Appendix B

Ongoing U.S. Coast Guard Human Factors R&D Projects

Based on interviews with personnel at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Sanquist et al. (1993) identified 68 human factors issues that affect the Coast Guard's regulatory, guidance, enforcement and industrial operations; determined the interrelationships among these factors and classified them into five broad areas; and proposed technical approaches to each area. In 1994, the Coast Guard R&D Center prepared a Human Factors Project Plan FY95–FY97 that documents ongoing human factors R&D projects supported by the R&D Center. These projects are described briefly below.

HUMAN FACTORS IN CASUALTY INVESTIGATION

The objective of focusing on human factors in marine accidents is to increase the accuracy of the database (the Marine Investigation Module (MINMOD) of the Marine Safety Information System (MSIS)) by improving the invistigating officer's ability to identify and document human-related causes of accidents. The Coast Guard's approach to collecting human-related information during investigations of marine accidents will be reassessed. Other casualty databases (e.g., of the National Transportation Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Aviation Safety Reporting System) will be surveyed to determine types of data, the analyses and conclusions supported by these data, and the training required for investigators.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY IN COAST GUARD OPERATIONS

The goals of these two studies are to identify factors that affect alertness, to develop and test countermeasures (such as modified watch and work schedules and education), and to evaluate potential new watch schedules. Both projects involve measuring the alertness of crews through surveys, sleep logs, and computer-based performance measures; implementing countermeasures, such as new watch schedules; and making follow-up measurements of alertness. Results to date have revealed the magnitude of the problem.

  • Between 8 and 20 percent of mariners (from tankers and containerships) experience critical fatigue during any given day.

  • Crews report one or more critical fatigue symptoms during 28 percent of work periods.

  • Mariners sleep substantially less on board than they do at home.



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ADVANCING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE PREVENTION THROUGH PEOPLE PROGRAM Appendix B Ongoing U.S. Coast Guard Human Factors R&D Projects Based on interviews with personnel at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Sanquist et al. (1993) identified 68 human factors issues that affect the Coast Guard's regulatory, guidance, enforcement and industrial operations; determined the interrelationships among these factors and classified them into five broad areas; and proposed technical approaches to each area. In 1994, the Coast Guard R&D Center prepared a Human Factors Project Plan FY95–FY97 that documents ongoing human factors R&D projects supported by the R&D Center. These projects are described briefly below. HUMAN FACTORS IN CASUALTY INVESTIGATION The objective of focusing on human factors in marine accidents is to increase the accuracy of the database (the Marine Investigation Module (MINMOD) of the Marine Safety Information System (MSIS)) by improving the invistigating officer's ability to identify and document human-related causes of accidents. The Coast Guard's approach to collecting human-related information during investigations of marine accidents will be reassessed. Other casualty databases (e.g., of the National Transportation Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Aviation Safety Reporting System) will be surveyed to determine types of data, the analyses and conclusions supported by these data, and the training required for investigators. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY IN COAST GUARD OPERATIONS The goals of these two studies are to identify factors that affect alertness, to develop and test countermeasures (such as modified watch and work schedules and education), and to evaluate potential new watch schedules. Both projects involve measuring the alertness of crews through surveys, sleep logs, and computer-based performance measures; implementing countermeasures, such as new watch schedules; and making follow-up measurements of alertness. Results to date have revealed the magnitude of the problem. Between 8 and 20 percent of mariners (from tankers and containerships) experience critical fatigue during any given day. Crews report one or more critical fatigue symptoms during 28 percent of work periods. Mariners sleep substantially less on board than they do at home.

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ADVANCING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE PREVENTION THROUGH PEOPLE PROGRAM Watchstanders sleep less than other crew members, and their sleep is of lower quality. Levels of alertness during a watchstanding period are inconsistent. There is a substantial drop in alertness in the 2000–2400 watch period. Mariners standing watch in the 0000–0400 watch tend to overestimate their levels of alertness. QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING AND INTERACTIVE TESTING FOR AUTOMATED SHIPS The objectives of the qualifications and training and interactive testing projects are to develop research tools to determine the impact of automated systems on crew performance to ensure that the Coast Guard's requirements for qualifications and training are appropriate for the level of technology and automation aboard ships and to ensure mariner competence by improving training and testing. The approach is to develop task analysis, cognitive analysis, skills assessment, and comprehension assessment methods and then use these methods to collect data and determine the impact of automated systems on crew performance. For example, research has shown that paper and pencil exams may test a mariner's knowledge of rules and recognition of vessels, whereas interactive exams can test how that knowledge is applied. Both tests are necessary for a complete assessment of mariner competence. MINIMUM MANNING STANDARDS AND CREW SIZE MODELING The objective of the minimum manning standards and crew size modeling project is to develop methods to set minimum manning standards for tankers and containerships. The approach is to continue the development and refinement of a work-hours manning model, including a software version. The near-term focus of the model will be on emergency and maintenance operations and analyses of cargo transfer and port call operations. HUMAN FACTORS GUIDELINES FOR SHIPBUILDERS This project involves the consideration of human factors in the early stages of ship design. Guidelines incorporating human factors (as well as supporting documentation on human capabilities) will be presented for the concept, design, and evaluation phases of ship design.

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ADVANCING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE PREVENTION THROUGH PEOPLE PROGRAM REFERENCE Sanquist, T.F., J.D. Lee, M.B. Mandler, and A.M. Rothblum. 1993. Human Factors Plan for Maritime Safety. Technical report. no. CG-D-11-93. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation.