Alert! 3 - An ergonomic nightmare!

There are many factors that can ultimately affect the ability of the master and his crew to ensure the safe conduct of the ship, and the safe and timely delivery of its cargo.

Poor ship design, bad ergonomics, equipment failure, fatigue, stress, boredom, commercial pressures, cultural differences, differing equipment designs, and a lack of proper training in the operation of equipment, all affect the way in which a ship is operated.

The human element is a critical feature of all aspects of ship or system design and operation.

For any ship or system to operate safely and effectively, it must be designed to support the people who work it, without detriment to their health, safety and overall performance, particularly in respect of:

• workability

• controllability

• safety and emergency response

• maintainability

• security

• manoeuvrability

• habitability

In this issue of Alert!, the focus is on ergonomics - the science of fitting the workplace to the worker. In our central feature - The A to Z of Ergonomics - we offer some ergonomic definitions that are relevant to the design and operation of a ship and its systems, together with some pictorial examples of how the lack of attention to ergonomics can affect the mariner.

Comments on any of the articles or other human element issues are always welcome to:


Staff Author