep, or sudden incapacitation are well within the state of the art. The key is to require these technological features and ensure that they are effective before authorizing single-handed bridge operation. Excessive Workload Careful attention to function and task analysis of jobs and equipment redesign can prevent excessive load on the worker. Such analysis of the design and implementation of new technology is well within the state of the art of ergonomics. It must be done using a systems approach, since careful distribution of work load among the crew becomes critical as crew size is reduced. The use of a shipboard maintenance department represents a first step in this direction. Chapter 4 describes a functional task analysis model developed by the committee, which could be used by operators and regulators to ensure the appropriate allocation of tasks aboard ship as new technology is adopted. Shipboard Living Conditions Careful ergonomic attention to the design of living areas can enhance living conditions and improve social interaction of crew members. With small crews, a breakdown of the traditional departmental divisions and the sharp distinction between officers and crew not only is likely to be required operationally, but can significantly enhance the social aspects of shipboard . . living. Operating with smaller crews is likely to require greater crew continuity of employment. With proper use of team-building training, greater crew continuity should generally improve not only performance, but social and living conditions as well. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Careful management of alcohol availability and closer monitoring of the physical and emotional health of crew members will be essential for safety with smaller crews. One major potential advantage is that small crews imply greater mutual dependence for safe operation, so that peer pressure to be sober and fit for duty is likely to be greater, particularly if living areas are ergonomically designed to foster social interaction.

OCR for page 37
48 Cerdfiranon CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY Adequacy of Coast Guard Human Factors Tools The U.S. Coast Guard currently has no human factors models adequate for judging the implications of manning innovations for stress, fatigue, and boredom, or for assessing construction and manning plans with varying levels of shipboard technology. This study is one approach being pursued by the agency to provide a more appropriate basis for their decisions. The challenge to the Coast Guard in carrying out its certificating re- sponsibilities in a more highly automated environment will be substantial. Mends in shipboard automation should be thoroughly understood, and cer- tification decisions should be based explicitly on new systems' training, use, and maintenance requirements. The functional analysis model described in Chapter 4 is a step in that direction. More research is required. Accident Investigation Current U.S. Coast Guard accident investigation tools may be insuffi- cient to guide manning decisions related to stress, fatigue, and boredom. Recent research and development done for the Coast Guard has yielded promising approaches to accident investigation that take human factors into account (Dynamics Research Corporation, 1989~. The Dynamics Research Corporation's Human Action Sequence Model allows accident investiga- tors to specify the precise sequence of actions that resulted in an accident and to identify the many underlying causes. Human factors causes will be classified using some 68 different standardized categories. This system is still under development. Once it is implemented, Coast Guard investigators will begin analyzing accidents and gathering detailed data relating accidents to human factors and adjusting ship design and operations to alleviate problems. TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION OF SKILLS FOR SHIPS OF THE FUTURE The members of smaller crews must be more broadly skilled. First, small crews imply broader individual responsibilities. Second, vessels de- signed for smaller crews are generally technically more sophisticated. Itain- ing and certification of personnel qualifications must reflect these changes. In most advanced shipping nations of Asia and northern Europe, both officers and unlicensed personnel are trained in the broad technical skills demanded by evolving technology and crowing practices. In the United States, by contrast, most formal training still reflects traditional departmental divisions of labor (enforced by law). However, officials of

