The HORIZON project addressed concerns over the increasing losses (human, financial and environmental) of maritime accidents which frequently cite fatigue as a contributory cause. This is a major issue at a time when the high demand for shipping capacity has led to shortages of well-qualified and experienced seafarers.
The project set out to define and undertake scientific methods for measurement of fatigue in various realistic seagoing scenarios using bridge, engine-room and cargo simulators. It assessed the impact of fatigue on decision-making performance and determined optimal settings for minimising those risks to both ship and seafarer.
Three simulator-equipped institutes collaborated to ensure that enough runs of sufficient duration were undertaken to replicate ship-board conditions of operation, with real-life scenarios of voyage, workload and interruptions. Specialist input from a stress research institute, skilled in transport operations research, set the requirements for fatigue measurement and determining performance degradation of watch-keepers. Results were analysed and recommendations made for application by interested parties, including ship owners, maritime regulators and those setting requirements for manning and operation of ships. The project output is a management toolkit with software and guidance notes.
Involvement of a classification society, seafarer officer's union and six stakeholder partners provided expert objectivity of the project and its results, as well as widening routes for dissemination and exploitation.
HORIZON surpassed past subjective fatigue studies, highlighting the problem, and produced validated, statistically robust results for use in decision making. The project resulted in: (i) increased safety and security, (ii) reduced fatalities, and (iii) a methodology for reducing human error.
Fatigue was measured in various realistic seagoing scenarios using bridge simulators, engine-room simulators and cargo simulators. The impact of fatigue on decision-making performance was also measured. Optimal settings for minimising those risks to both ship and seafarer were determined.
Maritime accidents frequently cite fatigue as a contributory cause. This is a major issue at a time when the high demand for shipping capacity has led to shortages of well-qualified and experienced seafarers. The use of simulators for measuring the impact of fatigue, was an innovative aspect in the project.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Acting on transport safety (saving thousands of lives)