Increased Awareness for Maritime Human Factors through e-learning in Crew-centered Design

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In the past two decades, the need to address human factors in shipping through integration of ergonomics in the design of ships and shipboard equipment has increased significantly as a result of the technological development of modern ships. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations’ specialized organization for ship safety issues, has adopted a vision to address human factors as a key element for the improvement of maritime safety, and in that context acknowledges the human element as complex and multi-dimensional. IMO's standards focus on the avoidance of human and organization error. But in spite of this, and despite the availability of qualified guidance on maritime human factors, there is little evidence of what could be seen as a comprehensive regulatory framework for crew-centered design, i.e. a design practice where ships and ships’ equipment is explicitly designed with human operator usability as an integral part of the design process. Recently, a European Commission sponsored project CyClaDes has made an attempt to address this paradox from a number of vantage points: An accident analysis, interviews with mariners (n=23), and short visits on board 5 vessels have been conducted to identify knowledge that provides insights into crew involvement in design, which, in turn, have been used to develop five training packages as one outcome of the project.




Praetorius, G., Kataria, A., Petersen, E. S., Schröder-Hinrichs, J. U., Baldauf, M., & Kähler, N. (2015). Increased Awareness for Maritime Human Factors through e-learning in Crew-centered Design. Procedia Manufacturing, 3, 2824–2831.

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