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 49 the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and many in industry expect that a single class of broadly qualified watch officers (with training in both navigational and technical skills, as well as business and logistics) will be in charge of U.S.-flag ships of the future. Shipboard maintenance, now the province of highly trained licensed engineers, may become the responsibility of specialists (perhaps unlicensed technicians) and riding crews (Krinsky, 1989~. Some shipping companies are already beginning to undertake their own training programs to broaden crew members' skills in response to new technology (American President Lines, 1989b). New training, beyond that necessary to inculcate technical skill, will be needed. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has instituted courses in communication between masters and mates (White, 1989~. The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) of the Inter- national Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots offers a course in shipboard management. American President Lines (1989b) has invested substantially in training crews of its new C-10 series vessels, with technical and management training as well as watch-keeping effectiveness. Many new automated shipboard systems have built-in capabilities for individual and team training, which permit operators to simulate training exercises and mentally rehearse typical and atypical conditions. These capabilities are similar to those found in U.S. Navy shipboard systems (Schuffel et al. 1989; Kristiansen et al., 1989; Grabowski, 1989~. The growing sophistication of crew members' responsibilities, many believe, will lead the Coast Guard to take more control over the precise qualifications of licensed and unlicensed personnel. Some qualifications may become more specialized to reflect differences in vessel type and service. For example, the Coast Guard might permit the introduction of additional skill requirements as employment conditions aboard ships re- quiring specialized knowledge. Periodic recertification of skills will become more important, to ensure that crew members develop and retain the necessary qualifications. Training and Licensing Programs of Advanced Shipping Nations Fleets of the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands are among the most technically advanced in the world. Their training and licensing programs illustrate changes the United States should anticipate. Japan Japan has moved much further toward general purpose ratings and dual-qualified officers than any other nation. The initial experiments, in 1979, were succeeded by carefully planned steps toward a new "Hypothetical

OCR for page 37
50 CREW SIZE AND MARTTIME SAFETY Image of Seafarers." The newer Japanese vessels, with crews of 18, 16, or 14, are staffed largely with watch officers, dual-qualified officers who hold major qualifications in navigation or engineering but are operationally qualified to stand bridge or engine room watches. Even radio officers are being trained with watch-standing qualifications. All of them hold the license of watch officer, with the appropriate specialty (navigation, engineering, or radio). Unlicensed personnel aboard these Japanese vessels are trained for general purpose work (Anonymous, 1989~. Specially qualified unlicensed personnel are trained and certificated to head bridge watches in the open sea, although not in restricted waters. Companies themselves have borne most of the substantial cost of training for these new positions (Yamanaka and Gaffney, 1988~. The Federal Republic of Germany The German shipping industry provides another illustration of training that may be required. In 1987, building on shipboard experiments con- ducted on vessels operated by Hapag-Lloyd AG, the industry shifted all programs for unlicensed personnel to general purpose training, eliminating separate deck and engine training. After three years, the neophyte sailor is qualified as a ship's mechanic. Further training, aboard ship and/or in a technical college can lead to an examination for the position of ship's foreman. The Federal Republic of Germany has not moved completely to dual- qualified officers. The shipping industry there, however, expects highly automated state-of-the-art ships, with controls and monitors centralized on the bridge, to require ship management officers for the most efficient operation. This class of officer would be responsible for the entire ship cargo, navigation, and maintenance and would need both technical and navigational skills (Froese, 1989~. In 1986, as a first step in that direction, the industry, with government support, began offering officers with existing top-level deck and engine licenses training leading to medium-level credentials in the opposite spe- cialties. The course involves eight months of practical training aboard ship, followed by one year of study at a technical university. (All officers are also required to complete the standard ship mechanics course.) The Netherlands In the Netherlands, all officers are now being trained in both deck and engine skills. The training is only partly integrated at present, but Dutch authorities expect to achieve full integration, with only one class of license for new officers, in the near future.

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 51 The four-year course for officers of large vessels includes a year at sea, with both technical and navigation experience. The traditional depart- mental distinctions are preserved to the extent that each graduate receives major and minor certifications (in navigation and technical qualifications), depending on the results of a series of final examinations. Further optional training is offered to bring graduates to fully integrated status. This training will soon be included in the standard four-year course, whose graduates will be certified as broadly qualified "maritime officers" or "ship managers" (Cross, 1988~. Some unlicensed crew members in the Netherlands are also trained in both deck and engine skills. For example, skilled ship mechanics, with general-purpose qualifications have been employed aboard Dutch ships since the late 1970s. Most vessels, however, carry only one or two ship mechanics to maintain mechanical systems. More recently, these personnel have been assigned as core crew aboard vessels manned largely with unskilled Third World crew members; in the guise of ship technicians, they may assume supervisory responsibilities. liairong in the United States Gaining of seafarers in the United States is the responsibility of a wide variety of institutions. Federal- and state-supported academies and schools operated by labor unions train deck officers and engineers. Unlicensed personnel are trained mainly in union-run schools. The union schools are funded by the ship operating companies. Ship operators are increasingly becoming involved in training to meet the demands of high-technology ships. Officer Gaining Mantime academies and training schools. The maritime academies of the United States and the training schools operated by unions representing licensed personnel train the vast majority of their students in separate deck and engineering specialties. This pattern reflects the practices of the industry as enforced by manning laws and regulations. However, some steps have been taken to prepare officers for the future. Since 1965, for example, the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, has offered students the opportunity to quality for dual licenses in both deck and engine specialties. The intent of these intensive programs was to train officers highly skilled in both deck and engine specialties who could serve in either capacity. The proponents of this approach held that engineering competence would grow more- not less- vital as ships were automated and that the dual-licensed officer could provide that competence (personal communication, Walter McLean, U.S.

