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Research for Enhancement of Working Conditions Onboard Ships

European Union
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Waterborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues


Background & Policy context

The environmental conditions aboard vessels, comprising aspects such as noise, vibration, climate and heavy ship motion, considerably affect the working conditions for seafarers and the personal well-being and comfort of passengers. However, human factors have not played a significant role in the ship design process or in the management and operation of vessels.


REWORD aimed to enhance ship design and management tools, with the inclusion of human factor specifications in design and management guidance documentation.


The main objectives of REWORD have been:

  • to use human factors' theory and experimentation to evaluate the effects of environmental conditions to which ship crews and passengers are exposed at sea;
  • to produce an inventory of adverse factors, and their effects on physical and psychological characteristics of the crew;
  • to produce an overview of the design and modelling tools currently adopted to help reduce adverse influences;
  • to assess alternative remedies by testing their effectiveness using simulation or full-scale experimental techniques;
  • to provide a cost-benefit analysis of the more effective remedies;
  • to suggest tools and models to be adopted for the design of new ships and for the improvement of existing ones.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)



  • developed and validated mathematical models for the quantitative estimation of human performance aboard vessels;
  • confirmed the effectiveness of human performance models in standard procedures to assess the wave-induced motions of ships;
  • assessed the feasibility of an integrated software package for evaluating the impact on human performance resulting from changes in the main design parameters;
  • found that end users (crew, passengers) as well as stakeholders (ship-owners, shipbuilders) can benefit from the anticipated results of the altered design process, in particular
    • providing ship-owners with ships that are easier to manage and safer to operate, and
    • enabling passengers to enjoy higher levels of comfort;
  • identified the potential of the proposed design methods and tools to assist the whole shipping industry and the cruise market.

Policy implications

Human factors related design parameters and effective man/machine interfaces are seen as important aspects of future integrated ship design approaches. REWORD has proved the viability and technical feasibility of this novel approach, paving the way for wider utilisation of this experience in the shipping industry. This will help to improve working conditions on modern ships, thereby bolstering the attractiveness of the entire shipping business.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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