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A Study of Factors that Contribute to Maritime Fatigue

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Many advances have been made to shipping and the maritime industry over the last century. Despite these advances, errors that lead to injuries, accidents, and catastrophes continue to occur. Fatigue has been identified as a major contributor to these incidents. The purpose of this study was to investigate the causes of fatigue for mariners and, specifically, for deck watch officers (DWOs). A review of the literature was completed to identify factors that might impact the prevalence of fatigue in the maritime industry. Questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data to evaluate the relationship among sleep, the mariner's work environment, and fatigue. It was found that advances in technology have reduced the number of personnel on the bridge and, subsequently, increased the workload for DWOs. With the multitude of DWO duties and responsibilities, current staffing levels are not always adequate for ensuring proper rest. While regulations that address hours of rest for mariners appear to be adequate, current regulations do not adequately address the challenges of dynamic schedules and human physiology.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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  • Marine Technology is dedicated to James Kennedy, 1867-1936, marine engineer, and longtime member of the Society, in recognition and appreciation of his sincere and generous interest in furthering the art of ship design, shipbuilding, ship operation, and related activities.

    The Technical papers in this quarterly flagship journal cover a broad spectrum of research on the latest technological breakthroughs, trends, concepts, and discoveries in the marine industry. SNAME News is packed with Society news and information on national, section, and local levels as well as updates on committee activities, meetings, seminars, professional conferences, and employment opportunities.

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