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CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990
NationalAcademy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue,N.W. · Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Do. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Funk Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The program described in this report is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 14-12-0001- 30416 and 14-35 0001-30475 between the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Academy of Sciences. The federal agencies that active supported and participated in the committee's work were the U. S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration. Library of Confess Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety. Crew size and maritime safety / Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Maritime Safety, Marine Board, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. Includes index. ISBN 0-309 04375-1 1. ShipsManning. ~ Merchant marineSafety measures. I. Title. VK221.N35 1990 623.88'8dc20 Printed in the United States of America 90 48577 CIP
DEDICATION Rear Admiral William Michael Benkert, United States Coast Guard, retired, chaired the authoring committee un- ti! his death in December, 1989. Mike Benkert was a lead- ing world spokesman for safety in maritime operations and protection of the marine environment. His friends and colleagues miss his wisdom, friendship, and indefatigable spirit. The work represented by this report could not have been completed without him and his outstanding leader- ship. The report is dedicated to his memory and to the furtherance of safety at sea everywhere.
COMMITTEE ON THE EFFECT OF SMALLER CREWS ON MARITIME SAFETY WILLIAM M. BENKERT, Chairman (Through December 1989), U.S. Coast Guard (retired), McLean, Virginia RICHARD T. SOPER, Chairman (`From January 1990), American Bureau of Shipping, Paramus, New Jersey JOHN ~ CAFFREY, Mobil Oil Corporation, Fairfax, Virginia MICHAEL DENNY, Grumman Data Systems, Northpoint, New York WILLIAM D. EGLINTON, Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, Piney Point, Maryland ROBERT ELSENSOHN, Maritime Institute of Graduate Studies, Linthicum, Maryland MARTHA GRABOWSKI, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Roy, New York HAL W. HENDRICK, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado FRANK J. IAROSSI, American Bureau of Shipping, Paramus, New Jersey JEROME E. JOSEPH, District 2 Marine Engineers Benevolent Association Associated Maritime Officers, Washington, D.C. EUGENE M. KELLY, Kelmar Associates, Sea Bright, New Jersey STEPHEN F. SCHMIDT, American President Lines, Ltd., Oakland, California Staff CHARLES A. BOOKMAN, Director C. LINCOLN CRANE, Staff Officer (Through December 1988) DUNCAN L. BROWN, Editor GLORIA GREEN, Project Assistant 1V
MARINE BOARD BRIAN J. WATT, Chairman, The Ralph M. Parsons Company Ltd., Brentford, Middlesex, Great Britain ROBERT N. STEINER, Mce-Chairman, Delaware River Port Authority, Camden, New Jersey ROBERT G. BEA, NAE, University of California, Berkeley JAMES M. BROADUS, III, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts SYLVIA ALICE EARLE, Deep Ocean Engineering, San Leandro, California LARRY L. GENTRY, Lockheed Advanced Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California ROBERT TURNER HUDSPETH, Oregon State University, Corvallis MARCUS J. JOHNSON, Sea-Land Service, Inc., Iselin, New Jersey JUDITH T. KILDOW, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts BERNARD LE MEHAUTE, University of Miami, Miami, Florida WILLIAM R. MURDEN, NAE, Murden Marine, Ltd., Alexandria, Virginia JOSEPH D. PORRICELLI, ECO, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland PAUL ~ SANDIFER, South Carolina Wildlife Marine Resources Department, Charleston, South Carolina JERRY R. SCHUBEL, State University of New York, Stony Brook PETER R. TATRO, Scientific Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia GEORGE P. VANCE, Mobile Research and Development Corporation, Dallas, Texas DON WALSH, International Maritime Inc., San Pedro, California EDWARD WENK, JR., NAE, University of Washington, Seattle Staff CHARLES ~ BOOKMAN, Director v
Preface Automation and mechanization of ships over the past three decades have resulted in continual reductions in the sizes of crews. Today the crew of a typical, recently built U.S.-flag vessel totals 20 to 24, compared with about 45 crew members 30 years ago. Some similarly designed foreign-flag vessels are manned by crews of 12 to 16. Highly automated foreign ships may operate with crews of 8 to 12. Crew reductions accelerated in the 1980s as ship owners and operators throughout the world applied automation technology to make ships more efficient in the face of a serious shipping recession. The traditional shipping nations of Asia and northern Europe have been especially aggressive in substituting technology for personnel. Crew reductions by those national fleets came only after considerable study, review, and experimentation by the governments, operating companies, and labor organizations involved. The U.S. maritime industry has been slower to adopt these innovations. While the crew reductions recently realized in the United States, and more dramatically in other nations, have improved operating efficiency, they have also raised concerns about their impacts on vessel and personnel safety. ORIGIN OF THE STUDY The U.S. Coast Guard, responsible for the safety of waterborne com- merce, requested that the National Research Council (NRC) assess the safety implications of recent sharp reductions in crew sizes and advise on . . V11