OCR for page 37
52 CREW SIZE AND ANYTIME sAFEry Merchant Marine Academy, February 1, 1990~. This farsighted effort to ready the work force for the future, however, has been frustrated by Coast Guard licensing practices. While graduates of the program could qualify for both third mate and third engineer licenses, they were forced immediately to choose one path or the other to accumulate the service time required to become eligible for the next license level. More fundamentally, the dual license in this form has been overtaken by evolving ship operations practices. The idea that modern vessels can safely traverse oceans without highly trained maintenance specialists aboard has gained acceptance worldwide. Many fleets have turned to shore- based personnel for major maintenance, leaving shipboard engineers in the more limited capacity of operating engineers. Thus, these programs have attracted fewer and fewer enrollees. The United States Merchant Marine Academy's dual license program was dropped for the class of 1993 but has been reinstated. As a response to changing technology and management practices, the academy has instituted a pilot program to qualify ship operations officers for highly automated ships with control functions centralized on the bridge. Officers in the future, it is thought, will be in charge of entire ships- engines, navigation and communications, and management rather than specializing in traditional departmental responsibilities. Notably, these officers will not need high-level training in engine operations. Rather, they will be trained to monitor engine functions, respond to alarms, and do elementary troubleshooting. The expectation is that the licensed engineer's role on these highly automated ships will become less important and that onboard maintenance may become the responsibility of an unlicensed engineering technician, with major maintenance the province of shore-based personnel (personal communication, Paul Krinsky, Superintendent, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, November 15, 1989~. This training course is expected to serve as the basis for a possible new category of license, that of watch officer (Krinsky, 1989~. Corporate training programs. Some companies have made their own increasing investments in training, reflecting the advance of world ship technology. For example, American President Lines (APL) in contracting with its unions to man its new, highly sophisticated C-9, J-9, and C-10 con- tainer ships negotiated high skill requirements. The company worked with established maritime schools to develop appropriate courses and required its C-10 officers to complete them. The investment in these courses was partially justified by the deck officers' union agreeing to give up rotation hiring in favor of long-term employment contracts (American President Lines, 1989a). A notable feature of these agreements was the requirement that not

OCR for page 37
MANAGING TlIE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF ClIANGE 53 only engineers but deck officers have training in diesel operations. To prepare for the acquisition of the C-9 vessels APL's first dieselsengineers were sent to ride modern European ships for 30 days and received two weeks of factory training as well as special training in a variety of technical subjects, including exposure to a ship-handling simulator to gain knowledge of the vessels' maneuvering characteristics and navigation equipment (APL, 1989b). With the J-9 container ships, the company developed a variety of team-building and "quality of work life" courses for officers. In addition, engineers spent 30 days each aboard the ships under their previous own- ers and received factory training on the engines and associated systems (Gaffney, 1989~. The C-10 vessels, up-to-date German "Ships of the Future," have a variety of unprecedented technical systems, including the largest diesel en- gines ever built and automated bridge equipment integrating the monitoring and control of all shipboard functions. Both deck officers and engineers re- ceived special training (American President Lines, 1989b). Experience with these new vessels, and the expectation of future operations with increasingly highly automated ships, led APL to establish the position of Director of Gaining, with a broad assignment to develop and carry out training policy. The company established a training library and contracted with MITAGS to develop and offer a series of courses stressing management skills, ship han- dling, and technical engineering competence (American President Lines, 1989c). Much of the company's new training is centered around the opera- tional demands of new integrated bridges, in which controls and monitors for all shipboard systems are centralized. For example, MITAGS is now developing "bridge organization and team management" courses for APL to be taught using simulators and other facilities of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and one or more of the union-run schools. Gaining of Unlicensed Crew Members Unlicensed personnel are trained mainly in schools operated by their unions. While the programs generally reflect traditional shipboard divi- sions of labor among deck, engine, and steward's departments, they have adapted to much new technology. For example, the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, operated by the Seafarers International Union, recently introduced an electronics technician course to meet the mainte- nance requirements of automation and communication systems. It also offers courses in the use of computers for managing stewards' invento- ries, oil spill containment and cleanup, marine propulsion automation, and Sealift operations and maintenance (Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of

OCR for page 37
54 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY Seamanship, 1990). Some of the union-run schools (including the Harry Lundeberg School) use ship-handling simulators in their unlicensed deck courses. In the future, increasing flexibility of shipboard assignments may re- quire unlicensed crew members to develop and use skills traditionally re- served to officers. For example, they may be members of tight-knit bridge operations teams with advanced skills in radar monitoring and open-sea watch-keeping. Certifying Skills for the Ship of the Future The Coast Guard's procedures in certifying crew members' skills will evolve to reflect the changing nature of shipboard work. Both officers' licenses and unlicensed documents will reflect the blurring of departmental distinctions and specify more precisely crew members' particular skills. 1b ensure that sophisticated skills remain up to date, the Coast Guard may demand more comprehensive recertification of skills on a periodic basis. Most broadly, licenses and documents will certify the broad shipboard skills of the dual-qualified watch officer and the general purpose unlicensed crew member. With smaller crews and more highly integrated automated systems, the departmental distinction will fade. At the same time, crew members will be called on to develop special- ized skills to accommodate the sophisticated technology of modern ships. Licenses and documents will therefore carry endorsements certifying the attainment of special skills in ship handling, maintenance of electronic equipment, operation of specific engine types, and so on. Some companies and their unions have already negotiated agreements calling for successful completion of courses attesting to such additional skills as conditions of employment (American President Lines, 1990~. The advance of shipboard technology will tend to render skills obsolete as time passes, unless crew members receive new training or maintain their skills on the job. While officers are retested every five years to verify skills, unlicensed personnel's documents are good for life with no retesting. To ensure that sophisticated skills do not decay, the Coast Guard may be called upon in the future to recertify through periodic testing that skills remain fresh. The existing training facilities have the capacity for much additional training; they are likely to play a strong role in maintaining and updating crew members' expertise.

OCR for page 37
MANAGING TlIE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 55 AN EXAMPLE OF SUCCESSFUL TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION The application of new technology to vessel operation has been a continuing process for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Change has not always been accompanied by careful analysis of the associated safety impacts or human factors. However, the past 30 years does provide one significant example of technological change that has reduced work hours, lessened fatigue and boredom, and improved the quality of work life for seagoing personnel, while at the same time lowering manning requirements and operating expenses. This change involved the transition from essentially manually operated power plants to the fully automated, process-controlled power plants of today. The steam-powered vessel of 30 years ago required an average of three, sometimes four, personnel on watch at any given time. The heat, noise, and vibration coupled with the four-on, eight-off watch rotation were not conducive to a healthy, stress-free environment. Watch duties were often boring, and the normal eight hours of watch were supplemented with overtime to complete maintenance tasks. -try ^~ The transition from boiler water level controls (which replaced the watertender) to burner management systems (which replaced the fireman) to fully automated process control has led to the current unattended engine room operation. The switch from steam turbine propulsion to slow-speed diesel propulsion has assisted this transition One U.S.-flag operator that recently completed the transition to fully automated power plants in its fleet reported overwhelming acceptance by its operating personnel. The average engine department aboard its vessels has been reduced from eight to five personnel. Previously, six of the eight engine department members aboard each ship were watch-standers. Their average work day was 11 1/2 hours. Now all five members of the engine department are day workers, and the work day averages 10 1/2 hours. Even more important, all members work together as a team, sharing the same work hours, meal times, and recreation times. Each enjoys a full and uninterrupted night's sleep every night. While the initial reaction to this change was one of apprehension, considerable effort was taken to train personnel in new assignments and to anticipate the human impacts of this change, which were as dramatic and as beneficial as the technological aspects. FINDINGS The introduction of new technology in ships should take account not only of the technology, but also of the human factors issues affected by the technology. Ships should be considered as sociotechnical systems,