. ~ . V111 PREFACE ways to evaluate and improve the safety of different manning levels. Ac- cordingly, the NRC's Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (CETS) convened the Committee on the Effect of Smaller Crews on Mar- itime Safety. Committee members were selected for their expertise and to achieve balanced experience and viewpoints. (Biographical information about committee members is presented in Appendix N) The principle guiding the constitution of the committee and its work, consistent with NRC policy, was not to exclude the bias that might accompany expertise vital to the study, but to seek balance and fair treatment. The committee operated under the auspices of the Marine Board, a unit of CETS. SCOPE OF THE STUDY The committee's study encompassed all aspects of the safety issues raised by smaller crews. It was charged with: · identifying the economic and technology changes that are causing manning reductions; forecasting the evolution of ship operating technology and the associated changes in crew organization and training; identifying the risks of smaller crews and assessing how they may be affected by changes in manning patterns; assessing the implications of smaller crews for training, skill levels, crowing patterns, and vessel operating technology; and · developing a method for assessing the effects on safety of crew size, organization, and capabilities. The study addressed mainly the manning and safety of U.S.-flag, ocean- going ships. Small passenger vessels, river tows, offshore supply boats, and fishing vessels were outside the study's scope. STUDY METHODS The committee sought experience and information from around the world. Ship operating companies, maritime labor organizations, national ship safety administrations, and international ship classification societies were contacted in person and through questionnaires to identify and doc- ument safety concerns, experience, and information sources. This effort included literature reviews; extended visits by the original chairman of the committee with senior managers from 10 major U.S. ship-operating companies to document and discuss their operating experience (Appendix D); an open meeting of the committee with leaders of 10 maritime labor organizations and discussions leading to documentation of maritime labor's perceptions concerning changes in shipboard crowing, management, and
PREFACE IX safety problems (Appendix C); visits by members of the committee and staff to three different ships with extensive automation and small crews and informal discussion with individual crew members; and interviews with more than 40 shipping executives, union officials, government shipping ad- ministrators, and human factors researchers in northern Europe conducted by a committee consultant. The committee developed a computerized model for analyzing the manning of ships depending on their levels of automation, maintenance requirements, and crew skill levels. The model was validated with work records and other information from two vessels. The committee met five times over two years. The conclusions and recommendations represent the committee's consensus.
Acknowledgments The committee benefited from the interest and contributions of a number of individuals and organizations. Admirals William Kime and Joel Sipes of the U.S. Coast Guard saw the need for a study of the safety implications of smaller crews and helped to set the course for the study. Norman Lemley of the U.S. Coast Guard provided effective liaison with the committee throughout its deliberations. Alex Landsburg represented the Maritime Administration in the committee's deliberations and was especially helpful in providing information on ship operating costs and human factors aspects. Sean Connaughton of the American Petroleum Institute and Joseph Cox of the American Institute of Merchant Shipping provided information and perspective. Several experts gave time and energy to help the committee. Todd Grove, American Bureau of Shipping, addressed the committee on the "Ship of the Future." Raja Parasuraman, The Catholic University of America, spoke on "The State of the Art of Knowledge on Stress, Fatigue, and Boredom." Donald Sussman, Transportation Systems Center, shared current research concerning human factors aspects of ship operations. Alex Blanton of the law firm Dyer, Ellis, Joseph ~ Mills, provided a critical analysis of U.S. manning laws (Appendix F). Joseph Angelo of the U.S. Coast Guard shared his understanding of international developments. Tom Gillette and Richard Silloway, Exxon Shipping Co., and Daniel Steppe, American Institute of Merchant Shipping, assisted with the analysis of safety data. Michael Gafiney, Cornell University, shared his rich knowledge of X1
X11 ACKNOl;YLEDGMENTS ship manning practices and conducted visits in northern Europe with ship manning experts. George Ireland, U.S. Coast Guard (retired), an expert in ship safety and regulation, made visits to ship operating companies and provided historical information on crew reductions in the U.S.-flag fleet. Lissa Martinez organized the roundtable with maritime labor representa- tives and helped coordinate other committee activities. Duncan Brown was an indefatigable rapporteur. The committee is indebted to all who took the time to meet with committee members and otherwise respond to requests for information.
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 INTRODUCTION Safety Concerns, 3 Manning Reductions in the World's Fleets, 1950s-1980s, 3 The First Generation, 4; Progress Toward the Unattended Engine Room, 5; Innovations in the Deck Department, 6; Technology in the Steward's Department, 7; The Maintenance Department Aboard U.S.-Flag Vessels: Response to a Regulatory Impasse, 7; State of the Art and the Decade Ahead, 8 Making the Best Use of Technology, 12 Lee Need for a Systems Approach to Manning Assessments, 12 Summary, 13 References, 14 SAFETY EXPERIENCE WITH SMALLER CREWS The Problem of Quantifying Maritime Safety, 17 Lack of Reliable Data, 18; Improving the Collection of Data, 20 Industry Safety Information, 21 Lloyd's Vessel Loss Data, 21; Marine Index Bureau Injury Data, 22; Tanker Casualty Data, 22; U.S. Coast Guard Annual Casualty Reports, 25; Oil Spill Data, 25; Individual Company Data, 25; Safety Implications of Available Data, 28 Safety Concerns, 30 Labor Organizations, 30; Vessel Operators, 30; Specific Safety Concerns, 31 Further Research, 34 Findings, 35 References, 36 XIl1 . . XV11 1 15
XIV MANAGING THE HUMAN FACTORS ASPECTS OF CHANGE Human Factors Requiring Particular Attention, 38 Work Hours and Fatigue, 38; Standard Watch Rotations and Fatigue, 40; The Impact of Automation, 41; Sociological Impacts, 44; Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 44; Adequacy of Coast Guard Human Factors Analyses, 45 Managing the Human Factors Aspects of Change, 45 Fatigue and Boredom, 46; Excessive Workload, 47; Shipboard Living Conditions, 47; Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 47; Adequacy of Coast Guard Human Factors Tools, 48 Gaining and Certification of Skills for Ships of the Future, 48 Training and Licensing Programs of Advanced Shipping Nations, 49; Training in the United States, 51; Certifying Skills for the Ship of the Future, 54 An Example of Successful Technology Implementation, 55 Findings, 55 References, 56 4 ESTABLISHING SAFE CREW LEVELS U.S. Coast Guard Certification Procedures, 59 Regulatory Procedures, 60; Manning Reductions to Date. Future Manning Reductions, 62 A Functional Model for Assessing Crew Levels, 63 , 62; Shipboard Ask Analysis, 63; The Committee's Functional Model, 64; Evaluation of the Model, 69; The Model's Utility, 71 Findings, 73 References, 73 5 LEGAL AND REGULATORY ISSUES Shipping and Civil Aviation: Contrasting Regulatory Policies, 75 The Statutory Basis for Manning Regulation, 76 Key Provisions of the Manning Statutes, 77 The Need to Modernize Safety Regulation of Vessels, 78 The Maintenance Department: A Regulatory Makeshift, 78 The International Manning Regime, 79 International Agreements Affecting Manning, 79; Port State Control of Foreign-Flag Manning Practices, 82 Findings, 83 References, 84 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Safety Experience with Smaller Crews, 85 Technology and Innovation, 86 Human Factors and Safety Certification, 86 Training and Licensing, 87 Legal and Regulatory Issues, 88 CONTENTS 37 59 74 85
CONTENTS APPENDIXES Biographies of Committee Members B. Survey of Classification Societies and Foreign Governments C. Information from Labor Unions D. Maritime Management Perspectives E. Previous Research on Shipboard Ask Analysis F. Vessel Manning: New Applications for Old Statutes INDEX xv 89 94 104 122 126 132 157
Executive Summary Commercial vessels throughout the world have reduced the size of their crews dramatically in the past few decades. Modern, automated U.S.- flag ships have crews of about 20. Thirty years ago, vessels of comparable tonnage had twice that number. In contrast to American standards, the most technologically advanced ships in the world fleet today have crews of about 10. The trend toward smaller crews has been accompanied by increasing concern for safety. While the impacts of crew reductions on operations have been carefully studied, the effect on safety has not received widespread at- tention. The most fundamental question is whether smaller crews degrade safety. A related issue is whether international and domestic statutes regu- lating crew size adequately protect workers, vessels, and the environment, and unduly restrict the adoption of new technology. Another issue is the Coast Guard's role in ensuring that foreign-flag vessels, with smaller crews than permitted under U.S. law, do not compromise safety in domestic waters. WHAT ARE THE SAFETY CONCERNS? Concerns about the effect of crew reductions on safety relate primarily to three operational considerations. 1. Fatigue: Will there be greater demands placed on crew members, and if so, will they be less alert? Or, will smaller crews work the same or fewer hours and thus be no more likely to suffer fatigue than larger crews? . . XV11
. ~ ~ XV111 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2. Training: Will the crew be able to handle emergencies if automated systems fail? Will the crew be adequately trained to handle broader re- sponsibilities and more sophisticated technology? Are higher or different levels of competence required? 3. Maintenance: Wit1 crew reductions result in neglect of essential maintenance? To what extent will automation and technology advances improve reliability of ships' operating systems? Lack of attention to these problems will raise the risk of injuries and vessel accidents with attendant social, economic and environmental costs. WHAT IS THE SAFETY RECORD? Available statistical information on maritime safety is inadequate to make definitive judgments about how various factors, including crew sizes, contribute to safety. Precise and uniformly defined information is needed to establish trends in safety performance and to make decisions about safety based on those trends. However, available safety statistics indicate the following: · There has been a measurable and substantial reduction in vessel casualties (accidents) and personnel injuries during the past 20 years. These trends are consistent worldwide. tially. During the same period, average crew size has declined