OCR for page 37
56 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY consisting of technologies, personnel, organizational structures, and an external environment. Change in any of these four subsystems should be accompanied by appropriate change in the others. Relatively few human factors studies have been conducted in the mar- itime environment; most of those that have been conducted originated outside the United States. Data from aviation, other transportation indus- tries, and other working environments may not accurately reflect human factors conditions and attendant performance aboard ships. Human factors research specific to the maritime industry is needed. With appropriate training, organizational innovations, and ergonomic design, new vessel technology will not degrade safety. These approaches, for example, can reduce the potential problems of stress, fatigue, and boredom. The U.S. Coast Guard, at present, does not have the necessary human factors analysis tools to make solid certification decisions about more highly automated ships. Staining programs will need to be altered as new technology is adopted, to reflect changes in work organization and the shipboard environment. For example, as departmental distinctions break down, officers and unlicensed personnel will need broader training, fitting them to meet the general needs of the ship, rather than narrowly specialized needs. Licensing practices in the United States have sometimes inhibited innovation. As training programs shift their emphasis from specialization to broad competence, licensing will need to reflect this shift. REFERENCES Alliance of Independent Maritime Organizations. 1989. The invasion of the sixty hour work week standard and manning reductions in the U.S maritime industry. Statement Submitted to the Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. September 14. American President Lines. 1989a. Labor contract. Report to the National Research Council Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Mimeo. December 21. American President Lines. 1989b. APL training. Report to the National Research Council Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. Mimeo. December 21. American President Lines. 1989c. Marine Operations Department training program 1990. Mimeo. Oakland, California. American President Lines. 1990. Memorandum from John G. Denham, Director Human Resources Development and Training (Subject: Trip report 3 March through 9 March 1990~. Mimeo. March 26. Anonymous. 1989. The modernization of the seafarer's system in Japan. Paper presented at Maritime Raining Forum Europe '89, Amsterdam. June 20. Beetham, E. H. 1989. Bridge manning. Seaways. February. Bobb, John. 1989. Statement of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots on manning before the Marine Board of the National Research Council, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. September 14.

OCR for page 37
MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE 57 Colquhoun, W. P., J. Rutenfranz, H. Goethe, B. Neidhart, R. Condon, R. Plett, and P. Knauth. 1988. Work at sea: A study of sleep, and of circadian rhythms in physiological and psychological functions, in watch keepers on merchant vessels (I. Watchkeeping on board ships: A methodological approach). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 60:321-329. Condon, R., W. P. Colquhoun, R. Plett, D. DeVol, and N. Fletcher. 1988. Work at sea: A study of sleep, and of circadian rhythms in physiological and psychological functions, in watch keepers on merchant vessels (IV. Rhythms in performance and alertness). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 60:405-411. Connaughton, Sean T. 1988. Federal rules on operating a commercial vessel while intoxicated. Proceedings of the Marine Safety Council 45~2), February/March. Cross, S. J. 1988 Nautical training in the Netherlands: Present and future. Seaways DeGreene, Kenyon B. 1973. Sociotechnical Systems. Factors in Analysis, Design, and Management. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Dynamics Research Corporation. The role of human factors in marine casualties. Un- published U.S. Coast Guard R&D Report, Contract No. N00024-85-D-4373. 5 June 1989. Fletcher, N., W. P. Colquhoun, P. Knauth, D. DeVol, and R. Plett. 1988. Work at sea: A study of sleep, and of circadian rhythms in physiological and psychological functions, in watch keepers on merchant vessels (VI. A sea trial of an alternative watchkeeping system for the merchant marine). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 61:51-57. Folsom, D. L" 1988. Vessel automation control reliability, reduced manning, maintenance, and operator responsibility. Memorandum from Commander, First Coast Guard District, to Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. December 19. Froese, Jens. Staining for advanced ships. Paper presented at Maritime Training Forum Europe '89, Amsterdam, June 20. Gaffney, Michael E. 1989. Effective manning at American President Lines. Report from American President Lines to U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Office of Technology Assessment. Cooperative Agreement No. MA- 11727, Report No. MA-RD-840-89008. June 6. Grabowski, Martha. 1989. Decision aiding technology and integrated bridge design. Proceedings of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineem Spring Meet- ing/STAR Symposium. New Orleans, Louisiana. April 12-15. Grove, T. W. 1989. U.S. flag ship of the future: Concepts, features and issues. Paper presented at 1989 Spring Meeting and STAR Symposium, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 12-15. Hillman, John Lo 1989. Letter from President, Exxon S=aman's Union, to Charles Bookman, Executive Director, Marine Board, National Research Council, Washington, D.C. September 21. Hockey, Glyn Robert John. 1986. Changes in operator efficiency as a function of environmental stress, fatigue, and circadian rhythms. Handbook of Perception and Human Performance. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 44-Iff. International Transportation Workers' Federation. 1990. Submission to the Eighth Session of the ILO/IMO Joint Committee on Training (JCT8), Geneva, 17-21, September. Krinsky, Paul L. 1989. Letter to Eugene McCormick, President, Lykes Brothers Steamship Company. December 11. Kristiansen, Svein, Egil Rensvik, and Lars Mathisen. 1989. Integrated total control of the bridge. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, New York, November 15-18. Low, As, W. H. G. Goethe, J. Rutenfranz, and W. P. Colquhoun. 1987. Human factors: Effects of watch keeping results of studies for the German Ship of the Future. Paper presented at Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineem Ship Operations Management and Economics Symposium, September 1987. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). 1989. Safety study Passenger vessels operating from U.S. ports. Report no. NTSB/SS-89/01. Washington, D.C.: NTSB. ~ .. ~ .. ~ . . ~ . . . . ., , . in, . ~ .