substan- · Other factors have also changed. Technology has improved, oper- ating procedures have been refined, and maritime operations have come under increased scrutiny by government and industry. Vessel casualties and personnel injuries cannot be correlated with crew size based on available safety data. Thus it is not possible with avail- able information to determine whether any causal relation positive or negative exists between crew size and safety. There are valid concerns about fatigue, training, and maintenance, but their effect on safety can be minimized through vigilance by management and labor organizations. Ef- fective and thoroughly trained crew members and reliable automated ship systems become more important as crews are reduced. ARE THERE HUMAN FACTORS CONCERNS? HOW CAN THEY BE MANAGED? The introduction of new technology in ships should consider not only technology, but human factors related to it. Ships should be viewed as so- ciotechnical systems, consisting of technologies, personnel, organizational
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY XIX structures, and an external environment. Change in any one of these sub- systems may necessitate change in others. However, very few human factors studies have been conducted in the maritime field. Moreover, the Coast Guard does not have the necessary analytical tools to support decisions concerning the number of people needed to operate highly automated ships. With appropriate training, organizational innovations, and ergonomic design, new vessel technology should not degrade safety. Staining programs need to change as new technology is adopted, and licensing requirements need to be modernized. The general shift will be from specialized skills to a higher level of competence with a broader range of skills and more sophisticated technology. HOW SHOULD SAFE CREW LEVELS BE ESTABLISHED? In establishing safe crew levels, government and industry need to con- sider demands on crews on different vessels: specialized technologies, type of vessel service, the varied skills required, and the quality of management. Currently, the Coast Guard (and other national shipping safety adminis- trations) relies in large part on laws, traditions, and informal guidance to determine manning levels. This piecemeal approach may have been effec- tive when technology changed slowly and crews were larger, but today a consistent, internationally accepted method for determining safe manning is needed. The need for such a method will become more urgent with the worldwide adoption of new ship technology and innovative manning patterns. Systems engineering methods, including functional task analysis, offer an objective basis for determining crew sizes. The committee devel- oped a systems engineering model to assess functions and tasks that could be used by the Coast Guard to determine safe manning levels for a variety of ship types and operating conditions. A comprehensive international process for determining manning levels would include (1) a universally accepted statement of principles setting forth functional manning requirements, and (2) objective analysis tools to establish minimum safe manning scales. Such a process framework would help each vessel's flag state set manning levels and could be used by port states to assess whether vessels entering their waters are sufficiently manned. Internationally dictated manning scales are not desirable, since they would impose inappropriate standards on some ship operators and would hinder innovation for others. DO U.S. MANNING LAWS NEED TO BE MODERNIZED? U.S. manning laws have led to needless inefficiency and complexity and to unwarranted obstacles to the adoption of new ship operating technology.
xx EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Clearly, these statutes will effectively prohibit reducing crew sizes below current levels regardless of opportunities offered by technology. More importantly existing manning laws do not have a clearly identified emphasis on safety; in fact, they inhibit operational innovation without relation to safety aspects. The Coast Guard has the authority to enforce safety requirements on foreign-flag vessels in U.S. ports. As a practical matter, the agency normally accepts manning levels established by other flag states as safe manning for entry into U.S. ports. However, manning decisions vary among the flag states. Consistent manning criteria among flag states and consistent en- forcement authority by port states require a universally accepted analytical method for assessing safe manning similar to that developed by the com- mittee. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the appropriate forum for developing such a method. RECOMMENDATIONS ~ foster safer shipping amid rapidly changing ship technologies, the committee recommends the following: . Congress should modernize U.S. manning laws to allow innovation without degrading safety. · The U.S. maritime industry, with the aid of the United States Department of Transportation, should implement a program to demonstrate the conditions under which reduced crew size can be considered safe. Among the demands on the crews that need to be evaluated are specialized technologies, type of vessel service, skills required, and the quality of management. Assessment and incorporation of worldwide developments to foster manning innovation should be an element of this nro~ram r - -I- ~--- The industry, with the aid of the U.S. Department of liansporta- tion, should undertake a research program to determine how human factors such as fatigue and stress affect maritime safety. · The Department of Transportation should gather, standardize, eval- uate, and disseminate maritime safety data. The Coast Guard should use formal analytical methods, such as the approach developed by the committee, to make manning decisions. The goal should be to develop an internationally accepted method for establishing minimum safe manning levels. The committee's complete conclusions and recommendations appear in Chapter 6.
CREW SIZE AND MARITIME SAFETY