OCR for page 37
58 CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SATEIY Nautical Institute. 1989a. Bridge manning: Recommendations by Council, December 1988. Seaways, February. Nautical Institute. 1989b. The Nautical Institute on improving standards of bridge operation: Recommendations by Council, December 1988. Seaways, February. Parasuraman, Raja. 1986. Vigilance, monitoring, and search. In Handbook of Perception and Human Performance. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 43-Iff. Parasuraman, Raja. 1987. Human computer monitoring. Human Factors 29~6~:695-706. Perkins, M. R. 1988. Vessel automation control reliability, reduced manning, maintenance, and operator responsibility: First endorsement on MSO Portland's ltr 16711 of 6 Dec 88. Memorandum from Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Office, Portland, Maine, to Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. Pettin, Thomas J. 1987. Fatigue as the cause of marine accidents, 1981-1985. U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Investigation Division. March. Rutenfranz, J., R. Plett, P. Knauth, R. Condon, D. DeVol, N. Fletcher, S. Eickhoff, K-H. Schmidt, R. Donis, and W. P. Colquhoun. 1988. Work at sea: A study of sleep, and of circadian rhythms in physiological and psychological functions, in watch keepers on merchant vessels (II. Sleep duration, and subjective ratings of sleep quality). International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 60:331-339. Salvendy, G., ed. 1987. Handbook of Human Factom. New York: Wiley Interscience. Sanders, M. S., and E. J. McCormick. 1986. Human Factors in Engineering and Design. New York: McGraw Hill. Schuffel, H., J. P. A. Boer, and L. van Breda. 1989. The ship's wheelhouse of the nineties: The navigation performance and mental workload of the officer of the watch. Journal of the Institute of Navigation 42:1~60-72~. Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship. 1990. Catalog 1990. Piney Point, Maryland. Thackray, R. I. 1981. The stress of boredom and monotony: A consideration of the evidence. Psychosomatic Medicine 43:165-176. U.S. Coast Guard. 1988. Programs for chemical drug and alcohol testing of commercial vessel personnel. Federal Register 53~131~. U.S. Department of Transportation. 1989. liansportation-related sleep research. Report to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Appropriations. March. Vail, Bruce. 1988. Crew cuts please ship lines but take toll on seafarers. Journal of Commerce. November 28. White, David F. 1989. Ship course stresses teamwork on bridge. Journal of Commerce. August 29. Yamanaka, Keiko, and Michael Gaffney. 1988. Effective manning in the Orient. Report from American President Lines to U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, Office of Technology Assessment. Cooperative Agreement No. MA- 11727, Report No. MA-RD-770-87052. March 15.